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1. Is a PhD at the University of Reading right for you? 

Before applying for our PhD programme, please read our What to expect during your PhD guide.

To find out how to apply for the Centre for Doctoral Training in the Mathematics for our Future Climate programme, please read our Mathematics for our Future Climate page.

2. Check our entry requirements

To be accepted on our PhD programme, you'll need a Bachelor's degree of at least 2:1 level (or equivalent), or a master's degree, in a subject related to your proposed PhD research topic.

If you are from outside the UK, you'll also need to demonstrate a certain level of proficiency with written and spoken English.

For more information on entry requirements, visit our Doctoral and Researcher College.

3. Select a topic

There are three routes to applying for a PhD in our School:

  • Explore our PhD opportunities to see which projects are currently available. If you choose this route, your supervisor will be included in the project outline, so you can skip the next step (Identify a supervisor).
  • Draft your own research proposal in consultation with a supervisor. If you choose this route, you'll need to outline the project you wish to undertake. Make sure your research aligns with research carried out in our School and then identify a relevant supervisor.
  • Ask a supervisor to help you draft a research project. If you choose this route, you'll need to identify a potential supervisor, who has relevant expertise.

4. Identify a supervisor

Once you have identified a relevant supervisor, we recommend that you contact them to discuss your proposed PhD project and check whether it is suitable.

It must be feasible within the resources and time frame available to you and should address a perceived "gap" in the literature. Most importantly, it should be of interest to you.

If you would like assistance with identifying potential supervisors, please contact Elizabeth Marten in the Doctoral and Researcher College.

It is not essential to communicate directly with the School before submitting your application, but many candidates find it helpful.

5. Make an application

Please apply for a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology or a PhD in Biological Sciences using the PhD and professional doctorate online application system.

You can start your application whether or not you have spoken to a potential supervisor in the School. You are strongly encouraged to read the Doctoral and Researcher College's guidance on how to write a research proposal (PDF) before submitting your application.

You'll need to complete the necessary information and attach copies of relevant documents, including the details of two appropriate referees.

Although you'll be working with a specific School or supervisor, all PhD applications must be made centrally. The University will acknowledge your application and then pass it on to our School.

Most new students join the PhD programme in September, but it's possible to start your studies at any point during the academic year.

Athena SWAN Silver Award