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1. Check our entry requirements

To be accepted on our PhD programme, you will need an 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 of the UK, you will also need to demonstrate you have a certain level of proficiency with written and spoken English.

For more information on entry requirements, visit our Graduate School website.

2. Select a topic

There are different routes for selecting a PhD research topic:

  • If you are interested in a broad area of research, advertised projects covering specific research topics can be found on our PhD opportunities page.
  • If you have a clear idea about a research project of your choice, you should first determine whether the project is suitable for study at PhD level. The project must also be feasible within the resources and time frame available to you; it should also address a perceived 'gap' in the literature and, most importantly, be of interest to you. You can receive feedback by contacting the Department.
  • The research proposal will be judged not only on the nature, relevance and importance of the economic questions it poses but also on whether it is on a topic where the Department of Economics can offer expert supervision.

3. Identify a supervisor

Initially, you'll need to contact the Department's Director of Postgraduate Research Studies (Admissions) Dr Stefania Lovo by emailing s.lovo@reading.ac.uk or calling +44 (0) 118 378 4964. 

You could also get in touch with the potential supervisor if you have someone specific in mind, but this should be in addition to contacting the Director of Postgraduate Research Studies. 

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

4. Make an application

Please apply using the PhD and professional doctorate online application programme. This allows you to complete the necessary information and attach copies of relevant documents, including the details of two appropriate referees. Although you will be working with a specific department or supervisor, all PhD applications have to be made centrally. 

We will acknowledge your application and then pass it on to the appropriate school or department. 

Although most new students join the PhD programme in October, it is possible to start your studies at any point during the academic year.