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Your supervision

You will be assigned two supervisors who will usually meet with you once a week to provide support.

Additionally, the Department will monitor you each year to ensure that you are on track with your studies and help you to resolve any issues you may have with progression or supervision.

You will also have access to the Doctoral Research Office. Located in the Doctoral and Researcher College, the Doctoral Research Office is a key point of contact for any doctoral researchers who have questions relating to registration, student status, immigration, studentships, University policy and procedures.

Find out how we create an inclusive and supportive environment within the Department



In the first two years of your doctorate, alongside your compulsory taught modules, you will benefit from training programmes including workshops, seminars and regular presentations of your work. You and your supervisor/s will decide which programmes you need to undertake.

At the start of the programme, you will complete a Learning Needs Assessment to determine what training would be beneficial to your studies and ongoing career development. 

Find out more about your training in our Economics PhD Programme Guide.


Over the course of your PhD, you will be involved in opportunities to communicate your work to and network with other researchers, present a seminar, speak at conferences and workshops, and visit or host researchers from elsewhere.

The Department encourages you to attend conferences and other events to widen your network of contacts. We can assist with travel and accommodation arrangements.

The Economics Department holds a regular PhD seminar series, which aims to give you the opportunity to practise speaking about your work at a friendly, informal event. There are also opportunities to teach on undergraduate courses.

Pastoral support

In addition to the support provided by the supervisors, all PhD students can contact the PGR Directors if they have any concerns, regarding both academic and non-academic issues, and including any concerns they may have about the supervision. PGR Directors meet regularly with PhD students to reflect on their progress and discuss potential concerns. 

Support from the Doctoral and Researcher College

The Doctoral and Researcher College is the University of Reading's hub for doctoral students, based in a dedicated building on Whiteknights Campus. It provides advice, training, study facilities and professional development for all doctoral students at the University.

The Doctoral and Researcher College is dedicated to ensuring you get the most out of your PhD and fulfil your potential as a researcher. It runs a number of programmes to help you develop academically and professionally, which are all included as part of your PhD at no extra cost.

Reading Researcher Development Programme

This training programme is designed to help you successfully complete your PhD and improve your personal effectiveness.

It includes sessions on writing skills, managing data, interviews and how to get your work published.

Leadership programme

Designed in partnership with Henley Business School, this programme is designed specifically for you to develop your skills in leadership.

You'll enhance your understanding, experience and practice of leading and have the opportunity to explore your own capabilities.

Preparing to Teach

Preparing to Teach equips you with the teaching skills you'll need if you are considering a career as an academic.

You will develop knowledge on effective teaching and learning, how to assess students' work and how to provide feedback.

Our doctoral research community

In addition to offering training and support to doctoral researchers, the Doctoral and Researcher College co-ordinates a range of activities that brings students together from across the University. These include the annual Doctoral Research Conference, an event that showcases the variety and excellence of postgraduate research taking place at Reading. The conference features a number of competitions and presentations including the PhD researcher of the year award.

Another event that celebrates academic excellence is the Doctoral and Researcher College's annual public lecture – the Fairbrother Lecture – delivered by a current or recent postgraduate research student. This is a fantastic opportunity for a wider audience to hear about the high quality doctoral research taking place at Reading.

English language support

Male student working on his laptop at a desk, wearing white headphones

If English is not your first language, our International Study and Language Institute (ISLI) can help you develop your academic English skills.

ISLI also offers doctoral thesis writing programmes in partnership with the Doctoral and Researcher College. These are available free of charge to international students.

Disability support

Close up of woman's hands spelling out a word in sign language

The University provides a number of support services for people who have accessibility or additional learning needs.

Wellbeing support

The University’s dedicated range of specialist support teams are here for you, whether you are on campus or studying remotely.

We also offer the Life Tools programme, a series of free talks designed by experts to help you take control of your personal and professional development.