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Application deadlines

PhD admissions for the Institute of Education can be in October or January of an academic year.

Before applying, please take note of the relevant application deadlines:

Home students

  • Applicants requesting an October start: apply by the end of the second week in July
  • Applicants requesting a January start: apply by the end of the second week in November.

International students

  • Applicants requesting an October start: apply by 1 June
  • Applicants requesting a January start: apply by 1 September.

How to apply

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.

2. Check our entry requirements

To be accepted onto our doctoral programme, you will need to have achieved a high merit (a mark of 65 or more or equivalent), in a master's programme in a related discipline, or if you are applying for a 1+3 PhD (Masters plus PhD), you need to have achieved a high 2.1 (a mark of 65 or more or equivalent) in your undergraduate degree.

If English is not your first language, you need to have achieved (or will have achieved before starting your PhD) a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in all subsections) or equivalent.

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

3. Select a topic

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 doctoral level. The project must also be feasible within the resources and timeframe 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 Institute of Education.

4. Identify 1-2 potential supervisors

You can learn more about research interests of our potential supervisors. You will also need to provide a rationale (on the IoE PhD Research Proposal form ) for why you think these potential supervisors would be a good fit for your proposed research. Once you have submitted your application, we will consider your suggestions. If we agreed with your suggested potential supervisor(s) and if they have supervisory capacity, they will be asked to review your proposal.

5. Make an application

All applications must include a completed Institute of Education PhD Research Proposal form, which includes a proposal (not exceeding 1000 words) for your intended research project. This proposal will include the rationale for your study, literature review, research question(s), design, methodology, and potential significance of the results. For more information on how to write a good PhD proposal, please view our Guidelines on how to write a good PhD research proposal. Once you are ready to make a formal application, you can apply through our online application service. This allows you to complete the necessary information and attach copies of relevant documents, including your completed PhD Research Proposal form and details of two appropriate referees.