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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 will 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 will 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 website.

3. Select a topic

Before applying, we recommend that you contact our Department to check whether your project 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.

To find out more about our areas of expertise, please view our research page and staff profiles.

4. Identify a supervisor

If you already have a potential supervisor in mind then you are welcome to contact them directly in order to discuss your proposed PhD project.

If you would like assistance with identifying potential supervisors then please contact the Department's Director of Postgraduate Research Studies by emailing

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

5. Make an application

Please apply using the PhD and professional doctorate online application programme. You are strongly encouraged to read the Doctoral and Researcher College's guidance on how to write a research proposal before submitting your application.

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

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

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