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1. 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 Graduate School website.

Student on a laptop sitting outside on stairs

2. 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.

It should also address a perceived "gap" in the literature and, most importantly, be of interest to you. You can contact the Department for feedback.
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3. Identify a supervisor

It's not essential to communicate directly with the Department before submitting your PhD application, but you may find it helpful when identifying a supervisor.


Please contact the Department's Director of Postgraduate Research Studies, Alison Butler, by emailing a.j.butler@reading.ac.uk.


You could also get in touch with a potential supervisor if you have someone specific in mind; find out more about our staff and their areas of expertise. This should be in addition to contacting the Director of Postgraduate Research Studies.

View of an actress from behind with a blue and purple spotlight shining on her

4. Make an application

Please apply using the PhD and professional doctorate online application programme. You are strongly encouraged to read the Graduate School'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.

Our research

An older man sat in a chair with sunglasses with a younger man behind him holding an alarm clock

We partner with national and international cultural institutions across all our disciplines.

Some of our recent major research projects include User Not Found, Staging Beckett and Harold Pinter: Histories and Legacies

Life in the Department

Lightbox sign that says 'behind the scenes' in a dark room

Find out more about day-to-day life as a PhD student in Film, Theatre & Television.