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Why choose Reading? – University of Reading

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  • Flexible and supportive

    Find research opportunities to suit your circumstances

Why choose Reading?

As one of the top 20 universities in the UK for research intensity, we have a lot to offer if you want to undertake research that makes an impact.

According to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), 98% of research conducted at the University of Reading is of international standing, so you'll receive first-class supervision from leading experts in your research area. And that's just the start. If you are considering applying for a doctoral research programme, here are just a few of the benefits Reading offers you.

A wide range of research opportunities

Your research topic

We structure our research around four interdisciplinary themes:

Depending on your discipline, you may be able to suggest your own research topic or apply to work on a specific project.

If you have qualified in the arts, humanities, social sciences or in business, you will most likely identify your own research topic, taking into account the resources and time available to you.

With a background in science or life science, you will find many opportunities to contribute to predefined projects. Supported by your supervisor, you will still work independently and usually get to shape the project to your interests so that you can make an original contribution.

Our doctoral research programmes

We offer a number of doctoral research programmes alongside PhDs, including practice-based and professional doctorates.

excellent study and research facilities

While you are focused on achieving your doctorate, there are certain things that can make life easier. Having great facilities and an attractive environment will help you to concentrate on what really matters.

Flexible ways of working

In addition to being based full time at Reading, there are other, more flexible ways of undertaking your doctorate. We offer part-time routes, as well as opportunities to work away at other institutions, including abroad. Our PhD by Distance, for example, is aimed at individuals based away from Reading, usually overseas, who are looking to gain a PhD.

“I have two small children and studying part-time has allowed me more flexibility to spend time with them, as well as completing the research. It has also allowed me to undertake other work that complements the research.”

Polly Waite

PhD in Psychology (part time)

Support throughout your studies

We aim to provide all the support and care you may need to succeed. Our track-record shows that over 98% of postgraduate researchers at Reading pass their doctorates and according to the International Student Barometer, we have achieved a satisfaction level of 96% (i-graduate, 2016).

“Reading is the perfect foundation for my academic career, equipping me with the skills, expertise and contacts to establish me as a serious and productive scholar in the field of early medieval archaeology.”

Matt Austin

PhD in Archaeology

Prestigious research training partnerships

As a doctoral researcher at Reading, you will be part of an organisation that is highly regarded by UK Research Councils and other funding bodies, including charities and trusts.

Research studentships funded by such bodies are increasingly being awarded through Doctoral Training Centres and Partnerships. The University of Reading is involved in a number of prestigious partnerships to deliver high-quality training and has also been successful in winning a number of long-running training grants.

If you are eligible, you will be able to compete for funding from Research Councils and partners.

Based in a convenient location in Reading, just 35 minutes from London, Whiteknights campus has excellent travel connections to airports and other major transport hubs.

The campus is set in 130 hectares of beautiful parkland, offering plenty of space for you to relax. It has been voted among the best and most popular green spaces in the UK for nine consecutive years in the Green Flag Awards.

You will find many useful amenities on site, including:

  • a variety of shops
  • a bank 
  • places of worship
  • sport and exercise facilities.

Find out more

Download our guide to doing a PhD at Reading to get an overview of what's involved. 

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