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How we support you – University of Reading

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How we support you

Acting as a hub for all doctoral research across the University, the Graduate School works in partnership with your School or Department to provide you with the support that you need to fulfil your potential as a researcher.

As a postgraduate researcher at the University of Reading, you automatically become a member of the Graduate School, in addition to your home School or Department.

Supervision from your School or Department

In most cases, postgraduate researchers are assigned two supervisors from their School or Department, who have the expertise and experience to support them in their studies. In some Schools and Departments, there may be a wider supervisory team. Whichever style of supervision is used, you will receive support to:

  • help you to shape your doctoral research project
  • guide your choice of training  
  • advise you on creating networks and establishing your career
  • help you to complete your doctorate in a timely manner.

dedicated Support from the Graduate School

In addition to the support you receive from your School or Department, the Graduate School is committed to working with you in order to:

  • enhance the quality of your experience at Reading
  • champion your academic and social interests
  • provide you with an exciting and supportive environment
  • enable you to connect with other researchers from across the University

Our role is to also provide an extensive programme of Training and development.

In addition to the advice and support provided by the Graduate School and Doctoral Research Offices, a Postgraduate Research Administrator supports each School/Department and is an essential contact for doctoral researchers. 

Meet the staff in the Graduate School. Find out who does what, and how to get in touch.

“The Graduate School was fantastic for creating opportunities to showcase students. Winning the PhD Student of the Year award was a career milestone that enabled me to be successful in securing two internationally competitive fellowships.”

Katherine Livingstone

PhD in Food and Nutrition

Our research community

When you join Reading as a postgraduate researcher, whatever your discipline and wherever you are based, you will become a member of a supportive community of researchers from across the University.

With over 1,800 postgraduate researchers from over 100 different countries, we offer a vibrant and diverse community where you will be able to network, build friendships, gain inspiration and feel represented.

“Because of the Graduate School, I have never felt excluded as a research student. Its Breakfast Clubs and Annual Conference provide great opportunities to meet research students from different disciplines.”

Chen Zheng

PhD in Real Estate and Planning

develop your English language skills

If English is not your first language, the University's  International Study and Language Institute can help you develop your academic English skills and offers a range of courses and programmes to suit your specific needs.

Pre-sessional English Programme - Our International Study and Language Institute (ISLI) offers a flexible and tailored Pre-sessional English Programme that gives participants the opportunity to achieve the required English Language level and to prepare for starting their doctoral programme. progress to a degree course - most degree courses at Reading accept students from the PSE programme with an exit score of 0.5 below the target.

Academic English Programme - Aimed at international and EU students across the University, the Academic English Programme (AEP) features courses aimed at building your confidence in spoken language situations, developing your accuracy in the English language and improving your writing skills. The AEP is free to all fee-paying international students at any stage of study.

Academic language and writing support for international and EU doctoral researchers - The Graduate School, in conjunction with the University's International Study and Language Institute (ISLI), has a range of courses designed to help doctoral researchers maintain, improve and develop their academic English. 

Excellent facilities and an ideal location

As part of the University of Reading, the Graduate School is based in an attractive and convenient campus in the south east of the UK. Here you will find Old Whiteknights House, a dedicated space for postgraduate researchers, providing useful resources and facilities to support your work. Across the rest of the campus, the University has made substantial investment in developing and improving its academic and research facilities for the benefit of all students.

Additional support

In addition to the support available to you from the Graduate School, as a member of the University of Reading, you can access many other services and facilities that can make your time here more productive and enjoyable. Whether you need information about study, work or leisure – there will be someone at the University who can help.

Find out what's involved

To help you understand what doctoral research at Reading entails, we've put together a guide that explains the milestones, activities and timescales involved.

Help for researchers with families

If you are thinking of moving to Reading with your family, we've put together some useful information to help you. From University accommodation that's suitable for couples and families to on-campus childcare, find out more about settling in to the area.


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