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PhD programmes – University of Reading

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  • Become a leader in your field

    Study with world-leading researchers, in an interdisciplinary environment

PhD programmes

​Work alongside internationally recognised academics as you make a valuable contribution to what we know, and how we think about, the world.

Join us in conducting groundbreaking research that shapes and informs the area of history you're passionate about. Our vibrant, dynamic research department offers flexible modes of study and is renowned for producing world-class findings that transform the field.

“I have been welcomed with open arms by the staff and made to feel very much part of the team here. I have never once doubted my choice to study at the University of Reading. I love the enthusiasm I receive from my supervisor and The Museum of English Rural Life team for my work.”

Hilary Matthews

Part-time History PhD

Groundbreaking research

Our academics are active researchers whose current interests inform our PhD programmes. The Department's core research interests include political, cultural, gender, transnational history, and the history of ideas and beliefs. A handful of our most recent projects include meteorology in medieval times, British youth culture in the 20th century and the fiscal origins of the French Revolution.

What we offer

We offer flexible modes of study designed to fit with your needs. Our PhD is available for study on a full-time basis over three years and part-time over four to six years. Both full-time and part-time variants are available for study in Reading, or at a distance for students who live outside the UK.


Throughout your PhD you will have opportunities to communicate your work and network with other researchers. Our research centres host monthly seminars, workshops and conferences, while the Department's postgraduate community also has its own annual workshop where students present on their research.


During your degree course, you will benefit from training sessions covering a variety of topics. For example, we offer support on applying for postdoctoral positions or gaining a book contract. In addition, the Graduate School also offer a programme of transferable skills training.


Our PhD students often go on to work in academia as postdoctoral researchers, but also enter professions including teaching and publishing amongst others.

Research centres and resources

The Department of History is part of the University's 'Heritage and Creativity' research theme. We are actively involved in a number of interdisciplinary research centres and clusters, including:

We are proud to hold unique resources of international significance, all of which are available for your use and to enhance your learning. We encourage a collections-based approach to studying, and actively teach students how to use these resources to bring their studies to life.


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