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You will join a vibrant and supportive doctoral community within the Department of History, and work alongside post-doctoral researchers and academic staff.

You may also choose to get involved with a research cluster or multidisciplinary research centre and meet other researchers in your own field and beyond, in Reading and beyond.


A welcoming community

Our Welcome Week postgraduate party gives you a chance to meet other postgraduates and staff. You will be encouraged to take part in a wide range of seminars and events within the department, in the Doctoral and Researcher College, and in broader research networks in the university.

Our research students also take an active role in organising events such as seminars, workshops, reading groups, writing retreats, and conferences, and we are keen to support you if you have an idea for an activity you would like to run.

Our prestigious events, including the annual Stenton Lecture by a leading historian, also offer valuable networking and socialising opportunities.


Join the history society

Our student-run History Society is approachable, friendly, and provides opportunities for you to get to know your fellow students and lecturers in a relaxed, informal setting.

They run a range of social events, including trips abroad, an end-of-year formal, day trips and movie nights.

Join the society to build great friendships and create memories that will last a lifetime.

A day in the life of a PhD student

History PhD Student Shingi Hopkins takes us through a day in her life as a working mum studying for her PhD.

Skills for your future

Throughout your PhD, you will have opportunities to present your work, develop the skills you need to succeed in academia and other careers, and network with other researchers.

Presenting your research

The annual History Department Postgraduate Workshop allows you and your fellow students to present your research in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.

Seminars, including student-led seminars, and events run by our research networks and research centres are a further opportunity to present to specialists in your field.

Transferable skills

Many of our PhD students also develop their skills and networks by speaking to public audiences or school students, contributing to our social media and blog, or organising events and exhibitions related to their research.


How we support you

Training is an intrinsic part of your development as a researcher. During your degree course, you will benefit from training sessions covering a variety of topics.



History is no ordinary subject - which makes the stories we have to tell, extraordinary.


Life in Reading

Step off campus and you'll find yourself in a bustling town centre offering a variety of shops, restaurants and activities. We're also well-connected – you can reach London Paddington within half an hour by train.