European History site ruinAll departments are committed to an intensive program of research that puts them at the forefront of their fields.  Supervision can be offered on many areas within the School, with opportunities to undertake multidisciplinary research topics due to the school's strong ties with other school's in the university and between the departments which make up the School of Humanities.

The School of Humanities brings together four departments each with its own thriving research culture. The School seeks to nurture research both within and between its various discipline areas.


  • The Department of Classics is one of the foremost research departments in the UK for the study of the ancient world and its reception.It offers a lively scholarly environment for those wishing to pursue research at the postgraduate level.  The Department has a new research initiative in Language, Text, and Power; it also has particular research strengths in religion, medicine, material culture, Greek drama, Greek literature in general, and reception; supervision is available in these fields as well other areas of study.  There are a wide variety of research resources at Reading, including the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology and the main University Library which holds many special collections.We run several conferences a year and we also have an active research seminar programme that includes presentations by scholars from around the world as well as by our own students.In recent years, we have had postgraduate students from Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Israel, the USA, and of course from the UK.  We welcome qualified postgraduate research students in all sub- fields of classics. We also host the Reading Classical Association, which welcomes various speakers on Classical topics.
  • The The Department of History has a number of active research centres and clusters.  In 2007 the History department hosted Oswald Mosley - New Party Conference which marks the conclusion of an AHRC-funded research project on Oswald Mosley's New Party of 1931, and is supported by a special AHRC Supplementary Dissemination Award.The Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 2005, making it one of the oldest centres of its kind in the country. The Early Modern Research Centre provides a focus for research in the political, social and economic history of Britain in the early modern period. In 2004 the School took the lead in the creation of the Centre for the Advanced Study of French the purpose of which is to establish the University of Reading as a centre of excellence in the history of France. Meanwhile, the appointment of Professor Richard Bosworth in 2006 has given a further boost to the Centre for Modern Italian History, which brings together a remarkably strong team of scholars working in this area.  The department's modern European historians play an active role in 'European Histories and Cultures,' one of the University's recently created research themes.  The History department contains a strong cluster of modern historians specialising in British and American political history, and has close links to the Research Centre for Evacuee and War Child Studies. It also has a particular strength in the area of English rural history and the department has a number of specialists in this area. Rural History has an outstanding research facility in the form of the University's Museum of English Rural Life (MERL). In short, the School of Humanities supports an exciting and varied range of research activities and resources, providing an excellent environment for postgraduate study. 
  •  The Department of Philosophy is a lively and productive centre of research with an international reputation for excellence.  The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise placed us third in the UK, ahead of Oxford and Cambridge.  The most recent Subject Review gave us a perfect score of 24 for the quality of our teaching.  The well-known Leiter Report on graduate programmes in
    Philosophy rated the Philosophy Department at Reading as one of the top ten in the UK, comparable to Carnegie-Mellon, Georgetown, and the University of Virginia, in the USA.

As well as being affiliated to the  School of Humanities and their separate academic departments all those studying for the degree of PhD or MPhil in the arts and humanities automatically become members of  The Graduate School in Arts and Humanities.

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