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You will join a vibrant and international doctoral community within the Department of Languages and Cultures.

PhD students within the Department are encouraged to present their research at seminar sessions for staff and postgraduate students. They also attend relevant academic talks and events organised within the Department, the School of Humanities, research centres, and the wider University.

Doctoral research community

In addition to offering training and support to doctoral researchers, the Doctoral and Researcher College co-ordinates a range of activities that bring students together from across the University.

These include the annual Doctoral Research Conference, an event that showcases the variety and excellence of postgraduate research taking place at Reading. The conference features a number of competitions and presentations including the PhD Researcher of the Year award.

Another event that celebrates academic excellence is the Doctoral and Researcher College's annual public lecture – the Fairbrother Lecture – delivered by a current or recent postgraduate research student. This is a fantastic opportunity for a wider audience to hear about high quality doctoral research taking place at Reading.

The Doctoral and Researcher College regularly promotes the achievements and success of doctoral researchers in a variety of ways, including through its Highlights publication.

Showcasing your research

Over the course of your PhD, you will be involved in opportunities to communicate your work to a variety of audiences.

You will be encouraged to:

  • network with other researchers
  • present work-in-progress papers
  • speak at national and international conferences and workshops.

We also offer support for student-led initiatives such as seminar series and conferences. 

The Department encourages you to attend conferences and other events to widen your network. To this end, we assist with arranging travel and accommodation.


There are several options for using desk space and working on a computer within the Department, the University Library and other places on campus.

As a doctoral student at Reading you will also be supported by the Doctoral and Researcher College. At the heart of this is Old Whiteknights House, a dedicated facility that provides space for doctoral researchers to work and network with others.

Old Whiteknights House is a beautiful Victorian building that has been carefully modernised to provide a range of excellent resources and amenities. It also houses a number of support staff who deal exclusively with doctoral research matters and administration at Reading.

"Doing a PhD at Reading, you always have staff and other PhDs to ask questions, learn from and importantly have a bit of a laugh with now and again. I really have felt that no question is a stupid question.

"My supervisors have been absolutely great throughout my PhD, with regular meetings, useful advice, lots of encouragement, and help with keeping calm when life gets stressful!"

Nicola Thorn

PhD Researcher