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As a postgraduate research student in the Department of Philosophy at Reading, you will become part of a dynamic and friendly community.

You will be warmly welcomed into the Department, before beginning your programme, the core of which - apart from your intensive one-one supervisions - is our weekly Graduate Research Seminar.

You will also attend our weekly Visiting Speaker and staff Work in Progress seminars, along with reading groups, social events and other activities.

I found the Philosophy Department at Reading to be very friendly and supportive, and I was grateful for the opportunity to teach undergraduates as a sessional lecturer, which was extremely rewarding. I am now working as a lecturer at St Mary's University in Twickenham. A job in academia is exactly what I wanted and I am immensely grateful to Reading for allowing me to get this position.

Richard Playford

PhD Philosophy

Develop all the skills of a professional philosopher

Michela Bariselli speaks about the teacher training she received whilst studying for her PhD Philosophy.

Training and opportunities

Training is a crucial part of your development as a researcher.

During your doctoral programme, you will take a variety of training courses such as applying for postdocs, lecturing skills, small group teaching, how to publish, and how to enter the academic job market.

You will have many opportunities to present your research to academics and fellow students, in particular at the weekly Graduate Research Seminar. The Department also holds reading groups and workshops, and we subsidise travel to present your work at events outside the University.

All our PhD students are offered the opportunity to take part in undergraduate teaching, subject to completing the University's 'preparing to teach' module.

More information on the training and support you will receive as a PhD student at Reading

Engage with guest speakers

We run a regular seminar programme of visiting speakers.

The visiting speaker sessions have run for many years and is host to a wide variety of professional philosophers, including many who are preeminent in their field. It not only provides crucial insight into the development of research projects and of presentation skills, but it also provides an excellent opportunity to network with philosophers from across the world. 

As part of the Royal Institute of Philosophy national Network, we also organise public lectures aimed at a wider audience.

A close-knit community

You will benefit from dedicated teaching staff and friendly support staff, who are here to guide you during your time at the University.

Supervision is tailored and personal, with frequent one-on-one meetings; this close cooperation is designed to ensure a rich and rewarding research experience. You will also be assigned a  co-supervisor to ensure you have broad and complementary input from different perspectives.

To ensure you get the most out of your experience studying at Reading, you will be invited to act as a Departmental or School of Humanities representative for your fellow students, to ensure we receive valuable feedback


A highlight of the year is the annual one-day conference sponsored by the leading philosophy journal Ratio, which is edited in the Department.

For over 30 years the Ratio conference has hosted world-leading experts to speak on topics of special philosophical importance.

As well as hosting world experts speaking on topics of special interest, the conference provides an excellent opportunity for you to network and socialise.


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. 


Read our stories

Explore the stories behind our staff, students and alumni and learn about life in the Department of Philosophy.


Life on campus

Our main campus is set on 130 hectares of beautiful parkland, so you'll find plenty of places to relax. Our campus is home to a thriving community and features the Students' Union, Library and places to eat.