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Join the Department of Philosophy and become part of a flourishing and welcoming community, work alongside internationally renowned academics and contribute to highly respected research.

Our PhD programme combines intensive research training with rigorous, one-one supervision in a relaxed and friendly environment. We encourage collaboration and constructive dialogue, where staff and students learn from each other.


Our expertise

Staff in the Department have a wide range of research interests and expertise. Areas in which we offer PhD supervision include:

Moral philosophy

Our expertise spans metaethics, normative ethics, value theory and applied ethics.

Philosophy of Science

Research includes Kuhn, Popper, Feyerabend, Mach, Hertz and nineteenth-century philosophy of science.


We investigate many aspects of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophy, both early and late.


Our expertise covers contemporary analytic metaphysics, Aristotelian metaphysics, the metaphysics of Aquinas, and the relationship between metaphysics and science, as well as metaphysics and philosophy of religion.

Philosophy of Language

We address many aspects of philosophy of language, including the relationship between language and mind, theories of meaning, Wittgenstein’s philosophy of language, contextualism, and experimental philosophy of language.

The doctoral community at Reading was essential to my learning experience – we encouraged each other to do the best work we could. I couldn't have had further support – feedback was always prompt, invaluable and honest. The Philosophy Department not only trains you to be a good philosopher; it also prepares you for what happens after your degree. I am currently an Assistant Professor at the American University in Cairo – I credit this job to my training at Reading.


PhD in Philosophy graduate

Research centres and resources

The Department of Philosophy is part of the University's Heritage and Creativity research theme.  Our interdisciplinary approach means we regularly work with many research centres, including:

Reading Ethics and Political Philosophy (REAPP)

Bringing together the University's moral and political philosophers, REAPP acts as a hub for individual scholars to exchange ideas, develop projects and organise events and workshops.

Centre for Cognition Research (CCR)

The CCR aims to promote excellence in research concerning the understanding of human intelligence. Bringing together researchers from different disciplines, it enables cross-discipline discussion and hosts events to promote new and existing research collaborations.

Mistakes in Living Systems

This major research project, funded by the Templeton Foundation, with Professor David Oderberg as Principal Investigator, brings together a team of scientists and philosophers at Reading to investigate philosophy of biology.

The team is researching the nature of goal-directedness in organisms and living systems, through the lens of the making of mistakes, where living things ‘get it wrong’. The team is applying these ideas to experimentation on blood clotting.

PhD supervision

When you undertake a PhD with us, you'll be assigned two supervisors with expertise that aligns with your research topic.

Our academics are leaders in their areas of research and will work closely with you to ensure your time with us as a PhD student is as rewarding as possible.

Find out more about our staff and the areas of doctoral research they supervise

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Types of doctoral degree

We offer several routes to a doctoral qualification, so you can find the one that suits you and the topic you wish to study.

Female student sitting in library making notes at a desk with a pile of books next to her

Part-time study

Part-time PhDs are available as well as full-time, so you can choose a mode of study that suits your circumstances.

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PhD by Distance

Our PhD by Distance programme allows you to benefit from the expertise of a Reading-based supervisor, while conducting your research in a different location.