Life as a PhD student
When you study with us, you will engage with other researchers who are passionate about advancing understanding in the field and addressing the biggest issues facing the world today.
As well as mixing with other PhD students and having regular contact with your supervisors, you will also work alongside a group of postdoctoral researchers who have recently completed their PhDs.
While working on your research independently, you will also be able to attend seminars and workshops in the Department. You can take steps to prepare for an academic career by taking up research training and opportunities to teach.
PhD Researcher of the Year Winner 2019
Presenting your work
Over the course of your PhD you'll have opportunities to communicate your work and network with other researchers. You can present seminars, speak at conferences and workshops, and visit or host researchers from elsewhere.
We have a weekly student-run PhD seminar and an annual conference, both of which provide students with the opportunity to present work-in-progress.
All our PhD students are also welcome to attend the weekly departmental seminar, where visiting academics present world-leading research. There are also more specialist reading groups and seminars organised within our three research clusters in comparative politics, international relations and political theory.
We strongly encourage you to attend conferences and other events to widen your network of contacts. We provide assistance with arranging travel and accommodation.
Engage with the wider doctoral community at Reading
As a PhD student at Reading, you'll have access to the Graduate School, which brings together the University's large doctoral community.
At the heart of this is Old Whiteknights House, a dedicated facility that provides space for you to work and network with other PhD students across a variety of disciplines.
The Graduate School coordinates a range of activities, including the annual Doctoral Research Conference, an event that showcases the variety and excellence of postgraduate research taking place at Reading.
Another event that celebrates academic excellence is the Graduate School's annual public lecture – the Fairbrother Lecture – which is delivered by a current or recent PhD student.
Athena Swan Bronze Award
The School of Politics, Economics and International Relations is thrilled to announce that it has received an Athena SWAN Bronze Award! The award recognizes the School’s work to advance gender equality and commits us to continuing our efforts through a 5 year action plan.
Please visit our Wellbeing, Inclusion, Diversity and Equality pages for more details on our current efforts and plans, including the implementation of our five-year Athena SWAN Action Plan and a School Race Equality Review.
How we support you
You'll receive support from our Department as well as the Graduate School, which is the University of Reading's hub for all doctoral activity.
Life in Reading
Reading's bustling town centre has strong transport links to London and the south east. London and Oxford are both just 25 minutes away by train, where you have access to great research resources and a wide variety of speaker meetings and other events.
Dr Joseph O'Mahoney's story
Dr Joseph O'Mahoney, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations