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Research excellence

97% of our research outputs are rated ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, meaning that the University of Reading is 6th highest in the UK for research outputs.^

This included Dr Daphne Halikiopoulou's work on the far-right in Europe, Professor Alan Cromartie's contributions to our understanding of Hobbes, and Dr Christina Hellmich's investigations of Al-Qaida's ideology. 

^Times Higher Education analysis of the latest Research Excellence Framework 2021 – Politics and International Studies, when scoring by GPA Output.

Read more about our groundbreaking research

Jamie Draper, PhD Researcher of the Year 2019

Watch this video to see Jamie Draper, PhD student from the Department of Politics and International Relations, discuss his research on migration and displacement in relation to climate change, and reflect on his experience of studying a PhD at Reading.

Jamie won the University of Reading's PhD Researcher of the Year Award in 2019 for his work.

Expert supervision

When you embark on doctoral study with us, you'll be assigned two academic supervisors who are committed to providing you with support and guidance.

Our academics are world experts in their fields, who are actively engaged in modern-day politics. Many of them bring experience of working directly with policymakers in government and international organisations such as the UN to their postgraduate supervision.

Learn more about our staff and their areas of expertise

Our doctoral community

Students come from all over the world to study for a PhD in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Reading. 

We are a lively and close-knit community: when you study with us you'll interact regularly with senior staff members as well as with your fellow students. 

Throughout your degree, you'll have opportunities to engage with other passionate researchers at a range of seminars and workshops. 

Find out about day-to-day life in our Department

My main reason for coming here is my supervisor Christina Hellmich, who has deep knowledge of my research focus into the politics of women empowerment. She has been instrumental in focusing my proposal and my research in general.
Nadia Al-Sakkaf
International PhD student

Teaching opportunities

We can support you to gain teaching experience and prepare for an academic career. There are opportunities to teach on undergraduate and master's modules in the Department.

As a doctoral student at Reading, you can also attend the Doctoral and Researcher College's Preparing to Teach programme at no extra cost.


Life in the Department

When you choose to undertake a PhD with us, you will join a supportive academic community. You will have opportunities to attend departmental seminars, present your work and network with other researchers.


How we support you

You'll receive support from our Department as well as the Doctoral and Researcher College, which is the University of Reading's hub for all doctoral activity. 


Professor Dominik Zaum's story

There are lots and lots of ways in which student projects help shape our research. I think that's one of the most exciting things about teaching and researching politics here at Reading.

Professor Dominik Zaum
Professor of Governance, Conflict and Security