How to apply
Before you can apply for a PhD you need to identify your area of research, and you have the option to speak to the department or supervisor you wish to work with.
However, it is not essential that you contact a supervisor before applying because we will identify potential supervisors when we receive your application.
Please see the A-Z list of doctoral research areas. From here you can link to the respective department and find contact details.
areas of doctoral supervision
Whatever your area, you can expect to receive first-class supervision from leading international researchers and practitioners who have expertise and passion in your chosen field.
Find out more about our areas of supervision.
Types of PhD Programme
- By Thesis – our traditional PhD programme.
- By Published Works – for candidates who have developed their knowledge and independent research skills to doctoral level, and who have a body of publications produced during the course of their careers either within, or outside, academia.
- Practice-based – relevant for some arts subjects where the independent, original PhD research is presented through both practice and a thesis.
PhD by Distance
Our PhD by Distance programme is designed to support students who need to study for most of their registration period at another (normally overseas) site.
Our PhD Plus programme is designed to meet the specific needs of overseas lecturers who want to study for a PhD whilst also learning about Higher Education in the UK and improving their teaching skills.
Undertake a professional doctorate, a programme of advanced study and research that combines professional and academic knowledge.
phd Funding available across all subject areas
The University allocates over £8m each year in postgraduate research studentships and bursaries. Around 150 entry awards are available to quality doctoral candidates per year.
These opportunities are funded from a wide variety of sources including: University of Reading, UK Research Councils, industry and charities.
The University of Reading is one of the top 20 universities in the UK for research intensity and 98% of the research conducted here is internationally recognised, according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.
Through the Graduate School, we have a building in which PhD students can work, meet, organise events and receive advice and support, which is an incredible added value that many other universities do not have.
A PhD student profile
Adeyinka Adewale, joint PhD Researcher of the Year 2015, explains his reasons for choosing Reading and offers advice to prospective PhD students.
Join a diverse, vibrant community of more than 1,800 postgraduate researchers from 100 different countries.
In a global study which assesses the satisfaction of international students, 98% of postgraduate respondents indicated that they were satisfied with the support provided by the University of Reading Graduate School (International Student Barometer, i-graduate 2018. 2018 is the latest year in which the University of Reading participated in the survey).
Over the past decade, the University has invested over £400m in a range of excellent research facilities to support and enhance your academic and research experience.
Professional and personal skills training
The Reading Researcher Development Programme (RRDP) offers over 90 courses, development workshops and activities designed to help you to gain the skills you'll need to carry out your research professionally and effectively, and to be successful in your ongoing career.
Learn a language as part of your degree
Add variety to your degree course and broaden your horizons. As a student at Reading, you’ll have the chance to study one of 10 languages from beginner to advanced level through our Institution-Wide Language Programme.