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1. Is a PhD at the University of Reading right for you? 

Before applying for our PhD programme, please read our What to expect during your PhD guide.

To find out how to apply for the Centre for Doctoral Training in the Mathematics for our Future Climate programme, please read our Mathematics for our Future Climate page.

2. Consider your topic

As you develop ideas and directions for a research project you'd like to embark on, you’ll need to determine whether the project is suitable for study at PhD level. The project must be feasible within the resources and time frame available to you. It should address a perceived "gap" in the literature. And, most importantly, it should be of interest to you.  

Visit the Developing your PhD proposal page for more information on our areas of expertise and specialism.

3. Get in touch with the Department

While it is not essential to communicate directly with our Department before submitting your application, many candidates find it helpful as they develop their ideas and directions. We can provide you with feedback and guidance that will enable you to shape, strengthen and refine your proposal.

Please contact the Department's Director of Postgraduate Research Studies by emailing or calling +44 (0) 118 378 8081.

We also encourage you to review the Doctoral and Researcher College's guidance on how to write a research proposal.

4. Check our entry requirements

To be accepted on our PhD programme, you will need a Bachelor's degree of at least 2:1 level (or equivalent), or a master's degree, in a subject related to your proposed PhD research topic.

If you are from outside the UK, you will also need to demonstrate a certain level of proficiency with written and spoken English.

For more information on entry requirements, visit our Doctoral and Researcher College website.

5. Make an application

Please apply using the PhD and professional doctorate online application system. This allows you to complete the necessary information and attach copies of relevant documents, including the details of two appropriate referees. Although you will be working with a specific Department and supervisor, all PhD applications have to be made centrally. 

The University will acknowledge your application and then pass it on to our Department. 

Most new students join the PhD programme in September. However, it is possible to start your studies at any point during the academic year.