University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

Academic support within the Department

Your PhD supervision

When you undertake your PhD, you'll be assigned two supervisors within the Department. They'll meet you regularly to provide support and help you shape, refine, and progress your research. Additionally, two academics will review your progress annually and offer further input and advice on your work. 

PhD students also attend a weekly seminar series where they discuss their own research and the research of their fellow students, exploring questions, strategies, methods, challenges and outcomes. Seminars are joined by academic staff and guest researchers who support the discussions and share their knowledge and experience.

Design Star

We have led the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Design Star Centre for Doctoral Training, which from 2015 to 2018 offered studentship funding for innovative doctoral projects across a consortium of leading universities and external partners. 

The Centre continues to offer research training opportunities, such as seminars and researcher development events, to all PhD students in our Department. 

Through this training, the Centre aims to equip students with the ability to make a difference to contemporary social issues, knowledge production, and creative practices by taking an interdisciplinary approach to design research.

Support from the Doctoral and Researcher College

The Doctoral and Researcher College is the University of Reading's hub for doctoral students, based in a dedicated building on Whiteknights Campus. It provides advice, training, study facilities and professional development for all doctoral students at the University.

The Doctoral and Researcher College is dedicated to ensuring you get the most out of your PhD and fulfil your potential as a researcher. It runs a number of programmes to help you develop academically and professionally, which are all included as part of your PhD at no extra cost.

Reading Researcher Development Programme

This core training programme is designed to help you successfully complete your PhD and improve your personal effectiveness.

It includes sessions on writing skills, managing data, interviews and how to get your work published.

Leadership programme

Designed in partnership with Henley Business School, this programme is designed specifically for you to develop your skills in leadership.

You'll enhance your understanding, experience and practice of leading and have the opportunity to explore your own capabilities.

Preparing to Teach

Preparing to Teach equips you with the teaching skills you'll need if you're considering a career as an academic.

You'll develop knowledge on effective teaching and learning, how to assess students' work and how to provide feedback.

English language support

Male student working on his laptop at a desk, wearing white headphones

If English is not your first language, our International Study and Language Institute (ISLI) can help you develop your academic English skills.

ISLI also offers doctoral thesis writing programmes in partnership with the Doctoral and Researcher College. These are available free of charge to international students.

Disability support

Close up of woman's hands spelling out a word in sign language

The University provides a number of support services for people who have accessibility or additional learning needs.

Wellbeing support

The University’s dedicated range of specialist support teams are here for you, whether you are on campus or studying remotely.

We also offer the Life Tools programme, a series of free talks designed by experts to help you take control of your personal and professional development.