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Our doctoral community

Doctoral student examining historic design material in collections-based workshop

Our doctoral students come from all over the world to study with us, attracted by the Department’s range and depth of expertise in typography and graphic communication.  

Students embark on research projects that encompass topics of inspiring diversity, employing a spectrum of empirical, archival and practice-informed methods. 

Learn more about the wider doctoral community at Reading

Expert and active supervisors

Professor teaching workshop on letterforms in Department of Typography

You'll have experienced supervisors who are research leaders in typography and graphic communication. 

All are expert in research and active in practice. They can help you raise your academic profile through publishing, presenting your research, and collaborating on special projects.

A reputation for research excellence

Close up of student drawing on tablet

Over 92% of our research was judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent in the most recent research excellence framework (REF) assessment (Times Higher Education Institutions ranked by subject, based on its analysis of the last research excellence framework (REF) 2014).

Distinctive collections and archives

Isotype diagram of a diamond's structur on atomic level, part of Department's Isotype collection

Students often work with our collections and archives, including the Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection, the Non-Latin Type Collection and many others. 

Our staff have a wealth of knowledge in the material history of our field. We encourage projects that engage with designed artefacts to define new histories through analysis and interpretation. 

Learn more about our collections and archives

Dr Vaibhav Singh

In 2016, Vaibhav Singh was recognised as a PhD Researcher of the Year finalist at Reading. After gaining his PhD, Vaibhav joined the Department’s research staff as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow.

 

Here he discusses his PhD research into how rapid advances in technology across the twentieth century have shaped the design of typefaces in India.

I was lucky enough to begin my PhD at the same time as five other researchers, making for good company, the possibility of exchange about success and frustrations, and best of all, some good friends. Also the yearly rotation of MA students, and the chance to do some teaching, as well as socialise, contributed to a great experience that bore no resemblance to the proverbial ivory tower.

Titus Nemeth

PhD student 2014, specialist in Arabic and multilingual type design and typography

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow at the University of Reading

Life in the Department

Discover more about life as a doctoral student in a department full of opportunities, connections and possibilities.

How we support you

Aerial shot of two PhD students at coffee table looking at textbooks together

As well as receiving support from your supervisors within the Department, you'll have access to wider academic and pastoral support services provided by the University.

Building partnerships

Academic and PhD student discuss thesis in a tutorial at cafe

We encourage you to seek out links with researchers outside the Department, and build partnerships in order to gain real-world insights that are relevant to your work.