University of Reading - Old Whiteknights House

University of Reading

Making the world a better place for us all

The University of Reading has been at the forefront of improving people’s lives for more than a century. By joining the University of Reading, you’ll become part of a community that leads by example, striving together to create a world that is profoundly improved. Whether it’s through groundbreaking research or impactful community initiatives, we are driven to make a genuine difference in the world. Together, we can shape not only our individual futures, but also the collective future of our society and planet.

Join us and be a catalyst for change, making a meaningful contribution to building a better world for everyone. It’s just UoR way.

University of Reading

A research-intensive University with a strong reputation

We’re ranked 169th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2024 and 98% of our research is of international standing [The latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, combining the University’s 4* (world leading), 3* (internationally excellent) and 2* (internationally recognised) submissions].

University of Reading

A range of funding opportunities

Each year we allocate around 150 funding awards to students starting a PhD. Details of the various studentship and funding schemes can be viewed here, please note that the list of funding is added to throughout the year, so please check back regularly.

University of Reading

Supporting your success

We have a proven track-record in supporting doctoral researchers to successfully complete their studies, with 98.9% of those who submit their thesis being awarded a doctorate (University of Reading Doctoral Examination Outcomes 2017/18 to 2021/22).

In a global study which assesses the satisfaction of international students, 94% of postgraduate respondents indicated that they were satisfied with the support provided by the University of Reading Doctoral and Researcher College (International Student Barometer, i-graduate 2022).

A broad range of subjects and flexible study opportunities

We support doctoral research across a wide range of subject areas in the Sciences, Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities and Business. We understand that many students have other commitments, so as well as full-time study, we also have part-time and by Distance (full-and part-time) flexible study options available in many areas.

University of Reading

Convenient location 40 miles west of London

Reading is very well connected by rail and road. The main train station is easily accessible from most places in the UK. The regular fast trains to London Paddington take just 23 minutes, while the addition of the new Elizabeth Line means that travel from Reading to central London is equally simple. Heathrow Airport is easy to reach by rail or road in less than an hour and Gatwick Airport in under two.

The University of Reading's award-winning main campus, set in 130 hectares of beautiful parkland, offers a vibrant hub for students but also a range of scenic spaces to unwind in and enjoy.

University of Reading

Why choose us?

We are proud to be a research-intensive university. We work with governments, international agencies, businesses, and charities striving to tackle some of the biggest problems facing the world today, such as climate change, heart disease and international conflict. Join us and become part of a community that is committed to making a difference.


Academic Units

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The PhD Computer Science programme provides the opportunity to investigate and contribute with innovative solutions to state-of-the-art technologies, research and challenges in Computer Science. The Department of Computer Science is part of the larger School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences, which includes our world leading Department of Meteorology and several national research centres. We have an active community of about 40 PhD students.

We offer flexible modes of study designed to fit with your needs. Our PhD is available for study on a full-time basis over 3-4 years and part-time over 4-6 years. Both full-time and part-time variants are available for study in Reading or working away.

Our programme includes research topics such as advanced computing and programming paradigms (Parallel and Distributed Computing, Cloud and mobile computing), computational intelligence, machine learning, data mining, predictive analytics, big data and computer vision.

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In the heart of the campus sits the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Reading. It is the largest University department of its kind in the UK, combining state of the art teaching facilities, clinical nutrition unit, labs and the largest pilot processing plant in the UK. The department is internationally recognised for the quality of its research and enjoys a high public profile both domestically and internationally. The success of the department is truly down to the many students, academics and industry experts that make up the department's extended family.

Our postdoctoral scientists and research students are also actively involved in giving papers. On average 100 research papers and articles are published each year and academic staff edit over 20 food research journals. Recently 10 prizes from outside bodies, including the Royal Society of Chemistry medal for Food Chemistry, were awarded to staff and students in recognition of their outstanding work. On 3 occasions in the last 6 years, the Nutrition Society's annual Silver Medal (its highest honour) has been awarded to one of our staff.

At Reading, research themes often cut across different departments and faculties within the University. The Department co-leads Food Chain and Health, which was instigated in 2005, and also provides leadership for the Centre for Food Security, the Centre for Integrated Neurosciences and Neurodynamics and the Centre for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research. A number of areas have further specific relevance for researchers in the Department (and those wishing to join us), including:
Dairy, meat products and health,
Plant derived bioactive agents,
Manufacturing food products for health,
The gut as a functional ecosystem,
Diet, genes and health.

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The Department has an active postgraduate research programme including PhD research courses and taught MSc courses in the Numerical Solution of Differential Equations and in Mathematical and Numerical Modelling of the Atmosphere and Oceans.

The Department has a strong research record in Applied Analysis, Numerical Mathematics (including Conservation Laws and Data Assimilation), and in Pure Mathematics. The Applied Mathematics group obtained a Grade 5 in the recent RAE research exercise.

The Department has a friendly atmosphere and excellent facilities for undergraduate and postgraduate study alike. Mathematics together with Meteorology and Physics form the School of Mathematics, Meteorology and Physics.

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The PhD Programme in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate is run by the Department of Meteorology in Reading. The Department is one of the largest and most renowned university departments of meteorology in the world. In addition to receiving the highest national grades for our unique and comprehensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programmes, we are also recognised both nationally (having received the highest possible rating in all UK Research Assessment Exercises) and internationally for the excellent quality of our research. With more than 60 academic teaching staff, 200 postdoctoral research scientists and 70 PhD research students we are able to pursue exciting research in many areas of atmospheric, oceanic and climate science.
The Department of Meteorology is part of the Natural Environment Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership
called SCENARIO ( Science of the Environment: Natural and Anthropogenic pRocesses, Impacts and Opportunities)

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Postgraduate research students are at the heart of what we do: we are passionate about both teaching and research. We are keen to recruit new PhD students who share our desire to learn more about the world around us through rigorous and sustained inquiry. Our own expertise spans many aspects of Political Theory, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Strategic Studies.

Reading is proud to be a member of the ESRC South-East Doctoral Training Centre. This is a network of universities - it also includes Kent, Royal Holloway, and Surrey - giving further opportunities to exchange insights. All our postgraduate research students are able to attend specialist training courses at the other DTC universities where appropriate. The first annual DTC Politics Postgraduate Conference was orgnized by our students and held at Reading in March 2012.

Our very best applicants have a good chance to obtain studentships, from the ESRC, the University, or other sources. If you are interested in one of these scholarships, we strongly encourage you to apply early.

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As a postgraduate research student in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science at Reading, you will be part of a vibrant world-class research community. We are ranked in the top 100 in the world for Geography and Area Studies and Environmental Sciences (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017), with internationally renowned and award-winning academics.

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment (REF 2014), we ranked 3rd in the UK for research power in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences.

Our strong research environment focuses on key issues in the UK and internationally, from the social and economic impact of developments in the UK, to studies of Brazilian rainforests, Caribbean towns and livelihoods in Africa. We work with business and industry, charities and non-governmental organisations, and link with other departments whose expertise provide a diverse and stimulating research environment.

79% of the research outputs as scored in the world-leading and internationally excellent categories. Our scores for research impact (51% at 4*) and research environment (60% at 4*) were well above the sector average. All impact case studies were ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent.

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PhD and MPhil degrees are currently being taken by over seventy students with nearly all being on PhD courses. We also have an MSc in chemical research. The combined research efforts of staff and students result in over a hundred research papers being published in most years.

Research in the Department of Chemistry involves many different topics and ranges from very fundamental studies, eg. in spectroscopy, kinetics and atmospheric chemistry, computational chemistry, polymers, solid state chemistry, organometallic chemistry, development of new synthetic reactions and reagents, to applied research, eg., the synthesis of new drugs or novel inorganic materials. There are many important research projects which extend beyond the normal confines of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry, for example in photochemistry, surface science, gas phase electron diffraction, X-ray crystallography or molecular modelling. A particular strength of the Chemistry Department is the close collaboration between members of staff having complementary expertise. As a result, the Department has developed as a close-knit, vibrant scientific community which provides an exciting and challenging environment for postgraduate students.

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The School of Pharmacy at the University of Reading offers modern facilities for research in all disciplines related to Pharmacy. Our research divisions are organised by discipline (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacology and Pharmacy Practice) and undertake highly successful and inter-disciplinary research in five areas of strategic focus: identification of new drug targets, development of new drug molecules, therapeutic materials, translational drug development and patient risk management. Our research is funded via a variety of competitive sources including Research Councils, charities and industry.

Within these five areas, our specific areas of excellence include (i) new targets in neurodegenerative disorders, (ii) molecules to treat brain diseases and cancer, (iii)translational regenerative medicine, anti-epileptics and diagnostics, (iv) cutting edge materials for therapeutic applications and (v) ‘safer medicines, better practitioners’. Postgraduate and CPD taught courses are also available for pharmacists via CIPPET, our professional learning organisation and include medicines management and prescribing courses.

The School offers excellent, modern and well-maintained research facilities in addition to access to university-wide research platforms (e.g. fMRI and EEG facilities, Chemical Analysis Facility). Our pharmacology laboratories are located in the new, £17M Hopkins Biomedical Sciences building and are equipped with a variety of high quality equipment for cell culture, molecular biology (e.g. transcriptomics, proteomics, structural biology), electrophysiology and microscopy, including confocal and multi-photon systems. Our drug delivery research is housed in newly refurbished laboratories containing equipment for dosage form design with a laboratory tailored for examining delivery to human tissues. Our chemistry laboratories have also been recently refurbished and provide high quality facilities for synthetic chemistry. Analytical provision for our research is provided on-site in the form of the new, £3.5M Chemical Analysis Facility which includes diffractometers, NMR spectrometers, thermal analysis equipment, Raman and infrared spectroscopies and mass spectrometers. Central support for microscopic studies is provided via the Centre for Advanced Microscopy (e.g. atomic force microscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy) in addition to in-house facilities available in pharmacology. Pharmacy Practice Research is located in the centre of the School of Pharmacy but also takes full advantage of formal links with nearby NHS organisations including the Berkshire Mental Health Trust, the Royal Berkshire Hospital and the Oxford John Radcliffe Royal Infirmary. Key features of our research are strong stakeholder engagement and enthusiasm for multi-disciplinary collaboration, either with other University of Reading schools (e.g. Biological Sciences, Psychology and Systems Engineering) or external partners (e.g. industry, NHS, academia).

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