Biological Sciences (4) Business & Management (5) Chemistry (6) Geology (18) Languages, Literature & Culture (21) Physics (29) Sociology (32)
PhD researchers from different departments in the Graduate School Common Room

PhD researchers from different departments in the Graduate School Common Room

University of Reading PhD Opportunities

Our thriving and diverse community of researchers leads the way in understanding the issues that most concern the world today. Join us as a postgraduate researcher at Reading and we will support you at every stage, helping you to deliver research that counts.


Each year, the University of Reading awards around 150 entry awards and studentships to UK and international students and these great opportunities are open to high quality students for funded research in a wide range of subject areas.

A PhD student explaining her research at the Doctoral Research Conference

A PhD student explaining her research at the annual Doctoral Research Conference

Outstanding Support and Training

As a doctoral researcher, we offer you a fantastic experience beyond the traditional PhD, providing a platform for success in your future career. During your time at Reading, you can expect to benefit from first-class research training and support, and will be part of a thriving doctoral research community. Doctoral activities and support is centred around our Graduate School which, is highly regarded by our international community with 94% of international respondents to the i-Graduate 2022 survey1 indicating that they were satisfied by the support provided by the Graduate School. You can also participate in our Preparing to Teach programme and / or our Leadership Programme, run via our triple-accredited Henley Business School. All this is coupled with our high submission, successful completion (99% pass rate2) and employment rates. To cater for the diverse range of backgrounds of our research students, we offer flexible modes of study at very attractive fee rates.


1. International Student Barometer, i-graduate 2022. 2022 is the most recent year in which the University of Reading participated in the survey.
2. 98.9% of those who submit their thesis were awarded a doctorate. University of Reading Doctoral Examination Outcomes 2017/18 to 2021/22.

Saumya, PhD researcher in Food and Nutritional Sciences

“The University of Reading has a worldwide reputation for conducting outstanding research to address current and future societal challenges.

The supportive environment fosters close interaction between students and faculty members and the multicultural campus and city environment, combined with the University's research strengths, made it the perfect choice for my PhD studies.”

Saumya, PhD researcher in Food and Nutritional Sciences

Studying at Reading

We are highly regarded for the quality of our research with 98% of research conducted at the University of Reading being of international standing3 and are committed to ensuring that the experience of our postgraduate research students is enhanced by our outstanding research environment. We are known for our world class research facilities, such as our Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics, our Chemical Analysis Facility, and our extensive archives and collections.

We support doctoral research across a wide range of subject areas in the Sciences, Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities and Business, focused around four interdisciplinary research themes:

Click here for Information on all our available research areas.


3. 98% of our research is of international standing (Research Excellence Framework 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions).

PhD researcher Saleh in the lab and PhD researcher Melanie in the Special Collections

PhD researcher Saleh in the lab

PhD researcher Melanie in the Special Collections


The University’s campus has been acknowledged as one of the best open spaces in the country with the presentation of a prestigious Green Flag award. The University is also in a prime location in the South-East of England and has excellent transport links, with frequent high speed rail links between Reading and London, as well as many other towns and cities across the UK.

Flexible study options

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 avaliable in many areas.

Funding opportunities

Details of various studentship and funding schemes can be viewed here.

How to apply

Our website details the process of application from your initial enquiry to the point of offer. Full details can be found here.

For general enquiries, including who to contact to discuss your application, please see the Graduate School website.

A training workshop for PhD researchers

A training workshop for PhD researchers