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Your life in the Department

If you choose to study with us, you'll find our Department the ideal place to research, discuss, create and reflect. 

The department is a highly-collaborative environment where you'll be encouraged to produce your very best work.

Over the past 50 years, it has been home to many of the world's most distinguished scholars in language studies, and has produced graduates whose work has come to define the field.

A day in the life - Astrid Morrison Parra , PhD student





On the days that she has to attend classes, Astrid arrives at Whiteknights campus at 10:00am to meet her colleagues, in order to prepare for her modules and go over any assignments. Today Astrid is preparing to give a presentation for her Research Methods class - she find the Applied Linguistics and Research Methods modules useful as they help her to build up the knowledge and skills required for her research projects. On the days when she doesn’t have a class, Astrid works on research at her desk in the doctoral student office.
At lunchtime, Astrid gets a bite to eat in the cafeteria in Edith Morley or at Dolce Vita café. On the days when she doesn’t have afternoon classes, she has lunch in Reading town centre, a short 10 minutes bus journey from campus. She enjoys using her lunch break to catch up with her friends and colleagues from the programme and to discuss their research.
In the afternoon, Astrid attends a lecture on Research Design, which helps her to develop her research proposals. During the lecture she presents the progress of her project, discusses her ideas and receives constructive feedback. On Tuesday afternoons, Astrid attends the Department’s weekly Applied Linguistics Research Circle seminar, where  researchers from other universities around the globe present their latest work.

In the evening, Astrid goes to the library to borrow a book for her studies, and then heads back to Guildford, where she lives, in time for dinner. After eating she usually catches up with some work and watches Netflix. On the days that she doesn’t have to go to the University, she stays at home and works on her research project, and then might go to London with her friends to watch a show.

Presenting your work

Over the course of your PhD you will also have ample opportunities to communicate your work and network with other researchers, present a seminar, speak at conferences and workshops, and visit or host researchers from  other institutions.

The Department encourages you to attend conferences and other events to widen your network of contacts. To this end we assist with arranging travel and accommodation. There are also opportunities to teach on undergraduate courses.


Life as a PhD student

"I was attracted to Reading by the global reputation of the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics, and the University in general - as well as the high rate of student satisfaction and the positive reviews.

"I have been inspired by the supportive environment and my supervisor who believed in me (more than myself) from the first day to the last day. She inspired and encouraged me to excel."

Anas Awwad, PhD student


Fees and funding

The University allocates around 150 entry awards each year in PhD studentships and bursaries, so there are many ways to access PhD funding.

Our research

Our staff are active in academic research and cutting-edge practice, with a long tradition of collaborative and interdisciplinary projects.


Research stories

Our staff and PhD students develop exciting and diverse projects that span disciplines and the globe.