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1. Is a PhD at the University of Reading right for you? 

Before applying for our PhD programme, please read our What to expect during your PhD guide.

To find out how to apply for the Centre for Doctoral Training in the Mathematics for our Future Climate programme, please read our Mathematics for our Future Climate page.

2. Check our entry requirements

To be accepted onto a research degree programme, you will need to have obtained a strong merit grade (equivalent to 65% or above on a UK programme for both the coursework and the dissertation) on a master's degree in a relevant field, but applicants with other qualifications may be accepted in certain circumstances.

Applications to this Department should be accompanied by an outline of proposed research of 2,000 words. For information on how to write a research proposal to accompany your application, read the PhD Proposal Guidelines document.

If you are from outside of the UK, you will also need to demonstrate you have a certain level of proficiency with written and spoken English. Our requirement is that before starting the course, you have an overall International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0, with no sub-component below 6.5. The IELTS certificate must be less than two years old by the time of the course start date, even if you have studied at an institution in an English-speaking country.

3. Select a topic

There are different routes for selecting a PhD research topic:  

If you are interested in a broad area of research, you can find more information on our research interests on our Research page.  

If you have a clear idea about a research project of your choice, you should first determine whether the project is suitable for study at PhD level. The project must also be feasible within the resources and time frame available to you; it should also address a perceived 'gap' in the literature and, most importantly, be of interest to you.

4. Identify a Supervisor

Please contact the Department's Director of Postgraduate Research Studies by emailing Prof Parvaneh Tavakoli or calling Marina Krouski on +44 (0)118 378 4741. 

You should contact the Director of Postgraduate Research Studies rather than a potential supervisor you may have identified. 

It is not essential to communicate directly with the Department before submitting your application, but many candidates find it helpful.

5. Make an application

Please apply using the PhD and professional doctorate online application programme. This allows you to complete the necessary information and attach copies of relevant documents, including the details of two appropriate referees. Although you will be working with a specific department or supervisor, all PhD applications have to be made centrally. 

The University will acknowledge your application and then pass it on to the appropriate school or department. 

All new students join the PhD programme in September. It may be possible to start your studies at another point in the academic year in exceptional circumstances.