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Our PhDs

Our PhD programmes have more than 1500 graduates in over 40 countries, many of whom have gone on to become well-known teachers and scholars whose work has come to define the field of English language studies.
The Department runs two lively PhD programmes in the fields of applied linguistics and English language teaching, and offers training and supervision to doctoral students in several key specialisms in these fields.



Our excellence in research

100% of our research in modern languages and linguistics is of international standing (Research Excellence Framework 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions – Modern Languages and Linguistics).

Our postgraduate research groups

We have a number of postgraduate research groups in the Department where students and staff can discuss texts or ideas in an informal setting. These include an Applied Linguistics Research Circle, our Language Studies Working Papers group and the annual Language Studies PhD Conference and research discussion groups.

The Doctoral and Researcher College

All doctoral research students automatically become members of the University-wide Doctoral and Researcher College, which provides training, professional development, study space and support for the postgraduate research community.

Our doctoral community

We have an active PhD community with students undertaking research on a wide range of topics.

If you undertake your degree with us you'll also become part of a large, diverse community of doctoral students across the University.

Learn about the wider postgraduate community at Reading
Doing a PhD in Applied Linguistics was an extremely enriching and rewarding intellectual experience thanks to the academic community of the Department which offers remarkable support and inspiration. I benefited immensely from my supervisor's consummate expertise and the seminars and conferences included in the programme. Although engaging in research is to a great extent a solitary pursuit, real scholarship thrives only in the context of a truly academic community of the standard I have found in Reading.
Barbara Brozyna, PhD student

Our teaching opportunities

We'll support you to develop your teaching skills and gain experience to prepare you for an academic career. We often offer opportunities to teach on undergraduate modules and supervise undergraduate projects in the Department.

As a PhD student at Reading, you can also attend the Doctoral and Researcher College's Preparing to Teach programme at no extra cost.

Your career

Our PhD students go on to work in academia as postdoctoral researchers, lecturers and language teachers, but also sometimes find employment in industries such as publishing, public relations and journalism, as well as government agencies.

Life in the Department

The Department is a great environment in which to collaborate and share experiences, allowing you to develop transferable skills and your very best work.


Chris' PhD story

"I had already completed both my MRes and BA degrees at Reading; I thoroughly enjoyed everything about the University and saw no reason to change."
Chris Ryder, PhD student

Our staff

Our staff are experts in their fields, giving you a wealth of knowledge, expertise and support at your fingertips.