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When you study in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics you'll be part of a friendly, diverse community of staff and students who are passionate about pure and applied mathematics. We work together to create a welcoming and conducive learning environment that helps you to achieve your goals and make the most out of your time at Reading.

Life as a PhD student

Our Department is dedicated to tackling some of today's most pressing research challenges. You'll have regular meetings with your supervisor to help you progress, and meet other doctoral researchers working on a wide range of projects, applying core mathematics to important questions across the sciences.

As well as mixing with other mathematics PhD students, you'll work alongside a group of postdoctoral researchers who recently completed their PhDs.


Flexible PhD study that fits your circumstances 

We offer both full-time and part-time modes of study, so you can fit your PhD around other commitments such as work and caring responsibilities.

We also offer a PhD by Distance, where you can spend the majority of your time studying at another location. You will normally have a supervisor/mentor at that location. In order to be accepted for the PhD by Distance programme, there must be an academic or financial rationale; the University assesses each application on an individual basis.

Learn more about part-time study at Reading

Learn more about the PhD by Distance programme

I was worried about fitting family and research life together, but this has been easier since going part-time. I am not naturally very well organised, so that was also a worry. It helps to break things down into small chunks and get those chunks fully sorted, rather than tackling lots at once. Frequent meetings with my supervisor have helped keep me more focused and definitely stop me drifting aimlessly!

Julia Abery

Part-time PhD student

Learning environment

As a PhD student in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, you'll be provided with a desk in a shared office.

Additionally, you'll be given a computer and access to any appropriate mathematical software deemed relevant to your topic of study. Kitchen facilities and a departmental library are also available.

You'll have access to the University's recently refurbished Library, which is full of resources and study space that's ideal for independent study.

Engage with the wider doctoral community

As a PhD student at Reading, you'll have access to the Doctoral and Researcher College, which brings together the University's large doctoral community.

At the heart of this is Old Whiteknights House, a dedicated facility that provides space for you to work and network with other PhD students across a variety of disciplines.

The Doctoral and Researcher College coordinates a range of activities, including the annual Doctoral Research Conference, an event that showcases the variety and excellence of postgraduate research taking place at Reading.

Another event that celebrates academic excellence is theDoctoral and Researcher College's annual public lecture – the Fairbrother Lecture – which is delivered by a current or recent PhD student.

Learn more about the Doctoral and Researcher College

Presenting your work

Over the course of your PhD you'll have many opportunities to communicate your work and network with other researchers. You can present a seminar, speak at conferences and workshops, and visit or host researchers from elsewhere.

We encourage you to attend conferences and other events to widen your network of contacts, and assist you with arranging travel and accommodation for these.

We hold a regular PhD seminar series, where you can practise speaking about your work at a friendly, informal event. There are sometimes opportunities to teach on undergraduate courses.

We hold our own Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) student chapter, allowing for participation at various national and international SIAM student conferences.


How we support you

You'll receive support from our Department as well as the Doctoral and Researcher College, which is the University of Reading's hub for all doctoral activity. 


Seminars and events

We regularly organise conferences, seminars, workshops and other departmental events.


Life on campus

Our main campus is set on 130 hectares of beautiful parkland, so you'll find plenty of places to relax. Our campus is home to a thriving community and features the Students' Union, Library and places to eat.
Athena SWAN Silver Award