PhD application and requirements

Real Estate & Planning - PhD Application Process

Key dates

Although there are no set deadlines for research degree applications, the structure of our PhD programme leads to a strongly recommended single-date entry every year (September). Key dates for the application process are:

  • 31 May: Deadline for applications of prospective students intending to start the following academic year. This is also the main deadline to apply for studentships.
  • Mid-June: Interviews for admission (and assignment of studentships) are held in Reading, with the possibility of connecting via video conference where necessary.
  • September: Start of the first academic year.

What is our expectation

As part of your application process you must submit: 

  • Masters degree certificate and transcript. This must be at distinction or merit level from an internationally recognised university, and an equally strong undergraduate degree;
  • Research proposal (see below);
  • Proof of English language proficiency (overall IELTS result of 7.0 with no individual elements scoring below 6.0);
  • Two references, at least one of which must be academic.

Please note that your application will only be considered once you have submitted all the above documents.

Research Proposal

Prospective students are also required to provide a fully worked-out Research Proposal that includes:

  • An introduction; including the reasons why your studies may be relevant;
  • A thorough literature review, evidence of awareness of theoretical and empirical work relevant to the research question - with the theoretical component being extremely important, because a PhD must demonstrate that it advances the body of knowledge;
  • A clearly worked-out research question which is justified in terms of intellectual and, where appropriate, policy making or market relevance;
  • A research design that is intended to answer the research question posed and its feasibility within the assigned timescale (i.e. 3 years).

Click here for further University information on how to apply.

Please remember that you have to make a formal application. 

We have an established PhD Programme, with students active across our areas of research interest. See: Research ideas for more details