The Student Room Logo
Student working at the Cole Museum
University of Reading
This thread is closed

A very realistic review of Reading uni!

Scroll to see replies

Reply 20
really helpful review! What is the 1st year halls accommodation like? what are the pros and cons of places like the student village? :smile:

Reading Student Village (RSV) and St.Georges (SG) are privately managed halls, not run by the university. They are self-catered and very much on the pricey side.

I lived in RSV last year and found it quiet and lacking community (unless you were Greek or Nigerian/Afro-Carib in which case there was a thriving society). Basically, the layout (six rooms and a kitchen to each flat, only the occupants of the flat can get into the flat) to be isolationist and not productive for meeting people. On the other hand, it's a big place and there were a couple other buildings turned over mostly to freshers and those could have been more lively. The rooms, kitchens etc are all very nice and pretty well laid out and kitted out, though it can help to have a second fridge in the kitchen and a little extra storage.

My biggest gripe was the cost. I couldn't see what my extra expenditure got me over the uni-self catered halls such as Sherfield. For example, in Sherfield the cleaners cleaned the kitchens daily, and even your room and bathroom weekly. Whereas in RSV they gave the kitchen a brief wipe-down once a week. I don't mind cleaning up after myself--- but.... put it this way, my student houses cost me £3100 for 12 months, RSV cost £4800 for 50 weeks... this was admitedly an "enhanced room" (read, on the top floor so we'll charge you more because we can) but the standard room was not significantly cheaper - considering there's no real extras with RSV over a house, it's a hard price to justify. There are also more expensive rooms if you're feeling flush with cash. Note that there are no hall communal areas (Bar, computer rooms etc) which all the inhouse university halls do have. SG may be slightly different.
Student working at the Cole Museum
University of Reading
Reply 21
So the only rock place is the 'Purple Turtle'?
And are there problems with racism?
If you are disabled or considering studying computer science, avoid The University of Reading like the plague. They basically treat disabled like second class citizens and you have to battle with them to get basic adjustments, as for their computer science degree, they seem to think that teaching you software house business management module is going to help you as a programmer, this includes spending your entire first year making a board game. This is not the 1950's, UOR have consistently scored low for the past 5 years on their computer programming course.
Reply 23
Two posts about the same thing? You clearly have an axe to grind.
Original post by Deesher
Two posts about the same thing? You clearly have an axe to grind.

You clearly can't read the date.
This is really helpful, thank you :smile:
the original post is from 13 years ago, just in case you didn't see! if you did, fair enough :smile:

Original post by kazzykat95
This is really helpful, thank you :smile:
Original post by scorpionfish17
the original post is from 13 years ago, just in case you didn't see! if you did, fair enough :smile:

Oops :colondollar:I always forget to check!
Yep the original post is from 13 Years ago. Things have really gone down hill since then.

Personally, do I also have an axe to grind?

Answer: Hell Yes!

However it is fully justified, given how I was treated at the UOR.

First of all I will point out one thing, I was previously known as Z3rO CooL, (Now 13thHouR) anybody who has seen the film Hackers, knows Hollywoods Fictional account of my antics back in the day. So as you may have guessed a BSc (Hons) Computer Science is something I could complete with my eyes closed. (Basically I was there to get the piece of paper that officially said I could do what I had been doing for decades).

I spent 3 Years at UOR, repeating part 1 (year in, year out, there own systems declared they had failed and allowed me to repeat), because they outright refused to carry out even basic reasonable Adjustments under the Equality Act 2010. This Culminated in them having to refund student finance as well as paying me compensation/hardship in an out of court settlement.

Basically I wasted 3 years of my life. I would say unless you really have no other choice, the UOR is not a place to study.

They do not even adhere to basic thresholds, the amount of Part 1 students that I had to teach Decimal/Binary conversion to was shocking. Basically UOR takes them on as a cash cow, knowing full well that around 80% of them do not have the basic skills needed to pass Part 1. So they fail and get booted after the first year. This goes on year in, year out. They oversubscribe the Degree Course knowing that in reality they will only have about 20% going on to the Part 2 and Part 3.
(edited 4 years ago)
Does reading have many different ethnic groups? Are there many Asians etc?
Original post by Anonymous
Does reading have many different ethnic groups? Are there many Asians etc?


Reading has huge number of international students, and offers loads of support to international students!

Let me know if you have any further questions,

Ellen :smile:
Student Ambassador
Hey Everyone,

Here is an updated review of Reading! :smile:

Realistic Review of Reading University
Interested in what life is really like at the University of Reading? Look no further! Below is a detailed review of everything you need to know (a realistic version!) about the university. Any other things to add? Let us know by replying to this thread!

The University of Reading has its roots as an Oxford university extension college of Arts and Science founded in 1892. By 1926, Reading received its royal charter, making it the only University established between the two World Wars! The age of the university is reflected in some of the architecture of the more prestigious buildings, most notably Wantage Hall. To celebrate its centenary the University is undergoing its Transform 2026 initiative, a campaign to reinvest over £200 million into campus facilities. completed renovations include refurbishments of key areas such as the library, key lecture theatres, and the 3sixty nightclub/sports space. Reading is particularly well known on an international level for its meteorology, agricultural, law and psychology courses, as well as Henley Business School. As a result, competition for places rises from year to year attracting high quality students from all corners of the globe.
The University of Reading is among the top 30 UK universities in world rankings (ranked 27th out of 90 UK universities featured in the QS World University Rankings 2022) and is home to 23,000 students from over 160 countries. The University is now a five-time winner of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education, winning in 1998, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2022, and has also won 11 consecutive Green Flag awards, a reflection of its environmental commitments.

Currently here at Reading, there are 3 UK campuses: Whiteknights (our main campus), London Road (our original campus) and Greenlands (Henley Business School campus). Each are unique and offer so many great qualities individually, but the common factor among the three, is that they are each situated amongst beautiful green scenery. Whiteknights and London Road are situated more towards the centre of Reading, with a mixture of stunning architectural buildings and more modern designs surrounded by gorgeous greenery, whereas Greenlands is slightly further out, located just outside the stunning Henley-on-Thames with the Thames river running along the outskirts. Greenlands is primarily a campus for business students (home to majority of our Henley Business School which has an international presence!), whilst the others are home to a wide range of courses and facilities (such as a brand-new, 24/6 library; shops; bars and more).
That’s it? Not quite! The University of Reading also has a campus in Malaysia, which was shortlisted for a World Architecture Festival award in 2013 for its incredible design. This campus is designed to try and give international students the same teaching as the UK, to offer a “world-class degree” at an “affordable price” in a place that is convenient for them, which is why it is located in one of Malaysia’s fastest growing cities, Johor Bahru. Students will also have the opportunity to study in the UK as part of their experience here.

At Reading, there’s also a wide range of accommodation choices to choose from so you can be sure to find something that suits your preferences. There’s a great guarantee whereby Reading offers a hall place to all 1st year students who apply by the specified deadline (which will vary depending on the year). There are 4892 rooms on or close to campus on offer, and all are within a 15 minute walk of the nearest campus (if not onsite) which is great when you don’t want to get up extra early before a 9am lecture.
There are a variety of halls to choose from with factors such as:
-Ensuite / shared bathrooms
-Catered / self-catered
-Single sex / mixed
-Location on or off campus
-Price range
-Quiet living
And so on. There’s also 24/7 security through the Halls Hotline, which means any issues can be sorted instantly, as well as there being over 150 free events provided to halls residents so there’s always something to do. Halls situated in the centre of campus such as Greenow and McCombie, Stenton, McKinder and so on, tend to be more lively as they are near Park Bar, whereas the quieter halls tend to be on the outskirts of campus such as Benyon and St Georges.

The SportsPark gym and RUSU work together alongside sports societies themselves to provide a wide range of both friendly sport sessions and competitions for students. At several points during the year most clubs run drop-in try-out sessions: training sessions for students to try out a brand-new sport, with absolutely no cost nor commitment. Best advice would be to try and attend as many of these different sessions as you’d like it’s a great way to meet new people if anything!
There are over 50 sports societies at Reading, ranging from popular varsity sports such as football, rugby, hockey and netball; to a variety of martial arts, as well as a number of more unusual sports including korfball, ultimate Frisbee and scuba diving. Reading’s boat club is also renowned for making use of fabulous water-sports facilities along the River Thames. As part of the British Universities and College Sports (BUCS) the University enters a number of competitions to allow you to compete against other institutions, and Varsity is held annually against its rivals Oxford Brookes.
However, the university is lacking in a swimming pool, instead using the Palmer Park swimming facilities nearby.
The University of Reading’s on site gym SportsPark offers excellent sports facilities including:
100 station VO2 fitness studio
Large sports hall
Two specialist dance studios
Four squash courts (inc. two glass back courts)
Three 3G floodlit five-a-side football pitches
Full size floodlit synthetic turf pitch
Five floodlit tennis courts
Four floodlit netball courts
Grass pitches and floodlit grass training areas
County standard cricket square, artificial wicket and indoor nets
Sports therapy room
Eat Café

Reading University surely offers an excellent range of jobs and work experience opportunities. Most courses have the option of a placement or study abroad year, helping students gain hands-on experience and an edge over other graduates in post-graduate employment markets. As a student at the university, you would have access to a platform called MyJobsOnline, where the University and local companies post part-time job vacancies that students can easily apply to. The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) scheme gives students opportunities to support real research projects alongside academic researchers at the university, opening them up to professional mentorship as well. Similarly, the THRIVE mentor scheme enables students to work with an external professional in a field or sector related to the individual’s career interests, encouraging networking and mentoring across the university.
Within the university, students can also work within Campus Jobs, the university-run employment agency that offers flexible roles such as Student Ambassadors, Digital Ambassadors, roles within the HR and Media teams, bars and catering, as well as work within specific schools and departments that tends to be more admin-based. These roles are often paid at above minimum wage to encourage student participation, and are supplemented with frequent training and development opportunities. Furthermore, the student union, RUSU, employs a number of students in its bars, shopping mall, and merchandise store, alongside short-term opportunities such as working in the welcome teams upon student move-ins at the beginning of the academic year. These roles tend to be paid at minimum wage, likely due to the fact that RUSU is a self-sustaining charity organisation. As both organisations are based within the University, they recognise the importance of study, and so are flexible around schedules, and place a 35hr cap on the amount of hours you can work in a week for home students, and 20hrs for international students.
The local area also offers a number of different employment opportunities that many students opt for, but are at the disadvantage of being in the central town, which is a 15min bus ride from central campus however these may work better for 2nd, 3rd or 4th year students who are living off-campus.

The main Whiteknights campus is situated approximately a 30-minute walk or 10–15-minute bus to the town centre, with its own dedicated bus route passing through the university taking you either directly to Reading Station or the local ASDA. It has a number of amenities based slightly off campus including accommodations, shops, hair dressers, post offices, IT repair shops, estate agents, and a number of other things. Reading town centre has undergone rapid development over the last 20 years due to the town’s close proximity to England's "silicon valley", and boasts the Oracle shopping centre, whilst acting as an IT and commercial centre. Reading’s train station is central to the town, and provides transport links to both Northern and Southern England easily, the new Elizabeth line shortening the previous 30 minutes travel time to London to 20 minutes. Looking at other aspects of the surrounding area, both the university and the town are situated in some of the most scenic country in England, Reading is also located next to some beautiful rivers which are idyllic places to relax during the spring and summer months.

Social life in Reading can be whatever you’d like it to be. It is the type of place that can work for whatever lifestyle you want to live. If you want a more lively lifestyle, the town is just a 15-20 minute bus ride from Whiteknights campus where there is bars and restaurants, and we’re only a 25 minute train ride from London for the hustle and bustle side if you are looking for it! That means there’s also great access to the theatres and everything else that London has to offer. That being said, there’s also bars on campus and the union host a number of different nights to suit every taste.
For the quieter lifestyles, Reading is a relatively calm place that doesn’t have too many clubs etc which makes it easier to still find things to do without feeling like you’re missing out on the nightlife. There’s a cinema in the centre of town, although finding a bowling alley may mean you have to go a little further afield, and plenty of beautiful walks across the river Thames and the River Kennet. The university also has over 100 societies and sports clubs which means finding like-minded people to socialise with whilst also doing the things you love is super easy! There’s societies for every faith, sport, hobby and interest, and if there’s one missing that you want to be involved in, you can create it. I’d definitely suggest getting involved in the societies that interest you to keep busy and make friends; most societies will hold regular socials too!

The University of Reading has currently over 25,000 students from 160 different countries

98% of its research is rated to be recognised internationally (REF 2021)

The University is composed of 130 hectares of parkland, and is committed to its ambition of being the ‘greenest university in the UK’ with 11 consecutive green flag awards and aim to be carbon neutral by 2030

94% of graduates are in work or further study within 15 months of graduation.

It boasts over 150 years of history and is ranked in the Top 30 UK Institutions by Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022

Home to one of the largest Food Science departments in the country, with its own industry-grade Food Pilot plant.

Home to over 4000 species of flora and fauna


Multitude of personal, academic and financial support services offered to students

Transform 2026 student-oriented initiative to create accessible, purpose-built student spaces

24/6 library with over 1.2 million books on-site, over 4 million online

Flexible learning methods as well as teaching and studying spaces

On-site security team

Diverse student body that presents an amazing sense of community

Vibrant and active campus and Student Union

Impressive focus on sustainability and employability in ethos and practice - both academically and culturally

Over 150 different clubs and societies students can join

Beautiful campus

Great transport links to London and the rest of the country

Accessible and supportive local area with everything you could really need, walking distance from town

24hr Home At Halls app to make maintenance issues in halls really easily manageable


In terms of nightlife, there are only 5/6 clubs in Reading which may pose a problem for large city loving students, though London is only 20 minutes away and there are a number of different bars, pubs and restaurants

Some buildings are looking a little outdated and in need of some love.

Overall, Reading is a great university to be a part of, where everything is welcoming and homely for the most part. It’s a relatively small university in comparison to some of the larger city universities, however, it’s campuses are beautiful and feel safe which makes it an enjoyable place to live and study. All in all, Reading is a great university and town to be a student in and has the added advantage of being extremely close to London. If you both work and play hard, an undergraduate will not only have a great time here but will also have one of the best possible chances of finding a good job with job prospect scores being among the highest in the UK,
Got anything to add? Let us know your reviews below!