Well I've wandered into this site so I thought I may as well give my 2 cents. I'm about half way through my first year at Reading, doing BA Ancient History and History.
Yeah the campus is nice and big and green. But the buildings are hella ugly with only one or two notable exceptions. Many of the teaching blocks were knocked up in the 50s and 60s and are feeling pretty shabby by now, be warned - Oxbridge it isn't. The union is said to be one of the plushest in the country, but that comes at a price. The price is £4 for a double voddy and red bull. Madness, for a union ours is daylight robbery. As for decent bands, I haven't seen any; so far we've had Mark Own and the Cheeky Girls. Unforgivable.
Teaching standards are high. We're not one of the top unis in the country, but we're not far off.
Accomodation varies enormously. It is almost all on or immediately next to the campus (except Sibly and belive me you should not ever ever EVER consider living there it's awful) As a rule of thumb (and this goes for almost any uni) the smaller the hall the better. So avoid: Windsor, Bridges, Childs, Wells, the aforementioned Sibly (eurgh, terrible places) Whiteknights, St Georges, St Pat's are okay. But they pale into insignificance when compared to my hall: the mighty WANTAGE.
I'm not kidding. If anybody reading this actually decides on Reading Uni, apply to Wantage. The building is beautiful (grade II listed) the rooms start at larger-than-average and go all the way up to HUUUGGGEEE. Our bar is excellent and actually has people in it most of the time (a lot of hall bars are seriously dead) We get six amazing formal dinners a year plus a myriad of other events. And hall spirit is fantastic. I can't imagine being at uni and not living there, I've recently applied to go back in next year, that's how much I love the place
Reading town is.... dull. Sorry, lots of bars, few good ones and no real clubs. (a bar with a DJ is not a club in my eyes, so Po Na Na doesn't count, nor does Risa) I'm pretty bored and I'd rather be living in a real city. Reading is not a rough town, although there's plenty of mugging around the uni area. I'm going to study abroad at some point just to get away. Don't get me wrong, it's nicer than a lot of places, but I'm a big city kid and and I'm bored here.
Guess that about wraps it up. Questions?