Reading or Royal Holloway? I’m totally stuck!!

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lexii.kon
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#1
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#1
Hiya,

So I’ve very fortunate and have received all my offers back, two of my four choices I know I don’t want to attend but I’m completely torn between my other two - Reading and Royal Holloway
I’ve applied to study Psychology with Neuroscience at both unis and have gone to their open days and liked both. I always knew they would be my firm and insurance I just wasn’t sure what way round.
Royal Holloway have given me an unconditional if firmed offer while Reading have offered me a conditional with lower grades needed if firmed. I don’t want to let an unconditional offer sway me I want to make sure the uni is for me.
Any ideas/advice/experience anyone could share?? Would be immensely appreciated thank you xxxxx
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Retrodiction
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#2
Report 3 years ago
#2
(Original post by lexii.kon)
Hiya,

So I’ve very fortunate and have received all my offers back, two of my four choices I know I don’t want to attend but I’m completely torn between my other two - Reading and Royal Holloway
I’ve applied to study Psychology with Neuroscience at both unis and have gone to their open days and liked both. I always knew they would be my firm and insurance I just wasn’t sure what way round.
Royal Holloway have given me an unconditional if firmed offer while Reading have offered me a conditional with lower grades needed if firmed. I don’t want to let an unconditional offer sway me I want to make sure the uni is for me.
Any ideas/advice/experience anyone could share?? Would be immensely appreciated thank you xxxxx
Hi, I graduated from RHUL a few years ago and also strongly considered Reading as an alternative, so perhaps I can offer something helpful.

I wouldn't let RHUL pressure you into firming their offer. Acceptance may be unconditional, but you still have a choice. The campus has changed a lot over the last 4 years, and it certainly has more to offer in terms of academic facilities than it did only recently. The new library is just incredible, for example. I also know that the psychology department is well-staffed, well-equipped and is held in very high regard, and it's literally conjoined with the biosciences department, which could make your life easier travelling from one class to another.

I will say that I think Reading potentially offers a richer student experience. The campus is vast and beautiful, and is in close proximity to a thriving city. RHUL certainly makes a strong impression on open days by centering the events around Founders, but it's worth exploring the whole campus. You'll find that the university and the student body is a very small world, and you have to travel at least half an hour on the train to get to somewhere interesting (and the train station is a 15 minute walk steeply downhill from campus). This can be a positive or a negative, depending on your preferences. I had a great time there, but I know I also would have had a decent time at Reading, and that Reading likely appeals to a broader range of personality types.

I also think it's worth considering your long term goals. I moved overseas shortly after graduating, and the "University of London" tag actually begins to mean something once you leave the UK. Name recognition can start a lot of interesting and potentially fruitful conversations (everybody wants to tell you about their Aunt who visited London once). But then, if you intend on working as a professional psychologist anywhere in the world, accreditation will be the important factor and not your undergraduate alma mater.

You've got a big decision to make. If you're certain that the bubble-style campus of Royal Holloway is an environment you would thrive in then by all means firm their offer. But if you're not sure then it might be worth giving both universities another visit. Perhaps visit the campus on a day when there aren't any open day events - you'll get a more accurate feel for the atmosphere of the campus and what it might be like on a typical day.

Good luck, and keep us updated!
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lexii.kon
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#3
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#3
(Original post by Retrodiction)
Hi, I graduated from RHUL a few years ago and also strongly considered Reading as an alternative, so perhaps I can offer something helpful.

I wouldn't let RHUL pressure you into firming their offer. Acceptance may be unconditional, but you still have a choice. The campus has changed a lot over the last 4 years, and it certainly has more to offer in terms of academic facilities than it did only recently. The new library is just incredible, for example. I also know that the psychology department is well-staffed, well-equipped and is held in very high regard, and it's literally conjoined with the biosciences department, which could make your life easier travelling from one class to another.

I will say that I think Reading potentially offers a richer student experience. The campus is vast and beautiful, and is in close proximity to a thriving city. RHUL certainly makes a strong impression on open days by centering the events around Founders, but it's worth exploring the whole campus. You'll find that the university and the student body is a very small world, and you have to travel at least half an hour on the train to get to somewhere interesting (and the train station is a 15 minute walk steeply downhill from campus). This can be a positive or a negative, depending on your preferences. I had a great time there, but I know I also would have had a decent time at Reading, and that Reading likely appeals to a broader range of personality types.

I also think it's worth considering your long term goals. I moved overseas shortly after graduating, and the "University of London" tag actually begins to mean something once you leave the UK. Name recognition can start a lot of interesting and potentially fruitful conversations (everybody wants to tell you about their Aunt who visited London once). But then, if you intend on working as a professional psychologist anywhere in the world, accreditation will be the important factor and not your undergraduate alma mater.

You've got a big decision to make. If you're certain that the bubble-style campus of Royal Holloway is an environment you would thrive in then by all means firm their offer. But if you're not sure then it might be worth giving both universities another visit. Perhaps visit the campus on a day when there aren't any open day events - you'll get a more accurate feel for the atmosphere of the campus and what it might be like on a typical day.

Good luck, and keep us updated!
Thank you so much that’s actually the best (and most concise) answer I’ve gotten!! I’ve booked some applicant open days to have another look around and really get to grips with what I want from the uni rather than just looking around. I always thought that going to RHUL would be a different student body to Reading so it’s just deciding which I would prefer, thank you!! Xxxx
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Retrodiction
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#4
Report 3 years ago
#4
(Original post by lexii.kon)
Thank you so much that’s actually the best (and most concise) answer I’ve gotten!! I’ve booked some applicant open days to have another look around and really get to grips with what I want from the uni rather than just looking around. I always thought that going to RHUL would be a different student body to Reading so it’s just deciding which I would prefer, thank you!! Xxxx
No worries!

You're right about the student body at RHUL being different. It's very different to most other unviersities. The proximity to London means that a significant proportion of the student population are commuters and just leave campus at the end of the day. Most of my friends while I was there commuted from London, but thankfully a couple of them lived on Campus (despite also living in London, oddly enough).

It's also an institution that attracts a lot of people who would rather be somewhere else. A sizeable chunk of the biosciences department - well, the molecular biosciences department - consists of unsuccessful medical school applicants, and there's also a large pool of unsuccessful Oxbridge applicants and applicants from London who never made it to their preferred London university. I imagine these observations don't reflect the Reading student body to quite the same extent, but of it's difficult for me to say that with any certainty. The proximity to London, along with the relatively friendly entry requirements (compared to other London universities like Imperial, UCL and LSE), really does have a pronounced effect on the makeup of the student population at RHUL, though.

But I will say that the relative remoteness of the campus from larger population centres makes it a great place to form close-knit social groups, and the large population of international students resulted in me making friends from all over the world, some of which I have since visited in their home countries. I had many enjoyable weekends giving my American friends I met at RHUL the tour of London. You'll probably be happy at either place - I've never heard a bad word spoken about the psychology department at Royal Holloway - so it's ultimately down to your impression of the department at Reading and to your preferences on location and the student body.

Let me know if you have any other concerns!
Last edited by Retrodiction; 3 years ago
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lexii.kon
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#5
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#5
I never thought about people commuting (sounds weird I know but as someone from Ashford which is small Kent town 99% of uni students move away from home) and going home at the end of the day! I imagine it is a really nice area which I enjoy as I like parks and open spaces to walk around. Interesting about the medical students, but now you said it it makes a lot of sense 😂😂 I’m just wondering a little bit more about 2nd year accommodation and what it’s like, is the area surrounding quite expensive? Or is it a similar price point to most 2nd year accommodation? Xxxx
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Royal Holloway, University of London
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#6
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#6
(Original post by lexii.kon)
Hiya,

So I’ve very fortunate and have received all my offers back, two of my four choices I know I don’t want to attend but I’m completely torn between my other two - Reading and Royal Holloway
I’ve applied to study Psychology with Neuroscience at both unis and have gone to their open days and liked both. I always knew they would be my firm and insurance I just wasn’t sure what way round.
Royal Holloway have given me an unconditional if firmed offer while Reading have offered me a conditional with lower grades needed if firmed. I don’t want to let an unconditional offer sway me I want to make sure the uni is for me.
Any ideas/advice/experience anyone could share?? Would be immensely appreciated thank you xxxxx
Hi Lexii.kon,

It looks like you've received some really great advice from Retrodiction already.

If you'd like to chat to a current Psychology student, third year Lucy would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have on our website here.

As far as accommodation in the local area, there is something for every budget. Most students move into house shares in either Englefield Green or Egham. Depending on the size and location of the property, the price point can largely vary. To get an idea of whats around, I would recommend taking a look at Zoopla, Rightmove our our Students' Union Housesearch.

Susana
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Retrodiction
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#7
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#7
(Original post by lexii.kon)
I never thought about people commuting (sounds weird I know but as someone from Ashford which is small Kent town 99% of uni students move away from home) and going home at the end of the day! I imagine it is a really nice area which I enjoy as I like parks and open spaces to walk around. Interesting about the medical students, but now you said it it makes a lot of sense 😂😂 I’m just wondering a little bit more about 2nd year accommodation and what it’s like, is the area surrounding quite expensive? Or is it a similar price point to most 2nd year accommodation? Xxxx
Most students move off campus for second year, and the choice is largely between Egham and Englefield Green. I made the right choice for myself by opting to live in Englefield Green, since most of the houses in Egham would require you to walk up that nasty hill every day to get to campus. But if you'll be making regular trips either to the train station or to the town centre, then perhaps Egham might be better. It would save you maybe 10 minutes of walking compared to living in Englefield Green, but it sounds like you enjoy walking, so it might not be as much of an issue for you. Tesco delivers to your house for a very small fee, so you won't need to worry about living close-by. I did the walk up the hill from Tesco to my house on many occasions carrying 400lbs of shopping before I found out that they delivered... would not recommend! On the subject of parks, you can walk from campus to the vast and beautiful Windsor Great Park in about 15-20 minutes, and if you live in Englefield Green you can probably cut 5-10 minutes off this journey.

I did some digging through my 'old' RHUL stuff and found a receipt for my monthly rent payments during 2nd year. I was paying £373 per month for a room in a five bedroom house which I shared with some friends in 2012/13. As I remember it this was fairly typical for Egham and Englefield Green, and the cost likely hasn't increased much since then. Also remember that you'll be getting the London bonus as part of your maintenance loan/grant, and considering that you'll be too far from Central London to be affected significantly by the bump in cost of living, the London bonus can really make a difference to your quality of life.

In 3rd year you'll also have the option to live on campus again. It's a race (literally), as accommodation is allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis, based on who submits their applications earliest after the system goes online. I and most of my friends (well, those who weren't commuters) did this, and I know we would all highly recommend it. Being on campus during the most intense year of your degree makes life so much easier. There's also a little student 'village' composed of halls of residence set aside exclusively for 3rd year students, which has the benefit of putting some distance between them and those unruly first years (no offense! ).

Again, let me know if you have other questions!
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UniofReading
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#8
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#8
(Original post by lexii.kon)
Hiya,

So I’ve very fortunate and have received all my offers back, two of my four choices I know I don’t want to attend but I’m completely torn between my other two - Reading and Royal Holloway
I’ve applied to study Psychology with Neuroscience at both unis and have gone to their open days and liked both. I always knew they would be my firm and insurance I just wasn’t sure what way round.
Royal Holloway have given me an unconditional if firmed offer while Reading have offered me a conditional with lower grades needed if firmed. I don’t want to let an unconditional offer sway me I want to make sure the uni is for me.
Any ideas/advice/experience anyone could share?? Would be immensely appreciated thank you xxxxx
Hi,

It is fantastic to hear you have been offered a place on our Psychology with Neuroscience course here at Reading in the forthcoming Septemeber! I am currently studying on Reading's MSci Applied Psychology (Clinical) programme, with my Housemate Studying the Psychology with Neuroscience course!
I would agree with previous comments that Reading has an extremely rich campus driven experience, which is thriving with UK ranked natural beauty, which personally makes you not feel like you are in a large town at all! Where at all times of year, it is thriving with people, animals and wildlife, which often makes commutes into campus for early lectures (personally) slightly more pleasent. Furthering this, Reading has a real community feel to it, both in Psychology as well as across campus, which makes it a really pleasent place to be - knowing you are in such a friendly and positive enviornment.

From an academic perspective, although content changes year on year (and has definetly changed since my first year), this course does really drive neuroscience for you from day one (as I have heard), which if you are interested in working more with in the future then such a course is good! Linking on with this, I would personally suggest exploring the research coming out of our department at the moment to see if this interests you, as these are typical themes of study for final year projects in your final year.

Finally, I would suggest coming along to one of Reading's upcoming visit days, and seeing the campus again and speaking to our incredible staff in psychology as this may help further your decision some more!

I hope this helps, do let me know if you have any Reading specific questions,

Many Thanks
Tom
Final Year Psychology Student and Student Ambassador
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lexii.kon
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#9
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#9
(Original post by UniofReading)
Hi,

It is fantastic to hear you have been offered a place on our Psychology with Neuroscience course here at Reading in the forthcoming Septemeber! I am currently studying on Reading's MSci Applied Psychology (Clinical) programme, with my Housemate Studying the Psychology with Neuroscience course!
I would agree with previous comments that Reading has an extremely rich campus driven experience, which is thriving with UK ranked natural beauty, which personally makes you not feel like you are in a large town at all! Where at all times of year, it is thriving with people, animals and wildlife, which often makes commutes into campus for early lectures (personally) slightly more pleasent. Furthering this, Reading has a real community feel to it, both in Psychology as well as across campus, which makes it a really pleasent place to be - knowing you are in such a friendly and positive enviornment.

From an academic perspective, although content changes year on year (and has definetly changed since my first year), this course does really drive neuroscience for you from day one (as I have heard), which if you are interested in working more with in the future then such a course is good! Linking on with this, I would personally suggest exploring the research coming out of our department at the moment to see if this interests you, as these are typical themes of study for final year projects in your final year.

Finally, I would suggest coming along to one of Reading's upcoming visit days, and seeing the campus again and speaking to our incredible staff in psychology as this may help further your decision some more!

I hope this helps, do let me know if you have any Reading specific questions,

Many Thanks
Tom
Final Year Psychology Student and Student Ambassador
Thank you so much for replying!! When I looked around Reading first I fell in love with the campus, even the walk to the accommodation was gorgeous! It’s also really good to hear the course is quite strong on the neuroscience as I really wanted a course that put it at the front rather than just taking a module or two in the final year. I have booked a place at the open day coming February and I will defiantly explore the beautiful campus more!! I was wondering what the student life is like, is the town centre quite close and nice or are there better places to go that are a little further away? Living in Ashford I’m lucky I have Canterbury just a half an hour drive away or very very short train ride so I’d like to have quite a close and vibrant town to go out in but don’t mind going that little further either. Thank you! Xxxx
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UniofReading
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#10
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#10
(Original post by lexii.kon)
Thank you so much for replying!! When I looked around Reading first I fell in love with the campus, even the walk to the accommodation was gorgeous! It’s also really good to hear the course is quite strong on the neuroscience as I really wanted a course that put it at the front rather than just taking a module or two in the final year. I have booked a place at the open day coming February and I will defiantly explore the beautiful campus more!! I was wondering what the student life is like, is the town centre quite close and nice or are there better places to go that are a little further away? Living in Ashford I’m lucky I have Canterbury just a half an hour drive away or very very short train ride so I’d like to have quite a close and vibrant town to go out in but don’t mind going that little further either. Thank you! Xxxx
Hi,

So at present, I believe you will be studying Neuroscience (in at least some capacity) each year - with specific modules taught to you as *with neuroscience* students. However do ask about how strong this neuroscience component is as this does change each year!
From a student life perspective, the town centre is dead close (like 15 min bus ride max) and it is nice area for shops and coffee, it is also EXTREMELY accessible to everywhere via its proximity to london, meaning that many trains leaving london travel through Reading and many trains travel through Reading to London, so whether you want a day in or out of London you are covered! To know more about how the town feels, spend some time just exploring after the visit day, as that will really give you a nice impression of the town itself! Personally, I love it, as it provides a nice mix of quirkyness and classical praticial vibes which I enjoy!

I hope this helps,

Tom
Final Year Psychology Student and Student Ambassador
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lexii.kon
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#11
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#11
(Original post by UniofReading)
Hi,

So at present, I believe you will be studying Neuroscience (in at least some capacity) each year - with specific modules taught to you as *with neuroscience* students. However do ask about how strong this neuroscience component is as this does change each year!
From a student life perspective, the town centre is dead close (like 15 min bus ride max) and it is nice area for shops and coffee, it is also EXTREMELY accessible to everywhere via its proximity to london, meaning that many trains leaving london travel through Reading and many trains travel through Reading to London, so whether you want a day in or out of London you are covered! To know more about how the town feels, spend some time just exploring after the visit day, as that will really give you a nice impression of the town itself! Personally, I love it, as it provides a nice mix of quirkyness and classical praticial vibes which I enjoy!

I hope this helps,

Tom
Final Year Psychology Student and Student Ambassador
That sounds brilliant!! Super glad to hear the town centre is close and the train runnings round perfect 😂😂 I’ll defiantly ask about the structure of the course as hopefully they’ll have a better idea in February than they did say back in October when I last visited. Thank you so much for your help!! X
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