Overall experience has been good all lectures have been insightful and the lecturers have done their best when it comes to online teaching. The experience has been good and the value for money is well worth it.
While it has been an unfamiliar and unprecedented transition to remote learning, on the whole the university has adapted efficiently to provide a good standard of learning. New initiatives have been introduced such as ‘Life Tools’ webinars to help students with the difficulties of online learning and keeping motivated.
Brilliant careers service who offer telephone consultations and a wide variety of webinars to help navigate career prospects
Remote drop in hours available.
Recently refurbished library with an efficient COVID booking policy has been beneficial for study space
Regular emails detailing the services available.
I've really loved my experience generally at the university so far! Although I feel there have been issues with the universities response to the COVID-19 situation. Which I think is unfortunate because until then I was having a really amazing experience with the uni. Generally I have felt really supported by the university, and I absolutely love my department, all the lecturers and PHD students who run the seminars are lovely. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming and there is loads on offer for you!
There are a tone of careers fairs throughout the year, some specialised for specific subject areas, and also some general ones that everyone can attend and we get notified about these through email. There is also a website where you can log on and apply for internships, placements, or holiday placements as well. In first year my department gave me a bunch of information about if we wanted to change our course for our a placement or year abroad. Loads of information given and my department was great at giving out informations that we could use for careers.
I love that my course doesn't have exams, it can be stressful around deadline week, when you have two or three essays/assignments due on the same day. But I am really bad at taking exams and they give me so much anxiety that the coursework assessments work so much better for me! The in class quizzes/exams that you have in first year weren't my favourite because it stressed me out slightly about my exam arrangements but that's my personal issue not the universities. Another area which wasn't my favourite at the start but I'm getting used to is that we only ever do solo presentations, which has never been my favourite. But obviously it is a great skill to develop and I am glad that I am getting to work at it!
The Student Union building as so many things inside. When Union is 3Sixty (the nightclub) there are three different type of music rooms. Main Room has normal club music, Hip Hop & RnB is obviously self explanatory and Cheese Room play throw back music and is great when you're absolutely plastered! When its a normal day there are many things inside the building. Theres a boba tea place, a hairdresser, a Korean shop, a Starbucks at one of the bars, and a cafe/restaurant. As well as a student favourite BagelMan where you can get some amazing bagels and have a lovely chat with the really nice guy who runs it! The Union holds votes occasionally on particular topics they thing might be relevant to students, but I'm not sure too much about student representation really.
Wessex is a great accommodation, and I would definitely recommend living here, the fact its shared bathroom often puts people off but I would say go for it! You'll have to share a bathroom in second year so why not get used to it and make some friends when you're drunk in the toilets! There is an amazing halls committee (JCR) every single year, who always just want to make the freshers first year experience amazing. Wessex is located away from the main Park group of uni accommodation, but there is also Bridges and its a really nice part of campus as you're right by the lake! It's about a 10 minute walk to the centre of campus, but its the same length walk from the other accommodation area and we're not up a hill! If anything is every broken it gets fixed pretty quickly in Wessex as the UPP (the management company) maintenance office is located on the ground floor! There's a study room and JCR common room in the hall as well, both have just recently been revamped so they're really nice open spaces. There is also a large hall in Wessex that the halls committee use for any formals they hold, but it is also used by societies such as the swing dance society. It's also sometimes used by UPP who hold activities for people in halls, and they have things like circuits and yoga occasionally. At the bottom of Wessex we also have a bar called Ice House. It's an amazing place to go grab a drink and you'll generally find some ex wessexians in there. It's a good place to grab a drink with your new flatmates! Ice house is also generally used as the meeting place for the socials that take place for both the girls and boys football teams. Wessex boys football generally play a lot more football that the girls! The girls is more for the social aspect, but it's a tone of fun! When you live in Wessex you not only gain friends from your own year in Wessex but also from past years. I would say it is one of the most friendly halls on campus! I wouldn't particularly recommend Wessex if you're not up for a night out and you want quiet living. Not only because you generally get quite a bit of noise in Wessex especially during Freshers, but also because you sometimes get the sounds or vibrations from the events at Union as there is just wide open spaces between the two buildings. But if you're up for a good time and making so many new friends I would recommend choosing Wessex!
The facilities are pretty good. Most of the halls of residence have study areas that are available to the students living in them. For the rest of the students, there are a tone of cafes and bar that you can work in and grab a drink if that's the environment you work best in. But also there is the new library, that is pretty good, but often you can't find a place to sit during busy periods such as exam season and deadline week. But if you get there early then you're fine. There is also a cafe in the library which is really nice to meet up with people to do group projects, and for the summer there are some tables outside. There are a tone of smaller study areas throughout the campus as well. There's a tone of stuff on campus for everyone, loads of stuff in the student union, and quite a few bars, and places to eat if you're on the catered plan. There is also a gym on campus if you want to get a work out in, a gym membership at sports park is around £20 a month.
The Whiteknights Campus or (main campus) is quite large, but most of the on campus accommodations are only about a 10 minute walk away from the centre of campus. But because the campus is so green any walk on campus is gorgeous, chuck in some headphones and take in the scenery! There is a Co-Op on campus and if you get a Totum card then you get a student discount in there. If you're on the Earley Gate side of campus then you're a 15 minute tops walk from the Wokingham Road that has a tone of smaller shops and takeaways. There are a tone of bus stops in and around campus that can take you into town. Depending on the time of day it only take maximum 20 minutes to get into Town on the bus and there are a tone of shops and other amenities. For food shopping there are shops around there's an Asda, and Aldi which is about 30-40 minutes walk away and ones that you can get to on the bus. But in first year, I would just recommend that you get together with your flat and do a big Asda or other shop delivery as you generally can get free delivery over a certain amount or its only a couple of quid!
There are a tone of societies and sport societies at the uni, and there is generally something for everyone. In Freshers Week most of the societies and sports run taster sessions for free to see if you like the sports, so you can try out new things before paying the fees to be a part of the society. There are a tone of other societies as well and you can explore all of these at the societies fair. You can sign up for taster sessions and go to as many as you want! Some accommodations also have kind of societies or sports within them, such as football or netball teams. These can be really fun to do and the socials are amazing!
There is a tone of feedback given by the lecturers or PHD students on your assignments and you're always about to email your personal tutor or seminar leader if you're unsure about something with an assignment which is really nice. We meet with our tutor once a term. My tutor decided that instead of doing individual meetings he did one group meeting where he talked through all the things he needed to in the meeting. But he also made it clear that if you were struggling in anyway then you could email him for a meeting, or you could go to him in his office hours. Especially in first term I felt there was loads of info given on the mental health support that was available to us. I was lucky enough to not need that support, but it was great to know that if I did need any help it was there for me. Especially as I am a disabled student it was really nice the support given by disability, and although I didn't need there support continually throughout the year. It was great to know that I could email my advisor and she was able to help me, especially when it came to the end of first term and the couple of little tests I had!
What made this university for me were the people. The university itself is not great. During my time here there have been four students deaths, there has been a lack of care for student wellbeing and the students of my year have faced strikes, covid and such awful messing around by the university. They released our results late and incorrectly and offered no explanation as to why or any condolences, and then every lecturer and office admin took leave during results release period which was so inconvenient as when students encountered problems no one was there to help. My course was interesting enough but FTT response to joint students was awful and many joints felt out of place, unknown and just very lost in that department and that side of our degree which was just very sad, My university experience was great, but the university itself was not.
The university will bombarded you with emails and phone calls trying to get you to book an appointment for a careers meeting, which is helpful. They also run careers fairs and other week long events promoting themselves. However their actual information on careers can be very limited especially for students seeking a career in theatre or film, they have told many students that they have nothing to give them or say which was disappointing. Additionally I have yet to hear of a student who successfully utilised the careers department. However they seem to be trying and actively reaching out to students which is great.
I was misinformed about my course from the start. I was told I would be able to do practical work within the theatre side of my degree, which was a lie. The segregation between single honours and joint honours students within FTT is very apparent and did effect the way in which students were taught and communicated to within the department. I would have loved to see more inclusion between the degrees as everyone would be doing the same modules. The teaching of the uni was good, small seminar groups for closer analysis studying and discussions worked really well for my course, and large scale lectures were also very helpful.
The student union this year has failed students massively in terms of representing student voices. Covid put the university and its students through a lot of stress. Many students felt that a no determent policy or a safety net would take an immense amount of pressure off the students, but the university refused. The student unions first response was to back the universities choice without consulting or asking for their students opinions on the subject. This led to a wide spread petition with over 3000 student signatures demanding a safety net, and berating the student union for falling to listen to the students who voted them in. Once they listened, they released a statement saying they would do what they could for a fair safety net policy, which they did not. The safety introduced covered the bare minimum amount of finalist students as well as part one and two students. The student union was berated by students on an anonymous confessions page and is actively looked down on by students who feel it does not represent students. Their union is huge, makes for a good night out, and I could not tell you much about their offices as they’re rarely used by students.
In my first year living in halls there was a leak that continued throughout the year, this leak would drip from the ceiling above our fridges and table and we would wake up on random mornings with a pool of water covering our kitchen. We complained numerous of times. Nothing was resolved. Parts of the ceiling began to pell and fall off because of how damp it was. At one point they turned off all our showers in an attempt to fix it, and then refused to offer any form of compensation for our large damp and falling ceiling.
They’re good, but the library has been renovated for what feels like forever. My first two years here we had no library, and study spaces were slim-pickings. The URS building is huge and was used for additional study space which was great, and was used briefly when the library partially opened. However once the library was completed, they shut off the URS study space and made the library its only “large” study space. Trying to find a seat in that library will forever be ingrained in my head. They spent 2/3 years improving this library and never actually put in enough study space for the sheer number of students it receives daily, Aside from that the FTT building is fantastic and decked out very well. Edith Morley is a maze but it’s packed full of rooms which can be booked out by students. The library looks great and has a very easy system to follow to find books. They just lack space for studying which is really annoying especially during exam season.
Very close to campus, about a 5 minute walk. There’s a bus that goes directly from campus into town which only takes about 10/15 minutes
We have a lot of sports and loads of sports teams for people to join
The support from the university is awful. Academic tutors and feedback from lectures deteriorated throughout my time here. After strikes some lectures fat out refused to offer feedback for work submitted during strikes and only offered marks which was very unhelpful. My academic tutor was lovely but as a joint student he could never help me with problems faced on the other side of my degree which was commonly where most of the problems were. Personal welfare is not there. The waiting list for counselling is so long that you’ll probably be waiting all academic year to get one. No support it offered when students face problems. This year I had experienced a suicide in my family, the university was very unhelpful dealing with me. I had a deadline due in the day after the suicide and in order for me to be granted an exemption I was told I needed to being in a death certificate, letter from an official or the funeral order service in order to prove this death and be given an extension on my deadline. The whole experience was traumatic. It added a whole new level of pain to an already painful experience. I was asked to prove something so horrible and awful, and I can’t imagine any situation where a student would lie about this in order to be given a deadline extension. This procedure of asking for evidence may seem fair but the university values it above any student wellbeing, and has consistently denied students extensions or help due to “insufficient evidence”, eg. Not bringing in your granddads deaths certificate, or not having adequate hospital papers. Additionally I was told that if I needed help further down the line (as my experience was particularly tragic) I would need to be placed on medication by doctors and have them release a note to the university telling them I was depressed or mentally unwell and unable to complete my work properly. Furthermore help for students during covid was non-existent. They did however create a new CIP form where they would just accept Covid as an excuse for needing an extension. But they told us we could not extend our deadlines passed mid May or our results would be released late. This did not matter in the end and they released results late and in a shambolic fashion.
Reading has provided me with a skill set, which can be applied to my grad job. I have enjoyed the three years. The work load can be heavy at some points, managing this is important.
Number of courses and subject based interactions.
Student union is great when compared against other unis I have visited mates at. Representation is good, however was poor recently regarding the safety net.
Fairly safe considering Reading is a large town, condition is good, location is great and cost is expensive.
Reading has a large range of different societies to suit all.
Help is always there if you need it.
My uni experience has been good so far. I have had the opportunity to do things that I never imagined that I would be able to do. My advice for new student would be to not have too many expectations as to what uni is going to be like just come with an open mind and a positive attitude and you will have an amazing time.
Within Biological Sciences there are many opportunities to get a summer or year long placement as well as a research place (if you are in your second year). The careers department organises a lot of workshops throughout the year that I have found quite helpful. They also have career consultants who are there to help with CVs, interviews and employability.
There is a lot of flexibility within the course with very few complusory modules giving students the chance to build there own degree. I really enjoyed that I can take most modules offered in the department whether they are ecology/zoology based to more biomed/microbiology focused.
Very enjoyable, i like the structure of a timetable and so far have really enjoyed the different lectures. The social side has been good and my time in halls has been great
We have a career service and our professors are always telling us about opportunities to get involved. Also have a UROP scheme where we are paid to internship at the uni labs
I really like my course, the structure and most of the teachers make learning enjoyable. I wish we had final exams at the end of every term. I.e term one exams in jan and term 2 exams in summer as revising 8 modules in summer is very heavy
The union work really had to do inclusion events etc so I would rate this highly.
No pool but otherwise good, bio department is very well funded and has much better facilities than any other department
Yep, 10 min bus to the city centre, my hall is 2 mins from a local high street. Only 23 mins to london so really easy to get home if I want to
There is a really good selection. Hindered by the fact that the gym facilities are quite small, need to be expanded and there should be a pool but there isnt.
I havent need the personal support but the academic support from my tutor has been excellent and he is always replying to the numerous emails i send him
I love Reading as a uni but am not a huge fan of the town itself. The community atmosphere here is really strong. I would encourage students to get involved with a society to get the most of of their experience.
Lots of careers fayres, free careers appointments
Too many lecture slides but great, knowledgeable teachers
Nice students union. Would be nice if there was more study space. A bigger campus supermarket would be nice too. Representation is superb.
Good. Some bits need a bit of a revamp but very good. Library is new and great.
Definitely. 5 minute walk from the university gym and 10 minute walk from the centre of campus.
Very good. Only thing not offered is a swimming pool in the uni gym.
Academic support is good- one meeting a term. Not sure about counselling as haven’t used the services
University can be somewhat daunting, I have regular 9-6pm days which can be exhausting, with exams mixed in whilst still having the burden of making lecture notes for said exams. As things like social life and simple errands like cooking, but I do have fun. But not always
Always get careers emails for events
Library is nice
Yes for accommodation but not for local amenities
Got great financial counselling
To be honest, it hasn’t been the worst. I’ve enjoyed my time at uni despite having an a fairly large workload (which I suppose is expected). The university provided sufficient facilities as well.
Careers department is pretty helpful when it comes to checking CV, cover letters and/or personal statements. Uni tried to help us develop our transferable skills by incorporating a module on it into our course
The course is pretty good. The only complaint I’ve got is that I wished we had more statistics module in our course as I feel it’s more relevant/useful in the future, compared to pure mathematics. I believe most people who do joint degrees prefer learning something that is more applicable to real world problems
It’s alright I guess
Decent I suppose. The new library is pretty good
Yes. Nice walk to campus, easy to get around
There are a lot of interesting ones to choose from!