7 reasons to study in Reading

13 Aug 2021
By Unite Students, Staff writer at The Common Room

Choosing where to study is one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make. Your choice of city can define your university experience, and a little research can help make sure you choose a city that’s a good fit for you and your interests.

In this article, we look at the reasons you should study in Reading, from the university itself to the best parts of living in this historic southern city.

1. The university

Reading is 39th in the university rankings and is in the top 20 universities in the UK for research intensity – students leave with a premium education and a degree that will make them top prospects for businesses looking to fill graduate positions. The campus itself is set in 130 hectares of beautiful parkland, offering students plenty of space to relax. Students who go to the University of Reading can expect excellent facilities, flexible ways of working and dedicated support throughout their studies. The university also takes pride in the overseas programmes it offers its students. If you plan to study a year abroad, Reading could be the place for you.

2. Close to London

Students can catch a train from Reading and get to London[SC1] in less than an hour. You’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of being near the Capital, including the nightlife, shopping and music and sports events. This all comes without the cost of living in London – rent in Reading is almost 40% cheaper than London, leaving you more of your student loan to enjoy the Capital when you make the short trip over there.

3. Postgrad opportunities

Being close to London also means there are a huge number of postgraduate opportunities if you choose to study in Reading. The city itself also makes a great location to work. The current average salary in Reading is £33,000 – significantly higher than the national average. The city is particularly popular for professionals working in the technology, creative, business, financial, legal and energy sectors. Students who go on to work in London could comfortably commute from Reading, living the big city life without the extra costs, helping you save for holidays, house deposits and anything else you might have your eye on after university.

4. The shopping

Reading has no shortage of retail therapy options to explore. It has a buzzing shopping scene with everything you need for a day in the city centre after your loan drops. At the Harris Arcade, you’ll find over 100 shops – including the likes of House of Fraser, John Lewis, Next and Apple, catering to all your fashion and lifestyle needs. Head down to Broad Street Mall – a large indoor shopping mall that includes a number of classic high street stores. Inside, you’ll also find a variety of restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops, making it a perfect place to spend the day. Reading also has a buzzing market – Market Place offers a spot for traders to sell all sorts of goods, you’ll find food, clothing and other odds and ends at this traditional shopping spot. Reading’s proximity to London also means you’ll always be less than an hour from the likes of Oxford Street, Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

5. The culture

The city’s cultural activities are another reason why you should study in Reading. There‘s no shortage of exciting attractions and trips you can take during your time here. Visit Reading’s Abbey Ruins or Reading Minster to take in some local history. Reading is also home to The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology if your historical taste goes beyond the city’s borders. If you have some time away from studies – you can hire a boat to travel down the Thames. This can be a great way to escape the city and spend some quality time with friends. If you’re looking for green space to enjoy summer in Reading – Forbury Gardens offers a great place to go for a picnic or sit outside at a nearby café.

6. The transport

We’ve already spoken about the short commute to London, but Reading’s excellent transport connections and great location mean it has great connections all over the country. This is a good reason to study in Reading because it means you’ll never have any problems visiting friends or travelling home for a weekend or the holidays. Reading train station is one of the busiest stations beyond London and three different services run from the station. First Great Western, CrossCountry and South West Trains offer great links to major cities around the UK. The town itself also has great bus and taxi services, making it easy to get around during your studies.

7. Reading Festival

When it comes to reasons why you should study in Reading, we can’t leave out Reading Festival. Held at Little John’s Farm on Richfield Avenue in central Reading, the festival has been one of the most popular music festivals in the UK for many years. Reading Festival welcomes over 100,000 attendees every year and hosts some of the biggest names in music – including Liam Gallagher, Stormzy and Annie Mac. If you’re a student in Reading and you don’t go to Reading Festival – you’re missing out!

A reputable university, exciting postgrad opportunities and no shortage of culture make Reading a great city to study. If Reading’s the city for you, take a look at our student accommodation in some of the best locations around the city.

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Staff writer at The Common Room