Written by Erin Karn, BA Art and Film

Joining university can be a scary time full of endless preparation. The last thing you need is to have to change all your plans to go to a different university you have no knowledge of. As most universities have different induction processes here’s some step-by-step advice that will walk you through joining the University of Reading community – turning your stressful option into a comfortable choice.

STEP 1: Getting onto your course

By this time, you will have your A-level grades and know what subject(s) you are interested in. There are two different routes you can take to find the course you are interested in.

Firstly, check out Reading’s courses – you may discover that the university already has a course you are interested in.

Browse the subjects on the University of Reading website. Reading offers an array of joint honours degrees these are visible under each link.

The Art webpage, for example, links you to BA Art and BA Fine Art but also displays BA Art and English Literature, BA Art and Film, BA Art and Film and Theatre, BA Art and History of Art, BA Art and Philosophy, BA Art and Psychology and BA Art and Theatre.

Fill in this form to apply for clearing. The University hotline number is 0118 378 7878.

Secondly, you may choose to browse University of Reading courses through the UCAS clearing page.

Take a look at the courses available via the UCAS clearing page. You can shortlist a few options, and once you are ready to apply UCAS will walk you through the process.

STEP 2: Student Finance

Student finance can be essential for some students going to university. Therefore, if you need student finance and have just got a place at Reading through clearing these here is information on how to ensure you get the funding you need, whether it be changing your application or applying for funding.

Changing your application

If you had already applied for student finance, then swapping it over is very easy.

Log into student finance to change your details. Then go to: Your Account>Change your application>University/college course. When student finance has this information, they will re-assess your application and let you know of any changes to the amount of student finance you can get as quickly as they can.

Applying to student finance

Don’t panic if you haven’t applied for student finance and now want to. You can do so now. Applications take at least six weeks to be processed, so you won’t get funding immediately but they will try to give you some initial funding as close to the start of your course as possible.

Apply for student finance.

EU students

If you are an EU student who doesn’t meet the standard residency criteria for the full funding package, you can still apply for a Tuition Fee Loan. Applications take at least six weeks to be processed, so if you haven’t applied yet, you need to do so straightaway.

Apply now by downloading an EU18N form.

Download and fill in an EUCO1 form if you’ve applied already, as you need to let student finance know of the changes to your course.

STEP 3: Applying for accommodation

Applying for accommodation can be tricky. A lot of new and old students apply for halls which means competition is high. However, the University offers a lot of help for those who do not get accepted into halls or cannot afford private accommodation.

Applying for halls

Check out the Reading accommodation webpage for a variety of information on how to apply for halls, pricing and how to work the halls portal.

Take a look at all the types of rooms available in halls at the University of Reading.

Please contact Reading’s accommodation team with any enquires, and they’ll be happy to help.

Tel: +44 (0)118 378 4203 E-mail: accommodationonline@reading.ac.uk

Private accommodation

Private halls are not associated with the University. However, they do provide student-living community within Reading, though for a higher price than the University. Here is a list with links to the private halls in Reading.

Housing is another private accommodation option. Some student houses can have spare rooms going which will be advertised on Facebook groups.

Check out the Reading Student Accommodation 2018-19 Facebook group. Groups like this are full of Reading Students who are advertising vacancies or able to help you find one.

Read more information provided by the university about private accommodation.

University Support

The University of Reading provides a support system for those who cannot find accommodation. Until you find accommodation stay in contact with the University as every year they subsidise hotel rooms for people who cannot find a place in halls. This is not a long term solution but throughout the beginning of term rooms in University halls can become free and you will be on a waiting list to get into them. The key with finding accommodation is not to panic and to contact the University staff who will help and support you.

University of Reading Accommodation Team:

Tel: +44 (0)118 378 4203  Email: accommodationonline@reading.ac.uk

Reading University Students Union Advice Service:

Tel: +44 (0)118 378 4100  Email advice@rusu.co.uk

STEP 4: Social life

Sometimes, with all the hassle of finding accommodation, you might not end up in a hall for Fresher’s Fortnight. As Reading Fresher’s wristbands are sold within hall groups this can be quite isolating. However, there are a two other ways to get involved in University activities and meet like-minded people.

Private Accommodation Fresher’s Wristband

If clubbing is your thing then don’t fret, there’s still a Fresher’s Fortnight planned for you!

Pre-order your wristband through the RUSU website. This will admit you to two weeks of clubbing events with other people also not in halls. Club nights cross over with other halls so you will meet others whilst out.


Another way to meet people during Fresher’s is to join societies. There’s a three-day Fresher’s Fayre with different types of societies represented on each day: volunteering, societies and media, sports and dance. This takes place in the week before term officially starts and each society will have welcome events for new students over the first two weeks of term. At the Fayres there will be flyers and newsletters to sign up to, so make sure you get as much information about as many societies as possible. Also, don’t feel pressured to be a part of a society you signed up to too early! There will be plenty of taster events and socials for you to try out as much as you want and get to know the students, old and new, with similar interests.

For more information on RUSU Activities:

Tel: 0118 378 4100    Email:enquiries@rusu.co.uk

Top Tips

Finally, here are some tips from a student who went through clearing to get into Reading last year.

  • Don’t panic, if you’re having issues with sorting accommodation. There are University staff that can give you advice, so look for help and support if you need it.
  • I would strongly suggest to students in the same situation that they should attend the Fresher’s Fayres and sign up for any society that looks interesting. There’s no commitment really – if you sign up and you don’t like it, you don’t have to go back; but if you join a society and love it then you’ve gained a new family.
  • I can honestly say that my life is better than it ever has been. I’ve made friends who I’m determined to stay lifelong friends with, and given opportunities I would never have had if I’d gone to any of the universities I’d applied for originally.
  • Don’t dwell on the other universities you could have gone to: make the most of coming to arguably the most beautiful campuses in the UK.
  • Don’t be afraid to take the initiative when meeting new people – even if you’re an introvert, it pays to be a little bit extroverted, at least in the first few weeks of term.