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Studying in the UK: The essential facts for Canadian students

Reading, University of

Established as an extension college of Christ Church, Oxford in 1892, the University of Reading received its Royal Charter to become a university in 1926. The university is ranked in the top 1% of universities globally and enjoys a world-class reputation for teaching, research and enterprise. Considered a 'red brick' university, Reading is a research-intensive institution with over 17,040 students from 141 different nationalities and nearly 4,000 members of staff.

The main Whiteknights campus is set on 350 acres of award-winning parkland, which provides the backdrop to a unique mix of traditional and modern architecture. The Whiteknights campus is also just a short walk or bus ride from the center of Reading. The town lies at the heart of the Thames Valley and has one of the fastest-growing economies in England. Located just 40 miles from London, Reading is also considered one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan towns in the south east of England. With a lively mix of culture, shopping, nightlife, restaurants and professional sports teams, Reading offers a broad range of amenities to suit all tastes. Reading also boasts excellent transport links across the UK and to Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, and it is located close to some of the most scenic stretches of the Thames including the Chilterns and the Berkshire Downs.

Students at the University of Reading enjoy the very best education, delivered by academics with a rare passion for their subject and supported by a range of outstanding resources and research. The recent results from the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 confirm the University of Reading's place as a world-leading, research-intensive university; the university is ranked 19th in the UK by research intensity (a measure of quality adjusted by the proportion of researchers submitted) and 98% of the university’s research is considered internationally recognized. The university has a strong reputation for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration, particularly in the areas of climate and environmental sciences, food security, and health. The university also hosts the largest collection of Samuel Beckett materials in the world and is home to major centers of excellence, including the Walker Institute for Climate Systems Research, the National Centre for Earth Observation, the Institute for Metabolic and Cardiovascular Research and the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics to name a few.  In addition, the University of Reading has been the recipient of the prestigious Queens Anniversary Prize for teaching and research excellence on four different occasions in the departments of Meteorology, Graphic Communication and Typography, Archaeology and Education.


The Whiteknights campus is a green, safe and welcoming place in which to study, live and relax and provides a true sense of community. Most of the Halls of Residence are located right on campus or very nearby, and the university medical and dental practices are a short walk from campus.  The student center includes a bookshop, bagel café, letting agent, Asian food store and hairdresser, along with mail and binding services. It is also home to Café Mondial, Mojo’s bar and an award-winning nightclub, 3sixty. Students have a wide variety of places to grab a bite to eat or a coffee on campus, including Dolche Vita, the modern espresso bar and Index Café, which serves great coffee and fresh leaf tea in the Henley Business School. The Reading Film Theatre, based right on campus in the Palmer Building shows a range of independent, art-house and blockbuster films each week.

The library has recently undergone a huge refurbishment and is open 24 hours a day during term time. The library provides students access to more than 1 million books, over 29,000 e-journals, a fully equipped IT suite plus designated spaces for group discussions as well as silent areas for study.

The university is proud to have several Olympians amongst its alumni, but students from all athletic abilities are encouraged to take advantage of the facilities on campus. The University Sports Park includes a state-of-the-art fitness studio, specialist exercise studios, squash courts and a large multi-purpose sports hall. The university also boasts purpose-built floodlit pitches, equipped with the latest third-generation surface for soccer, rugby, lacrosse, field hockey and cricket. There are also tennis and netball courts, a synthetic turf pitch for football and field hockey and world-class boathouse facility on the River Thames.

With an expansive range of support services, societies, sports clubs and volunteering opportunities on campus, the university is often ranked highly in terms of student satisfaction.  People often comment on the friendly and vibrant atmosphere at Reading and regard it as a place where it is easy to meet new people from around the world and to build friendships that last a lifetime.

If you would like to find out more about Reading University, please contact one of our Across The Pond Advisors.

Student population: Around 17,040

Number of international students: Around 4,000

City population: Around 155,000

Location: Reading is an urban area, located just 40 miles west of London

Closest airports: London Heathrow Airport is 40 minutes by direct Railair bus service from Reading Train Station. London Gatwick is just over an hour away by train

Date of establishment: 1926

Areas of expertise: 

  • Agriculture, Policy and Development
  • Biological Sciences and Food Biosciences
  • Business, Finance and Management
  • Meteorology and Environmental Science
  • Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences

Cost of Tuition per year: 

  • Undergraduate courses: from £15,680 per year (2017/18)
  • Graduate courses: from £15,680 per year (2017/18)

Accommodation cost: From £101.01 per week

Notable alumni:

  • Linda Bennett OBE, founder and fashion designer for LK Bennett, global luxury fashion brand
  • Jamie Cullum, jazz musician
  • Michael Bolingbroke, Chief Operating Officer, Manchester United
  • Jane Barker, Chief Executive, Equitas Holdings, formerly Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the London Stock Exchange
  • Nicky Kinnaird, Founder of Space.NK.apothecary, a global cosmetics retailer 

Reading Excels in Latest QS Rankings

The University of Reading has earned recognition in the latest QS World Rankings, including (UK ranking in brackets):

Join us for Destination Britain, Canada's Biggest UK Only Student Fair!

Join the Across The Pond Canada team from 9:30am to 4pm on Saturday 27 February 2016 at the Delta Downtown in Toronto (75 Lower Simcoe  St.).

At this event you can discover exciting universities in England, Scotland and Wales, and learn more about the various study opportunities available; meet with representatives from a number of our university partners and discuss your requirements with our team of expert student advisors; and arrange a one-to-one advising session or attend one of our information workshops.

Partner Testimonial: Reading

University of Reading - we're ready

Reading University Students' Union - we're ready

Visit an Open Day at the University of Reading