About Reading

Why study in Reading?

Reading is a dynamic, modern town with an excellent university, one of the UK's best shopping centres (the Oracle), a vibrant centre with a city feel, plenty of cultural attractions and many bars and places to eat. It is the UK home to several multinational companies such as Microsoft and Oracle.

Reading is on the main Great Western railway line to London Paddington, with journey times to both London and Oxford less than 30 minutes. It is also close to Heathrow Airport and major motorways.

It's a historic town that has evolved across the centuries, with the remains of the 12th century Abbey still at its heart, the river Thames and the countryside just minutes away, and plenty of conservation areas, wildlife and nature reserves, and heritage sites.

There's a dynamic nightlife with many bars and clubs as well as theatres and a concert hall. The famous Reading Festival takes place every year in late August and there's a Real Ale and Jazz Festival in July.

Working in Reading

You will find a variety of work available in Reading town centre.

Students from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland are allowed to work in the UK, although students from Bulgaria and Romania need to apply for permission first. 

In the Oracle shopping centre there are many shops, bars and restaurants who often need staff.

The Job Centre and employment agencies will offer help.

Students from outside the EEA on Student visas (Tier 4) or Short Term Study Visas are not permitted to work.

Leisure in Reading

Reading has many restaurants, pubs and clubs, both on the Riverside and elsewhere in and around the town centre.

There are three cinemas: Vue in the centre and Showcase near Winnersh, which both show current releases, and Reading Film Theatre on the University campus, which shows a variety of older and foreign films.

Rabble Theatre (formerly Reading Between the Lines or RBL) is is a young and exciting professional theatre company which puts on four or five productions a year.

There is also a very good amateur theatre group at the Progress Theatre, comedy at South Street, music in the Concert Hall and various events in the Hexagon, all of which can be found on the What's On Reading website.

You can also enjoy a stroll along the River Thames and the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The Select Car Leasing Stadium (formerly the Madejski Stadium) is the home of Reading Football Club (known as 'The Royals').

Reading Museum is located in the splendid Victorian Town Hall and illustrates the history of the town and its industries. It is well worth a visit.

The Museum of English Rural Life, part of Reading University, has a fascinating collection which illustrates the changing face of agriculture, rural crafts and the countryside. An absolute must.

If you enjoy running and would like to meet some new people there are several parkruns in the Reading area. This is a free timed 5 kilometre run every Saturday morning at 9am. The nearest ones are Reading (in Thames Valley Park), Prospect Park, Woodley (in Woodford Park) and Dinton Pastures.

Local running clubs include Shinfield Running Club, Reading Road Runners, Reading Joggers and Reading Athletic Club.

Websites about Reading

Tour UK - Reading
Living in Reading
Reading Arts
Daily Telegraph article about Reading
Local government website
Reading University
Reading Buses
Shinfield Running Club