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Health and welfare – University of Reading

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Health and welfare

Your health and welfare during your studies at Reading are a major priority for us, which is why we provide a number of services.  If you need to speak to someone about any issue at all – from practical needs and questions, to making the adjustment to living away from home, to worries about missing a deadline – we have a number of people you can contact.

The University Medical Practice

We have a purpose-built medical practice and dental surgery located just a ten-minute walk from the centre of the main Whiteknights campus. The University Medical Practice has a dedicated staff of doctors, nurses and supporting ancillary staff providing all aspects of a general practice. Additional facilities outside the NHS include the services of a consultant psychiatrist.

During Welcome Week, the Medical Practice team will be on campus, helping you to register with a doctor quickly and easily.


The University Medical Practice provides comprehensive medical care for UK students under the National Health Service (NHS). As an international student studying in the UK, you are exempt from charges for all NHS hospital treatment, provided you are either:

a full-time student attending a course of at least six months' duration, or

your course is substantially funded by the UK government

If you are staying less than 6 months then you are advised to take out medical insurance. If you are a student from the EU, you are entitled to free treatment from a family doctor even if you are here for less than six months. You may not, however, be entitled to free hospital treatment. In the event of an emergency, all University students can obtain help from the Health Centre.

Please note that some NHS services are chargeable, including:

  • Prescriptions
  • Sight tests
  • Glasses or contact lenses
  • Wigs or fabric supports
  • Travel to hospital
  • For more information about which healthcare benefits you are entitled to, please visit the NUS website.

Counselling and Wellbeing

If you're having a tough time for any reason, don't keep it to yourself: our Counselling and Wellbeing Service can help. 

The Counselling and Wellbeing team runs talks on issues such as coping with stress, finding motivation and gaining confidence. The team also offers short-term counselling which is completely confidential. And, at your request and with your permission, our experts can work closely with colleagues across the university to provide coordinated support specifically for you.

For more information, visit the Counselling and Wellbeing website

Students' Union Advice Team

The Students' Union team is familiar with the particular needs and issues of mature, postgraduate and international students. Through its Membership Services Centre, advisors provide information and confidential advice on personal, social, academic, financial and welfare matters. The advisors work closely with a number of departments across the University such as the Counselling Service, Accommodation Office and central administration.

Disability Support

If you have a disability, long-term medical condition, mental health issue or learning difficulty, our Disability Advisory Service can provide advice and guidance to you at every stage, from pre-application and pre-entry right through to the completion of your studies.  If you're considering applying to the University of Reading, please get in touch so we can meet your needs, in confidence.  For more information,  please see our Disability Support website

International Student advice

Our International Student Advisor provides cross-cultural support of all kinds to new international students with a particular focus on developing support networks and new learning skills. Drop-in sessions are available every week and longer appointments are available by arrangement.

Peer Support

If you feel that a fellow student would understand you better, you can also access our Peer Support Network.  It's a friendly, informal and confidential means of one-to-one support, offered by students, to students. Peer supporters are trained to be a listening ear. You can find out more, including about becomnig one of our listeners, by visiting our Peer Support Website

See also

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