Everything you need to know and do to get started once you arrive
MUST DO: Connect to wifi
Connecting to University Wi-Fi
Once you have completed enrolment and collected your username and set your password, you will be able to connect to the University’s Wi-Fi network, Eduroam.
To connect to Wi-Fi on any device:
Go to your networks and select Eduroam
Enter your username (format: email@example.com) and password you set.
You may be asked to confirm some further details before you can connect. Further instructions available from the DTS webpages.
On accessing your email for the first time, you will be asked to complete set up for Multi-Factor Authentication. We take the safety and security of our staff and students very seriously, and this works in much the same way as two-factor authentication in online banking and social media.
This would generally involve either saying ‘Approve’ to a login notification on your smartphone or entering a unique code available on your phone. We recommend that you download the Microsoft Authenticator App on your smartphone to help you do this.
MUST DO: Complete your enrolment by collecting your campus card
You need to formally enrol with the University before you can be fully registered. This also gives you access to your University email, teaching timetable, Blackboard, MS Teams, Me@Reading and RISIS Portal. When you are enrolling you will need to tell us whether you will be starting ‘on campus’ or ‘at a distance’. This year, we have two enrolment statuses:
• ‘On-campus’ – for students attending face-to-face sessions on campus
• ‘At a distance’ – for students studying remotely in the autumn term (or completing a period of self-isolation on arrival)
For ‘on campus’ enrolment, you will be full enrolled once you have arrived on campus and collected your Campus Card. To collect your Campus Card you should visit the Palmer Building which will be open until 25 September 2020 (including the weekend) each day from 9.30 to 17.30. You must bring appropriate ID, even if you have uploaded your ID online. Once you’ve done this, you have completed enrolment.
For ‘at a distance’ enrolment, you need to log in to RISIS to start the process; next, pay your fees or indicate how they will be paid. You will need to tell us when you expect to arrive and the cause of your delay. Your enrolment will be complete once we have checked your uploaded documents and completed the next stage of the process on your behalf. When you arrive on campus later in the term you must collect your Campus Card, which is available until the 16 October.
Collecting your Campus Card will formally complete your enrolment at the University and will give you access to many of the facilities on campus, including:
You can also top up your Campus Card with money and use it to pay for food, drink and other services on campus. Find out more on our Campus Card page.
MUST DO: Get your digital tech ready to go
NEWS & INFORMATION
- For information about your time at the University of Reading, important updates and details about your studies, you will have access to our Student Portal, Me@Reading; This will be available to you up to 24 hours after completing your enrolment and collecting your university username and password.
- Our Student Essentials pages are a brilliant resource, with information about every part of your University life. A great first point of reference for any questions or issues you might have.
- To keep in touch with your University academic staff, support services and peers, you will be provided with access to Outlook via Me@Reading and Office365. Your email account comes with a calendar, and standard Outlook functionality. It's important that you use your Outlook email account to check for invitations to meetings and sessions from your department. These will be sent to your University email address and whilst we operate online may contain important links to join virtually.
- There is chat functionality available in Microsoft Teams that you might find useful for "live" conversations with other members of the University; Depending on your department, you may be invited to meetings with members of staff on Microsoft Teams. These are easy to join, just click the link in your invitation email.
- Your school will be in touch with you to confirm how you will receive any online teaching this year, it is likely that your sessions will be delivered via Blackboard Collaborate and Microsoft Teams.
- There are mobile apps available for both systems and you may wish to download these in advance of term, with MS Teams app available through O365.
MODULE INFORMATION AND ASSESSMENTS
- Blackboard is a vital tool in your student journey. You can use the Blackboard app, or via your smartphone or device. You will be asked to submit assignments through Turnitin. A great video explaining how to use Blackboard can be found on our Student Essentials webpages; Our Teaching & Learning teams have put together lots of resources on using Blackboard.
Blackboard Ally is an add-on to Blackboard Learn, which focuses on making digital course content more accessible to all students. You will be able to download your course content in the format that fits best with your learning needs. PDF, HTML, .EPUB and Audio files are now available for most content items
For specific questions about online course content, please contact your lecturer/tutor. For general queries (e.g. enrolment in Blackboard courses) contact your Student Support Centre.
The RISIS portal provides access to your student records. This is essential information you will need throughout your studies and gives access to important services such as enrolment, viewing your exam timetables and paying your University fees.
To view your teaching timetable, and for more information, visit this page.
MUST DO: ID and Visa check (for international students)
International students are also being asked to upload copies of their ID and Immigration documents before arrival. Pre-arrival immigration checks will then take place. Therefore, on arrival international students should follow the normal campus card collection process.
You should complete your enrolment between 15-20 September 2020 (including the weekend) in the Palmer building. It is important that you complete this process before the beginning of Welcome Week itself (21-25 September). Enrolment will be open each day from 15-25 September from 9.30 to 17.30 each day in the Palmer buidling. (Number 26 on this map.)
For those that need to collect their BRP, further information is available on these dedicated pages. For students who have difficulties uploading their immigration evidence, the Admissions team will be present in the Palmer building during the above times.
MUST DO: Collect your BRP (for international students)
If you are applying outside of the UK to study for longer than 6 months or extending your stay to study at the University of Reading, then you will be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
Your BRP is a credit card sized card that is issued by the Home Office as evidence of your immigration permission.
You will need to collect this within 10 days of arriving in the UK (if you are not required to quarantine), or within 10 days of completing any required period of quarantine.
Once you've completed enrolment, your University username and password gives you access to important things like your email, timetable, and other online resources. Follow the steps below to get your details.
Follow the link titled ‘Click here to collect your University username’
Make a note of your username and set your password.
If your University username is not yet ready for collection (for example, you have not yet complete the online enrolment process or there is another action outstanding before you can collect your University username) there will be a message on the RISIS Portal which will advise on the next steps.
If you forget your password you can get a reminder atpassword.reading.ac.uk. You can also use this service to change your password to something more memorable (but still secure). Keep your details safe (and don’t share them) as they are your key to our facilities and services.
How to access the University Wi-Fi network
Once you have completed enrolment and collected your username and set your password, you will be able to connect to the University’s Wi-Fi network, Eduroam with the following steps on any device:
Go to your networks and select Eduroam
Enter your username (format: firstname.lastname@example.org) and password you set.
You may be asked to confirm some further details before you can connect. Further instructions available from the DTS webpages.
Email updates and latest news
We will communicate with you via your University email address. You are expected to check your email every day to keep up to date with news and information about your course.
On accessing your email for the first time, you will be asked to complete set up for Multi-Factor Authentication. We take the safety and security of our staff and students very seriously, this works in much the same way as two-factor authentication in online banking and social media. This would generally involve either saying ‘Approve’ to a login notification on your smartphone or entering a unique code available on your phone. We recommend that you download the Microsoft Authenticator App on your smartphone to help you do this.
If you're on campus, visit the Library DTS helpdesk. If you're not on campus, contact +44 (0) 118 378 6262. You can also check the Student IT guide.
MUST DO: Log on to Me@Reading
You may have used the Me@Reading applicant portal before joining, but now you’re a fully enrolled student you have access to the Me@Reading student portal.
Me@Reading gives you easy access to everything you need during your time here, including:
your email inbox
your academic timetable
quick links to useful resources like Blackboard and the RISIS portal
Once you've fully enrolled, you will have your university username and password. This will give you access to a number of important systems, including your University of Reading email account. It's very important that you check your university email account on a regular basis as this is where you will receive emails from your School or Department, as well as other services and departments around the university.
Your email account is provided through Office 365. Go to https://outlook.office.com and login using your University username and password.
MUST DO: Select your modules
Module selection opens for undergraduate and postgraduate students at 9am on Tuesday 22 September
Module selection closes for undergraduate students at midnight on Thursday 24 September; and for postgraduate students at 5pm on Thursday 1 October.
Compulsory modules for your programme of study will be assigned to your record automatically. You then need to select your optional modules and let the module selection team know this so that they can add these to your RISIS record. Do this as soon as possible to help avoid:
timetable clashes (where timetables have already been scheduled);
missing any lectures, practicals or assessments (if term has started);
missing out on places for modules which have restricted numbers.
Check to see what optional modules are available on your programme of study. You can find the list of optional modules by logging into your RISIS portal.
Select > Information > Programmes and Modules > Your modules selection information 2020/21
The module selection teams will process your request and will email you to confirm that your selection has been added to your RISIS record.
MUST DO: Register with a local doctor
You’ll be spending a lot of time in Reading over the next few years, so it's important to sign up with a doctor’s surgery (GP) and dentist in the local area. Also, students are considered a higher risk group for contracting meningitis, so if you haven't already had the MenACWY vaccine to protect against meningitis, make sure to request this from your new GP shortly after arriving.
The University Dental Surgery provides a comprehensive dental service under the terms of the National Health Service. The Dental Surgery is open to staff, students and members of the public. The Dental surgery will undertake NHS and private work.
Visiting the surgery and booking an appointment:
9 Northcourt Avenue (behind the University Medical Practice)
Telephone: +44 (0)118 975 9660
Opening Hours: 09:00-13:00 and 13:30pm -17:00 Monday to Friday
EU students are entitled to use the National Health Service - however you must have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), otherwise you could be charged.
When you applied for the Tier 4 visa you most likely would have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) which entitles you to use the National Health Service (NHS). When you are accessing healthcare, it is important to take your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) with you just in case they ask to see it.
If you have not paid the IHS because you have a visa to study, work or join family in the UK for less than 6 months, you are still allowed to use healthcare services. However, you will be charged for using them. In these case we recommend that you consider purchasing insurance before your arrival.
MUST DO: Attend your Welcome Accommodation talk
Once you have arrived in halls, you must attend your Accommodation Welcome Talk. This year, to comply with social distancing, all talks will be held online. Here are the dates and times of the talks:
2020/21 online slots (you should attend one of the sessions for you hall)
If, for any reason, you were unable to attend your original halls talk, please attend one of the following catch-up sessions:
- Catch up 1: Wednesday 23 September, 17:00 - Catch up 2: Monday 05 October, 17:00 - Catch up 3: Monday 05 October, 18:00
This is an opportunity to meet your Warden and Halls Team and you will be provided with essential information about living in halls and keeping safe.
MUST DO: Attend your School Welcome Talk
Head of School and Programme Director Introductions are compulsory for all new students. This page hosts your timetable for your school and department based activities. Please scroll down and find the events you will need to attend, some may be online and others may be on campus, so check the detail carefully.
MUST DO: Meet your Academic Tutor
Every student at Reading is allocated an Academic Tutor – a member of academic staff in your school or department who acts as a key point of contact throughout your degree.
Academic Tutors work in partnership with students and the University’s wider support services to support your academic, personal and professional development.
Your Academic Tutor can help you to:
make decisions in relation to your course
work on a plan to support your academic and personal development
connect you with other academics in your field of study
make the most of the wide range of development opportunities on offer
refer you to other University support services as appropriate.
You should meet with your Academic Tutor at least once a term to discuss your academic progress and development. For more information, visit: reading.ac.uk/academic-tutors
You can see who your Academic Tutor is on the RISIS portal. Log into RISIS and select ‘Programme and Modules’, then ‘Programme Information’. Alternatively you can contact your Support Centre.
Learn about the library and Blackboard
Find out how you can find the books and resources you need for your studies. With over 65,000 e-journals and 200,000 e-books that are easily accessible via our catalogue, we’re sure you’ll find what you need in no time.
Home to one of Europe's top business schools, our stunning Greenlands campus is situated on the banks of the River Thames near Henley.
It features a fully equipped fitness centre, business facilities, a conference centre, accommodation and dining room. Greenlands is used by the University's Henley Business School as a base for its MBA and corporate learning.
When you’re not studying, the University is a great place to hang out with friends, socialise, and have fun. Our campuses are filled with great places to eat and drink, from small bites and coffee in Dol.cHe Vita to pub-style food at Mojo's bar.
Even in halls, you’re never far away from somewhere to eat. Want to meet up with friends over a drink and a game of pool? From Park Eat to Ice House, we’ve got you covered. We also have a great nightlife to offer here at Reading, with various bars around campus, and the Students’ Union.
The local area
Reading has a mix of both local establishments and familiar chain shops and restaurants. The Oracle is Reading’s main shopping complex, and it’s a great place to make the most of your student discount with your TOTUM Card. A day of shopping can be followed with dinner on the riverside. If nightlife is more your thing, Reading has many reasonably priced bars and clubs, and some of which run student nights to keep the cost down even further. Your JCR will likely show you many of the top places to go during Welcome Week.
The local bus company, Reading Buses, provide buses from Whiteknights and London Road campuses to town, as well as many routes serving the popular student areas. The Claret bus (number 21/21a) travels from Reading train station and town centre past the London Road campus and onto Whiteknights campus every 7 minutes during the day in term time. It also runs all through the night, so you will never miss the last bus!
Other routes which run near Whiteknights campus are:
Numbers 17 and 4 – bus stop at Earley Gate
Numbers 9, 3 and 10 – bus stop at Shinfield Road
Numbers 12 and 10 – bus stop at Foxhill House, Bridges and Wessex Halls, and Earley Gate.
A trip on the bus to town usually takes 15-20 minutes, and you can pay by contactless card, Reading Buses top up card, via the Reading Buses app, or by cash (exact money only as they don’t give change). For more information please visit the Reading Buses website.
Reading station provides regular services to many parts of the country, including London (only a half an hour train ride), Oxford, Cardiff, Bath, Plymouth and more! A 16-25 Railcard will get you a third off the price of an adult ticket, making your trips more affordable. Visit the National Rail website for more details.
Find out which Support Centre supports your school
The Support Centre, Henley Helpdesk or ISLI Helpdesk is your first port of call for help with any questions or issues.
Dedicated Student Support Co-ordinators based in the Support Centres are there to help you with a range of both Teaching and Learning related and non-academic issues, including coursework, timetabling, placements and welfare support.
There are five Support Centres located across our Whiteknights and London Road campuses, so you’re never far from help and advice:
Edith Morley building
JJ Thomson building
Earley Gate Agriculture building
London Road building L016
You’re free to use any of the Support Centres across the University depending on which is most convenient for you. You may be referred to another specialist support service to help you with your query if appropriate.
Studying abroad is great way to challenge yourself and grow. We offer our students a range of international opportunities, depending on your course. You could spend two weeks, a semester, or an academic year abroad. This can be an integrated part of your degree, or shorter lengths of time abroad on opportunities such as field trips or summer schools at our partner universities. We have links with universities across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia.
How to view your timetable. The University uses a system called CMISGo to display student timetables. To view your timetable, go to timetable.reading.ac.uk and log in using your University username and password.
Once logged in, you can select to view your timetable by day, week or month, using the Timetables drop-down in the top right of the page. More information is available on our Your Timetable page.
Timetables will be available to view from Monday 21 September.
Prepare for your first class
Transition to Higher Education
Our Study Advice team have put together some resources to help prepare you for studying at university:
For undergraduates, complete our Study Smart online course:
To give you the best possible start to your course, we encourage you to complete Study Smart – a free online course which we’ve created especially for all of our new undergraduate students.
Study Smart will help to prepare you for study at the University of Reading, which is likely to be different to your previous studies at school, college or in your home country.
With contributions from current students and academic staff from all subjects here at Reading, Study Smart will give you essential insights into what expected of you as a student so you can start your studies with confidence.
Study Smart focuses on three main areas of university study:
communicating at university
The course will help you to understand how these concepts apply to you and your studies.. It also contains vital information on how you’ll be studying this Autumn term, including advice on engaging in online seminars, getting the most out of online course material and using our digital tools. You'll be able to connect with other new students through the course and share thoughts about this exciting new step in your life, as well as getting advice from current students.
We recommend you complete the course before the term begins to get the maximum benefit. It can be completed in a few short sessions and is designed so you can work through it at your own pace.
How to access Study Smart
If you are a new first year undergraduate student you will receive an email with a link to the course in the first week of September 2020.
At the University of Reading, we want to make sure that your transition to higher education is as smooth as possible, so you can make the most out of your time here. Here are a few suggestions on ways to make sure you settle in well to university, as well as some of the services we can offer to help you get the best start to your studies.
Tips for settling in
Introduce yourself to others
Introducing yourself to new people can feel a little daunting, but remember that everyone is probably just as nervous when starting university. A good idea is to bring a door-stop to prop the door open when you’re moving in; the chances are that someone will walk past your room which is an opportune moment to say hello. Another approach is to arrive prepared with some cake or biscuits to offer and share with your new housemates.
Make your room a ‘home away from home’
As for many students starting university, it will be your first time living away from home. Why not put up some posters, buy a house plant or a rug to make your accommodation a nice and welcoming environment, and put up some pictures of friends and family.
Give it a go
Moving to university is a big step, but is also the start of an exciting new chapter in your life. Be brave and take advantage of the opportunities on offer, which might lead to new friendships and even develop new interests or hobbies that you might not have thought to get involved with before!
Give yourself time
Do not worry if you haven’t made your new life-long best friend on your first day. Friendships can take a while to form and bear in mind that during the first couple of days you will only have had the chance to meet a small group of people. Make sure you introduce yourself to course mates, neighbours and friends from societies or clubs as well as your housemates.
If you’re struggling to adjust to university life and are missing home, don’t panic as there is plenty of support out there to help you.
Other University initiatives and events offer great development and experience opportunities and can also count towards the RED Award such as:
Reading Internship Scheme
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme
Thrive Mentoring Programme
Careers Events Programme
Placements in the curriculum
Students in Schools
RUSU - Representing you!
Reading University Students' Union (RUSU) is run by and for students. RUSU runs a wide range of sports clubs, societies, volunteering and social events for you to take part in. Getting involved in a club or society is great way to make new friends and develop new skills as well as existing ones. Check out the RUSU website for more information on what is on offer, as well as more information on the union-run events that happen throughout the year.
RUSU also coordinates and provides diverse opportunities for students to get involved in representation. Academic Reps work to ensure students on every Undergraduate and Postgraduate course are represented and receive the best possible education experience. Becoming an Academic Rep enables you to make positive changes to your course and to build skills in communication, networking and leadership.