Preparing for university

Want to know what you need to think about before arriving at university? Here is some essential information.

Money

All the high street banks have student bank accounts. Make sure you find out which one offers the best rates and incentives for you and open your bank account before applying for your student loan.

You can find out everything you need to know about arranging your student loan and funding your time at university here. There is also information about bursaries, scholarships and awards, as well as details for how to pay for your accommodation and tuition fees.

Accommodation

If you are living on campus and wondering what you need to bring with you, answers to this and many other questions can be found on the FAQ page.

For those who have chosen to live off-campus, here is a handy guide to working out what your living costs are likely to be.

Student handbook

The student handbook is filled with useful information and advice about life at the University. This ranges from car parking and laundry facilities to sports and social opportunities, making it essential reading for new students.

Health and wellbeing

Student support

All our undergraduate students from benefit from a well-established support network. Our highly trained team of specialist welfare, liaison, international support and disability officers work alongside personal tutors, chaplains and healthcare staff at the University surgery to ensure students broaden their knowledge in a supported environment. We want to make sure that your time at RAU is both rewarding and fulfilling. We all have times in life when we could do with a little extra support and our Wellbeing and Counselling team are there to help.

You can also read this guide called Know Before You Go which has been compiled by Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity, to help you navigate your way through all the changes you may encounter when starting university.

Dyslexia and disability support

Our goal is to support each and every student and ensure they have a rewarding experience from start to finish. There are many different types of disability, they can be visible or hidden; physical, related to mental health, or a long term medical condition. If you think any of these could apply to you the you will find a Student Support Registration on the applicant portal, and we can discuss what support we can offer you. Depending on your disability we may require additional documents and, to ensure you get the recognition and support you require from the start of your first semester, it is important that you send through your assessment evidence and apply to the DSA as soo as possible. Read more about the support we offer for dyslexia and other disabilities here.

University health centre

All students can register with the University health centre unless already registered with another local doctor. As students, you will be able to see your ‘home’ doctor as a ‘temporary resident’ during the holidays but should remain permanently registered with the University health centre during your time at RAU.The surgery operates via a drop-in system run by the University nurse. Forms are available as part of the self-registration process for you to complete and bring with you if you wish to do so.

Vaccinations

It is likely you will have a range of vaccinations when you were younger. If you haven't already had them we recommend that you are vaccinated against the following:

  • Meningitis (MenACWY) 
  • Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
  • Tetanus - it is particularly important that students whose courses involve practical work on farms have up-to-date tetanus vaccinations

International students' vaccinations

You should be vaccinated for all of the above diseases plus those listed below:

  • Diphtheria 
  • Polio 
  • You should also be vaccinated for tuberculosis (TB) before you enter the UK

If you are applying for a Tier 4 visa, depending on your country of origin/residence, you might also need to be tested for tuberculosis. 

Ask your doctor about any other vaccinations you might need to travel to the UK. Also, check with your local embassy to find out if you are legally required to get any vaccines before coming to the UK. We strongly recommend you get your vaccinations before you leave your home country. If you get your vaccinations in the UK, you may have to pay for some of them. 

If you have evidence of your vaccinations (e.g. International Vaccination Book) bring it with you when you enter the country and during your medical registration at the RAU. 

IT services

Here at the RAU, we know IT is an integral part of our students’ lives, both for learning and research, and for relaxing and communicating with family and friends.

You can bring your own laptop, tablet and smartphone and use our network for academic purposes and for personal internet access. Free copies of Microsoft Office 365 are available for downloading onto these devices. Please click to read more about our IT services.

RAU Unicard

If you are a new student, you will collect your RAU Unicard at your Part 2 on-site registration session during Induction Week. You will need to have completed your Part 1 online self-registration, uploaded your University photo and made arrangements to pay your tuition fees. Your Unicard will last for the duration of your time at University.

The Unicard is a ‘contactless smart card’ and allows you to: 

  • Register your attendance at lectures and seminars
  • Use your Meal Plan Tokens to exchange for food and drink for residential students with a meal plan
  • Access residential buildings and rooms
  • Access printing, photocopying and scanning
  • Check books out of the Library (and pay your Library fines)
  • Add funds and use for purchases at any on-campus outliet, including the University bar 
  • Access your allocated car parking area

Students' Union

Student life isn't just about studying; the Students' Union (RAUSU) is dedicated to helping you make the most of your time at the RAU, from sports clubs and societies to social events and charity fundraising. Find out about some of the activities the Students' Union organise and visit the RAUSU website.