Getting the most out of reading week

Published on 25 October 12

Reading week gives you the perfect opportunity to catch up, take a breath and get on top of your workload.

Check your course has a reading week

Before you put a big red mark through all of your lectures and seminars in your diary, make sure your course does have a reading week, as not all courses do. If you’re unsure whether your course has a reading week, check with your school. Click here to find out how to contact your school.

Reading week, isn’t that another way of saying half term?

Not exactly, you are expected to be proactive with your learning so, although there are no timetabled lectures or seminars for **most** students during reading week, that doesn’t mean it’s a holiday.  Reading week gives you the chance to catch up on anything you may be lagging behind with, whether it’s reading or work, and to make sure you know what you need to do for the rest of the semester.

Although, this doesn’t mean you have to stay around Manchester. Many students take this opportunity to travel home and catch up with friends and family. If you’ve been feeling a little homesick, reading week gives you the chance to continue studying whilst being at home.

Catch up and take a breath

You are expected to work during reading week but make sure you give yourself some time to have a break and a rest from all of your studying.

If you’re new to Manchester you can really explore what Manchester has to offer. Check out our Make the most of Manchester article to see where other students like to spend their free time in Manchester or go and discover new places whilst you have a break from timetabled lectures.

Activities in Manchester

There are plenty of activities and events taking place during reading week to keep you occupied. Check out the list of events for the Manchester science festival for activities from free lectures to interactive events.

The library holds workshops that you can attend for free, so why not sign yourself up for some. Here's a list of the upcoming workshops and how to sign up. You can also get involved with events taking place at the John Ryland’s Library on Deansgate, click here to find out more.

For more details about what's happening around Mancester, check out our weekly What’s On article for a full list of events on and around campus.

Student blogs

You can see what other students have gotten up to during reading week by reading their blogs and seeing how they passed the time.

Danny’s blog

Johanna’s blog

Eleanor’s blog


We’ve also gathered tips from students about what they like to do during reading week and we’ve collected their top ten suggestions.

  • Make use of a quiet campus – get in the library/Learning commons, it won’t stay quiet for long so make use of it whilst you can
  • Think ahead start planning the rest of the semester. Will everyone need certain books out of the library in week 8? If so might be worth getting them now
  • Stock up on shopping! Take a trip to ASDA and stock up on tins of soup and baked beans to see you through till Christmas
  • Book trains home for Christmas – it can be an expensive and crowded journey so why not book them now
  • Rest! Its mid-semester use it to recuperate on some lost time.
  • Be a Manchester tourist! Go around the Manchester Museum which you walk past every day, go in to the Whitworth Art gallery which you pass on a Magic Bus all the time. Both are free to go into and are great place to get away from the November rain
  • Travel by tram – why not go up to Heaton park and see the llamas and goats with a picnic (depending on Manchester weather), or go to Salford keys to the Lowry and Imperial war museum.
  • Take advantage of all the vouchers you’ve accumulated – 2 for 1 Pizza Express, Orange Wednesdays cinema trips, student theatre tickets
  • Catch up with old friends and family – reading week is a great chance to take a stock check, catch up from the last 6 weeks, start to pre-empt the next 6 but also check in with Mum and Dad and those old friends who you keep meaning to ring
  • Think of your wider goals and pick one to address. Contact an academic advisor for advice, begin to work on a specific skill that will help with university or further employment, or widen your own experience.


Share this page