Student Accommodation in the UK


Starting university is the first time many students have lived away from home.  At most universities there are halls of residence available for first years, and occasionally other years as well.  However, deciding what accommodation to apply can be daunting, because of the different choices available.  This guide to student accommodation will help to inform you about what options are out there.


When Shall I Apply?

This depends on the university.  When you have either accepted their offer, or put them as your ‘firm’ choice on UCAS (and for some universities, your ‘insurance’ choice) they will contact and tell you what the next step is.  You may apply and find out your hall, block and room very quickly, or you may not find out anything until a couple of weeks before you begin university.  You should, however, at least find out what sort of room you are in, and usually also which hall, although it is common for room numbers not to be disclosed until you arrive to collect your keys.


What Should I Consider when Applying for Accommodation?

The main factor is your financial situation.  Student halls are not cheap, and you need to do some research into how much money you will have to live on over the year, how much each hall costs, and go from there.  There are other things that need to be considered in relation to this, such as whether you want/need your room over the holidays ( keeping in mind that most universities will expect you to completely empty it if you only have a term-time contract), the location, facilities such as a bar/common room, and if you particularly want or need a certain type of room, such as en suite.


Types of Accommodation

Exactly what range of accommodation is available depends on the university, but this is a general guide to some of the options that you may have.

  • Block – these tend to be older blocks that contain any number of rooms, either all sharing one kitchen, or with several kitchens.
  • Flats – these could have anything from 2 people sharing a kitchen and bathroom facilities.
  • Studio – one room containing living area, bed and kitchen facilities, with an en suite bathroom.
  • En suite – bathroom facilities are attached to the bedroom, for the use of only the room’s occupant.
  • Standard room – whatever the university considers their most common/basic accommodation, usually with a wash basin, but some cheaper rooms may not have one.
  • Enhanced/Premier room – these will be better than a standard room, and more expensive.  They may be newer, bigger,  have a larger bed or be different in another way.