If you’re applying to a university that is a fair distance from your home and you would be unable to commute, you will need student accommodation. 

Usually these flats will be in blocks filled with other students. Student accommodation is only available to students, of course, and proof of this will be needed prior to booking, so don’t worry, no random strangers will be able to move in! From what I have heard (and from working in a student accommodation company for the past four summers), living in student accommodation provides you with freedom, the ability to grow and for a lot of people, life long friends! 

There are two different kinds of student accommodation – there is that provided by the university, and private accommodation. If you live in accommodation provided by the university, you will most likely live on campus or very close by. You will also be living with other students who definitely go to your university, which helps when you are a first year! It is also sometimes cheaper than private accommodation. When it comes to private accommodation, you can choose who you want to live with. For example, if you and a friend were going to the same town but to different universities, you could request private accommodation and to live with each other. Also, the location is flexible meaning you could be closer to the town centre (i.e. all the clubs!)

Here are some tips when it comes to student accommodation:

  • Check out the location! If you have to commute to and from your flat to university, work out how much it would cost you. You could also see if there are any supermarkets/takeaways/restaurants around which will help when working out how much money you would need to budget on food.
  • If living in halls, your bills will most likely be covered in your rent; this is something you should check.
  • Sometimes in halls, you will be provided with internet. Make sure to ask!
  • If you know someone else applying to the same accommodation, avoid the flatmates from hell situation and ask to be put with them. You could also provide preferences (non smoking, gender specific etc). 
  • You should always ask about insurance!
  • Ask about the facilities in your halls, such as launderettes and gyms. 
  • Most student accommodation sites will have security measures in place, but it’s always good to understand what they offer before moving in.

There are usually different room types when it comes to accommodation, that range in size and obviously the bigger the room, the more expensive it is. When booking student accommodation, you will most likely have to sign a contract that means you are committed to paying the rent for the year. Usually, the rent will be paid termly in time with your maintenance loan, but not always so be sure to check with the accommodation company. Once you have signed the contract, you are legally bound to the room and the rent, so be sure to read it thoroughly before signing. Plus, make sure you understand how much you will be expected to be on each payment date so you can budget your money! 

Here are some websites you could look at that provide private accommodation (the university website will provide details on their own accommodation):

MCR Students

Accommodation for students

Student Pad

Student Castle


I do hope this post has helped you. Moving away from home is a big deal so gathering as much information as possible is so helpful. I have worked in student accommodation for the past four summers, so I’ve dealt with a lot of different issues, answered a lot of different questions and helped people with the transition from home to university, so if you want to ask anything, please do!

Amy x


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