University Tips Blog
Image of executive new accommodation at university
A headshot image of the author, Charlotte Kettlewell

by Charlotte Kettlewell

Outreach and Schools Liaison Officer at University College Birmingham

posted on 11 Nov '23

Where to live? A guide to university accommodation

There is a range of accommodation available at university to suit a variety of budgets. To explore this further, I would recommend you to research institutions’ different options online and to see the accommodation in person during open, applicant or clearing days.

Accommodation options

What are university halls?

Most universities have their own university halls. There can be a range of options available, from shared bathrooms to ensuites and even self-contained flats! Most are self- catered but some universities do offer catered options. These flats are usually fully furnished with kettles, toasters, beds, wardrobes etc. Ensure you check what is provided on university websites, no-one wants ten kettles in one flat!

Universities will stipulate who can live in halls: some, for example, may say first year students who make them their first choice will be offered a place in halls, while others will offer places to any student who wishes to reside in them.

A lot of contracts will cover September to June for when students are studying. However, if you are an estranged student (separated from your parents) or you are in care, you can ask for additional support and some universities will have 52-week provision available. Longer contracts can also apply for education, health/ medicine and international students.

What is university managed accommodation?

This accommodation is privately owned, external to the university and off campus, but the university manage it. This means payments of rent and requests for maintenance will be organised through the university.

What are private student halls?

Private halls are much like university halls but are privately owned and are not associated with a university. If studying in a big city where there are different universities, students from all these different institutions may be living there and be at different levels of study.

What are private student houses?

Like the above, these are privately owned houses to rent. After your first year, you may move into a room in these shared houses and perhaps share with friends you have made through societies or on your course.

Accommodation costs

Rents for student accommodation are calculated as a weekly rate (for example, £132 p/w) but can be paid termly (for example, £1,386) when student maintenance loans and grants are paid. Rents in halls tend to cover rent, maintenance and security, utilities, Wi-Fi etc. Privately owned accommodation can differ, so I would recommend you to check each one carefully.

Student support departments are equipped to support you when reading contracts to make sure you feel comfortable before signing them. Deposits are paid before moving in. If you are struggling financially, make sure you contact your university for support.

My tips when looking for university accommodation:

• Research your institution’s student support or accommodation services if you are concerned about finances, moving, contracts etc.

• Do not rush into signing contracts and check them with a parent/teacher or a colleague from student services before you do sign.

• Deposits are refundable unless you have breached your contract. But they’ll need to be paid beforehand.

• Colour code – it is easy to lose white plates, so bring something a little jazzy so they are not lost. If money is an issue, second-hand alternatives will be available.

Get email alerts when new blogs are posted

This free newsletter will include information on university events added to UniTasterDays, as well as details about new webinars and blog releases for you and your students.

Recommended blogs

Cookie Policy    X