Nabbing the best uni accommodation for you

For a lot of students, where they live can be as important as the course they chose in the first place. Your accommodation will partly shape your uni experience, so it’s worth making sure you get the kind of place you’d like the most.

Do your research and apply early

It’s well worth thinking about accommodation as early as you can. That way you’re more likely to get the option that’s right for you. Having said that, there’s a huge amount of choice these days. Take a look at our accommodation search – it’s a good starting point for getting an idea of what’s available, especially if you’re still wondering about how to apply for accommodation.

Whether you’re thinking about student halls or any other kind of accommodation, you’re bound to have some questions about how to make your best choice. Here are some of the things you could consider.

  1. Near campus or near town?

If you’d prefer not to travel every day, then there’s a lot to say for living closer to your campus – or even on campus.

Or a decent walk or a bus ride might be better – particularly if you’d rather be living more centrally, closer to the outdoors, or if there’s a specific part of town you’ve already singled out.

  1. En-suite or shared bathroom?

Do you think you’d mind waiting your turn? If you’re thinking yes, an en-suite might be a good idea so you can just take care of yourself. Sharing bathrooms works well for many students, but some aren’t so keen. That’s ok too – everyone’s got their own preference!

  1. University-managed or private landlord?

A lot of first-year students apply for uni halls of residence, but some prefer to live in a shared student house instead. If you’re not sure, a simple pro and con list of each is a great idea.

Generally, university-managed options come with more security and facilities – while experiences with private landlords can vary, depending on who you get. Universities often have an approved list of landlords you can take a look at though – and a private house share could be ideal if you already know who you’d like to share with.

  1. Are on-site facilities important to you?

Think cycle racks, gyms, games pitches or Students’ Union bars. Then – on the academic side – round-the-clock library access can be worth its weight in gold if you’re prone to working early or later in the day.

  1. Modern vs affordable?

This question gets more and more relevant – some unis spend lots on their new accommodation buildings, so there are plenty of sleek and stylish living options.

Although if that’s not your style, or you have a budget, or if you’re feeling more frugal – take time to look at the other options and go for an alternative. Some older accommodation is characterful, conveniently located and still a high standard.

  1. Inside or outside living space?

Some students prefer more of one than the other, or you might want a bit of both? Remember, outside space doesn’t just have to be a private garden. A lot of accommodation has green space nearby – from parks and playing fields to forests and hills.

For inside space, our virtual tours of accommodation are handy if you’d like to see how much space you’ll have before you move in. Plus, it’s worth considering what furniture is included – and checking what’s already there so you don’t bring stuff you don’t need.

Still not sure?

Don’t forget those pro and con lists – and you could always chat to students already at uni to see how they chose their accommodation?

What’s next?

Once you've chosen your accommodation, you'll need our lists of things you need to take to uni, and the things you don't.

Or start your student accommodation search here.