When should you apply for student accommodation?

When you apply to study at university, you might also need to apply for a place to live (and maybe a student loan). So exactly when do you apply for accommodation at university?

1. When do you apply for student accommodation – ask your university and college choices

You can use our UCAS accommodation search to find each uni’s accommodation information and contact details.

If you can’t find out when you’ll be able to apply, give your chosen unis a call or an email, or ask on one of their social channels. They might be able to tell you when you can apply – or at least have a rough idea.

2. Start searching for accommodation before you apply, so you have an idea of where you’d like to live

You can browse our accommodation listings anytime to see what’s available. If it’s still a while until you get your results – or until offers might come in – you can still do some research into the kinds of accommodation you might like best.

Plus you’ll be able to click through to accommodation information on uni and college websites where they’ll have further details, like what furniture and bills are included.

When you’ve chosen the kind of accommodation you want, it’s usually on a first-come-first-served basis – so it’s worth getting your application in as soon as you’re allowed to.

Some unis and colleges ask you to select a few preferred types of accommodation – that way it’s easier for them to offer accommodation that suits as many people as possible.

3. How to choose the right kind of accommodation for you

Think about what’s important to you, where you’d like to be and what might fit your budget. Some accommodation is modern and new, some is historic and charming, some is cheap and cheerful! Wherever you end up, you’ll make new friends and be able to make the most of your new environment.

Here are some things to think about when you’re looking at each kind of accommodation:

  • Where is it?
  • Is it far from your campus?
  • What kind of accommodation is it – e.g. a flat, a townhouse
  • How many people share?
  • What amenities are on-site or nearby?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Are bills included?
  • Is it managed by the uni or private landlords?
  • What’s the kitchen and living space like?
  • Do you share a bathroom or have your own?


Many universities and colleges have virtual tours and videos of their campus and accommodation, so you can take a look around without moving a muscle. We’ve made a list of virtual tours for you to explore the unis and colleges you’ve chosen – these usually include at least some of their accommodation options.

Or you can chat to students already at uni online if you have any questions about what student accommodation is like.