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Guide to campus living

Guide to campus livingSo you've decided to live in university accommodation? There are usually lots of different types. Check out this guide to help you make up your mind.

Room types

If you're given the chance to choose a room, think about what you are and aren't willing to share. You might be happy sharing a kitchen, but nervous about having a communal toilet! Generally, the more you share, the cheaper the room.

You'll have more chance of getting the room you want if you apply early. If you need specific facilities due to a disability, let your university know so that they can arrange appropriate accommodation.

Single rooms: a bedroom to yourself but washing and toilet facilities will be shared and not in your room.
Single en-suite rooms: bedroom with your own toilet and washing facilities.
Shared rooms: you share a bedroom with another student of the same sex.
Flats: a group of four-eight students share a living room and all facilities, but have their own bedroom.
Studio flats: a flat for one student, who has their own bathroom, kitchen and bedroom - and a higher rent bill to match.


In self-catering accommodation, you'll be cooking meals for yourself and sharing kitchen facilities with others. In catered halls, you'll normally get at least 2 meals a day for 5-7 days per week.

If you're in catered halls, you may have limited access to cooking facilities, and you may have to pay for the catered meals whether you want to or not. 

What's included?

Many halls of residence include the costs for heating, water and lighting in the rent. Some will include internet access and insurance and other benefits like gym membership. However, not everywhere will!

Always research what's included in your rent to see how much you need to budget for.


The amount of rent you pay per year will depend on how many weeks you can have your accommodation for. Universities charge rent for 39 weeks a year on average, however in other halls this may be between 42-45 weeks.

When you sign a contract, make sure you know how many weeks you are paying for so you can budget (and know when you have to move out!)

Some universities might allow you to stay for longer than your contract if you arrange it in advance and pay the extra rent. However, this won't always be possible, as universities often rent out student accommodation over the holidays - for example, to conference guests.


Many students prefer living in university accommodation, especially for their first year. Here’s why:

  • Uni accommodation tends to be closer to lectures, social events, and the student union. Living nearer to these things will save you time and money.
  • Most people there will be in the same situation as you so it will be easy to make friends.
  • Support networks, university advice clinics, and student services will all be close to hand.

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