Understanding the Different Types of UK Student Accommodation

University halls, private halls, shared housing or staying at home. We explore each of these four university accommodation options.

There’s a lot to consider when deliberating which type of accommodation you should go for as a student in the UK. Of course, you want to enjoy your time at university, but you also need to consider the costs of living in different types of accommodation. There are pros and cons with all options, so it’s about choosing what is best for you.

In this blog post, we’ll highlight the different options available, which will help to give you a better understanding of UK student accommodation. 

Student halls

Quay Point Halls in Newcastle

For most first-year students, halls of residence are the most popular choice of accommodation. Halls are a great place to meet other students just starting their university journey, and they are usually located on or near to the main university campus. There are usually two types of halls to choose from, university managed or privately managed. 

– University managed halls

Halls of residence managed by the university are usually located on campus and often offered catered services to the students staying there. Halls are often made up of flats of 4-8 students, each with a shared communal area – which makes it easier to meet and get to know people. 

– Privately managed halls

Private halls are also purpose-built accommodation, but they aren’t owned and managed by the university. These halls are still usually located centrally and are often within proximity to the university campus. Private halls tend to come in a range of sizes, so you could have any number of housemates depending on how many rooms the apartments have. 

Private student housing

Terraced student property

Shared housing is often the most preferred choice for students who are going into their second or third year. One main advantage of going with private student housing is that you get to decide who you’ll be living with, which often means you can live with a group of friends you’ve made throughout university. Private houses can vary in size, but it’s common for them to accommodate 4-5 students. 

Private housing is usually a cheaper option when compared to student halls. Rent is typically cheaper, but you’ll be responsible for paying extra for bills, whereas this is often covered by the rent in halls of residence. Another pull of choosing private student housing is that although the properties are often located further away from campus, they tend to be in student centric areas – with popular bars, shops, and restaurants usually nearby!

The quality of private housing can vary, and as you might expect, the best properties are usually snapped up quickly. If you’re not sure where to start when looking at private housing, you can approach a letting like Pat Robson and talk through your needs and requirements, and they should be able to help you out with finding an ideal place. Some people prefer dealing directly with landlords, however, using a trusted letting agent to facilitate your move can save you a lot of time and hassle. Landlords can be busy people, so it can be easier to sort everything out through an agent.

Staying at home

If you have decided to go to university locally, you might also have the option of staying at home throughout your studies. This can be a huge money saver, as rent is one of the most expensive outgoings you can have, but on the other hand, staying at home might not sound appealing to someone wanting the full university experience. Part of the appeal of university is getting to gain some independence by moving out and meeting new people and staying at home make can make this difficult. 

Deciding what is best for you

At the end of the day, you need to pick the accommodation option that suits your situation. If you are moving to a university local to you and are wanting to save money, it might be worth staying at home. If you’re moving further away, this likely won’t be a feasible option and you’ll need to look at external accommodation. Both private house shares and halls of residence have pros and cons, so it will come down to personal preference if you are considering which to go for. 

The usual route for most students is to spend first year in halls, before moving into private house shares for the remainder of university. However, sometimes it may suit your situation better to stay in halls, or to be part of house shares every year. Either way, it’s important you choose the accommodation that works best for you, based on your own circumstances.

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Living room in a student house