Find Student Accommodation in the UK: Types & How to Choose

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Sristy Sharma
Updated on Feb 17, 2023 11:24 AM IST

Student accommodation in the UK is an important aspect of studying in the UK. Here's a guide that will tell you about the student accommodation options available in the UK along with their benefits.

Find Student Accommodation in the UK: Types & How to Choose

As an international student in the UK, the accommodation facilities and living conditions shall prove to be an important concern for you. You shall have to decide on an option that exerts not only a bearable financial constraint but leaves scope for convenience as well as flexibility in achieving your academic goals.

There are majorly two types of student accommodation to choose from in the UK, on-campus and off-campus. However, the final choice can be affected by a series of factors, one of which is your budget. 

In order to help you make a proper decision, we have researched the available accommodation options in the UK and how they could benefit you. Consult this guide and decide the option which suits you the best. 

Getting enrolled in top UK universities is a dream of students from across the world including India. We have experts who have helped numerous students in achieving their dreams of studying in top universities in the UK. 

Find the Right UK University for You!

Student Accommodation Options for International Students in UK

International students in the UK can opt between two types of student accommodation options:

  • On-campus Residence

  • Off-campus Residence

As is globally, even in the UK the rent and other living expenses vary a lot on the basis of region and locality.

Unlike the US and Canada, the option of homestays is not popular in the UK. Most people prefer being involved within their established social circle only, and homestays are unusual if not unheard of. However, apart from homestays, the UK has many other off-campus options for international students.

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On-Campus Student Accommodation in the UK

As an international student in the UK, you can choose to stay in the categorised residential buildings of the university. For the same, you will have to apply for accommodation and await a decision from the university. There are many facilities that are available along with on-campus housing. Moreover, since the UK is one of the most developed countries, the living and housing facilities, for international students are of quality.

At universities in the UK, on-campus student accommodation is divided on the basis of the type of facilities and the floor area they are providing and may be bifurcated as:

  • Penthouse Dormitories

  • Elite Apartment Dormitories

  • Executive Dormitories

  • Shared Dormitories

For on-campus living in the UK, international students will have to pay additional fees. The rent for each residential facility differs on the basis of the college and the facilities provided. There are certain facilities like food, common area access, maintenance, etc. which are common and are available on all available options. It is generally the scope and quality of the facility and the floor area which sets one accommodation facility apart from another one.

The annual on-campus residence fee in the UK for an international student averages between GBP 1,100 and GBP 1,300. Even though this amount is not nominal, it is far less in comparison to off-campus expenses in the country. 

Benefits of On-Campus Living in the UK

As an on-campus international student in the UK, you may avail of the following benefits:

  • The time and expenses to commute to the university will be saved.

  • The rent is far cheaper than off-campus housing in the UK.

  • The grievances related to your stay at the university residence are better heard by the university administration.

  • The other facilities, especially in universities established in large areas, are easily accessible.

  • The common area on campus often allows interaction with other international students enrolled in the university

  • It becomes easier to join student clubs, participate in events and interact with the faculty.

Off-Campus Student Accommodation in the UK

On-campus accommodation in the UK is only an option and international students are not bound to choose it. If you value freedom over certain extra expenses then you may easily choose off-campus accommodation while studying in the UK. 

The country boasts a wide variety of off-campus accommodations. These can be divided into:

  • Studio apartments are single-floor areas that you can divide into functional areas (kitchen, storage, study, etc.) at your convenience. Bathroom facilities are either separate or a common area for a group of studios (common for a floor or direction).

  • En-suite apartments in the UK are an apartment set of pre-divided areas of the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. These are better for students looking forward to absolute privacy.

  • Shared accommodation is available as a room in 3/4 BHK apartments. You may rent out a room along with other tenants (known or unknown). Apart from bedrooms, other areas of living are commonly shared and bathroom facilities may or may not be en-suite.

  • PSBA or Purpose Built Student Accommodation in the UK are nothing but privately-owned student halls, quite similar to university student halls.

If you are capable of handling the finances well you can easily forgo the shared option for fully owned accommodation, however, the rent shall definitely increase in such a case.

The monthly average accommodation expenses may easily cost between GBP 900-1,200. These amounts are when you decide to reside alone.

Benefits of Living Off-Campus in the UK

As an international student residing off-campus in the UK, you can benefit from the following:

  • The login and logout and timing restrictions of on-campus residences would not be an issue at off-campus student accommodations in the UK. You may manage your time at your own convenience.

  • You may take up part-time jobs with longer hours and allow yourself a less tiresome schedule and enough relaxation to study for your course. 

  • The quality of food in on-campus dormitories is often not satisfactory, which is not the case with off-campus residences in the UK.

  • The commotion and disturbance due to lots of students in on-campus housing would also be resolved in off-campus housing. Even as co-tenants, people tend to mind their own business rather than interfere with others’ lives.

  • You will be able to know about the culture and lifestyle of the city faster due to interaction with people beyond your study environment.

  • You shall be more independent and self-sufficient and also develop much-required people skills.

  • You shall be able to explore the city and engage in personal interests better.

Cost of Student Accommodation in the UK

The cost of student accommodation in the UK varies depending on the type of residence you are choosing and the city you are located in. The average amount that students pay for rent per week is about GBP 140 to GBP 160. Some universities charge lower rents while others have exorbitant rents with high-class facilities. The same goes on for private accommodation. The rent can sore up to as high as GBP 280 per week. Here is an estimate of the cost of on-campus residence at the top universities in the UK and off-campus or private residences in popular cities in the UK. 

Cost of On-Campus Accommodation in UK Universities

The accommodation costs for university-provided residences in the UK are given below:

University Name

Average Rent (in GBP)per week

University of Sussex

118.50-176.45

University of Greenwich

142-294

University College London 

138-334

Staffordshire University

95-135

University of Warwick 

85-218

University of Bristol

115-338

University of Glasgow

134-194

Brunel University

108-137

University of Manchester

148

University of Cumbria

82-96

Off-Campus Accommodation in UK Cities

If you do not get on-campus residence, then you will have to search for other options to stay in the city. There are several off-campus residences according to the budget. The average weekly rent for private accommodation in top UK cities is given here: 

UK Cities

Rent per week (in GBP)

London

225-626

Manchester

108-408

Bristol

125-225

Oxford

170-200

Edinburgh

120-190

Coventry

130-167

Derby

150-250

Exeter

128-170

Precautions to Take While Choosing Student Accommodation in the UK

Whether on-campus or off-campus student accommodation in the UK, your final decision must be based on proper information as well as consideration of a lot of factors. 

  • Off-campus residences in the UK shall lead to at least a 200% hike in your current expenses.
  • Deposits are customary in off-campus housing and maybe for 1-2 months of stay. While they are just safe and are returned after maintenance adjustment, they make the first rent payment a heavy expense.

  • There are many incidental expenses to living outside the campus such as travel, food, entertainment, health and fitness, etc.

  • For on-campus students, club activities and peer pressure are common problems and often lead to similar monthly expenses such as off-campus housing.

  • Light and water expenses are additional at many on- and off-campus accommodation facilities in the UK which must be enquired about.

  • Internet facilities have been rapidly becoming a necessity and included in attached facilities and must be inquired upon.

  • Even though on-campus housing in the UK saves money, the quality of facilities and rooms is mostly detrimental. However, this is not the case for all UK universities. 

  • Not all universities provide access to campus facilities free of charge to on-campus dwellers and proper inquiry must be made.

  • The rent shall vary a lot depending on the city and area in a city and must therefore be properly inquired about.

  • Certain leases may be time and term bound and proper enquiry is required while at the negotiation level.

Tips to Book Student Accommodation in UK 

Booking student accommodation in UK especially as an international student is quite challenging as you have to trust the photographs and take the final decision. Before moving into your student accommodation, you will have to consider various things. Here are some tips that will help you to book student accommodation easily in UK:

  • Book Your Accommodation Early: As soon as you receive the offer from the university, you should start searching for accommodation options as the best deals might get booked soon. If you do not plan to take the university accommodation, you will have to find a private place of residence. In cities which have more demand than supply, the rooms get booked quickly. Therefore, it is important to start early so that you can get the deals that suit your needs.

  • Take Help from Social Media: Looking for accommodation options on Facebook is a great idea. Here people post information about rooms that are available for short-term and long-term rent. You will get an idea of which part of the city is closer to your university and booking a room nearby will reduce your travel expenses. You can ask questions about accommodations in groups and get help on the same. 

  • Figure out your Budget: This is a very important thing that you must figure out first. How much rent will you be able to pay is the crucial deciding factor. Sharing rooms with others is the most convenient option that is easy on the pocket. However, if you are a private person and can afford it, then you can rent a studio apartment. 

  • Look out for Utilities and Furnishings: Ask questions about the utilities provided and if they are included or excluded from the rent. Get to know about the extra charges that you might have to pay. Check out the furnishings offered so that you can bring your stuff if needed. 

  • Read and Understand the Contract: Read the contract well and understand the terms and conditions. Know your rights and obligations. See if you need to pay any deposit amount. Check for the cancellation policy. 

Accommodation is just a part of your experience of studying in the UK, and each part, from travel to exchange loss, creates an impact on the quality of education and life you undertake while in the country. This factor is irrespective of how good your enrolled course is, given that the overall stress of education goes beyond just academics. Considering this, it is best that you apply for professional help, one who can eventually become a mentor to you while you fulfil your dream of studying in the UK.

Our experts have a vast network of universities across the world including the UK. They can help you not only with application preparation but also with student visa approval. You can also contact us by dropping us a mail at abroad@collegedekho.com.

Ensure a Hassle-free Application Process to UK Universities!

FAQs

How to find student accommodation in UK?

You can find student accommodation in UK through various property websites, Facebook groups, university help desks, agencies and previous experience of students. In this way, you will find accommodation that suits your budget and preference. You can also take virtual tours of the accommodations if it is provided. 

Which factors should I consider while choosing student accommodation in UK?

You should consider factors such as location, price, facilities provided, security deposit, neighbourhood, paperwork process, commutation process, etc. You can research these factors on the internet or talk directly with the owner. You can also enquire about these on social media to get to know more. 

What are the student accommodation options in UK?

The student accommodation options in the UK include university halls of residence, private halls of residence, shared houses or flats, homestays and private residences. Each type of accommodation has its pros and cons. While on-campus living helps in meeting new people and studying together, it offers no privacy. On the other hand, off-campus living encourages independent living but the rent is extremely expensive.

When should I book student accommodation in UK?

You should book student accommodation in the UK as soon as you receive your offer letter from the university. By booking the accommodation early, you will be able to get the best living options at cheaper rates. The university halls of residence get filled up quickly and need to be booked at the earliest. Private accommodations in popular cities show similar trends. 

What is the cost of student accommodation in UK?

The cost of student accommodation in the UK can be anywhere between GBP 125 to GBP 600 per week. It depends on the type of residence and the facilities included in it. The shared accommodation is comparatively cheaper than the private rentals. Also, the cost depends upon the city and location. 

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