There has never been a better time to find the Student Accommodation of your choice, with many universities operating modern student halls and with the private student accommodation sector offering some truly superb properties you are likely to be spoilt for choice and quality in most university locations.
There are three main Student Accommodation classifications:
1. University Halls
Generally on campus accommodation, owned or operated on behalf of the relevant University exclusively for a certain year of study, normally first year students.
2. Purpose Built Student Accommodation – (Sometimes known as Private Halls)
Privately operated version of University Halls, located close to campus and often providing a wider range of room choices including the opportunity to live with students from different universities / different year of study.
3. Traditional Student Houses
Generally operated by private landlords or large letting agents, often the choice of 2nd / 3rd year students, who have joined together as a group to take a whole house. This option still accounts for the lion’s share of the student accommodation market in most cities. The properties are normally well located within the local city communities or student districts. The accommodation will be more individual, of a homely style providing much more of an independent living experience.
Student Accommodation Room Types
Subject to your choice of property, and budget of course there is now loads of choice.
Fully fitted bedroom within various apartment sizes, En-suite is becoming the popular choice and this is where you will have your own toilet, wash hand basin and shower but a shared lounge / kitchen facilities.
Fully fitted bedroom within various apartment sizes, Standard is basically fully shared accommodation where you will have your own room but share all amenities; bathroom / kitchen and lounge.
Your own space fully self-contained in an open plan design. Studio apartments are the penthouse of student living, for those that can afford this accommodation style they can enjoy their own living space including both a small kitchen and en-suite facilities.
Your own space fully self-contained with all facilities and separate bedroom.
Your own space fully self-contained with all facilities built on two levels.
There are some great options for those with close friends or even couples wishing to live together, the choices include:
Large Studios - Let as dual occupancy
Twin Rooms - Within shared apartments
New variations in some locations include
Twodios - For two people, two beds in a studio style apartment
Threedios - For three people, three beds in a large studio style apartment
Each accommodation option has its own pros and cons but when living in halls en-suite seems to be the current trend and shouldn’t be difficult to find in most university cities.
It all depends on personal preference and budget, but with so much choice, these are good decisions to have to make.
To review some of the privately provided options in your University location - Click Here
University Halls - Overview
University Halls are the destination of most first year students and provide a great transition into independent living. We would always recommend this choice for your first year of study. University accommodation continues to progress and the quality of halls is a far cry from the basic days of yester year. Open days are a great way to help you decide on your University and this opportunity should be used to also consider the accommodation on offer.
Most Universities will guarantee accommodation in your first year unless you are applying through the clearing process.
Once in halls what can one expect? Well there is a reason halls are the most popular accommodation for all new students. Your new home will include a fully furnished bedroom, many with en-suite facilities and access to a fully equipped shared kitchen, communal living area and shared bathroom facilities (if your don’t have an en-suite)
Then there is the social element, people, Halls are full of like-minded individuals, however initially you may find the numbers overwhelming and unlike anything you have be used to. The average halls can cater for 100’s of students with apartments accommodating anything from 4 to 20 students. This is the roll of the dice part and hopefully you will get fellow flat mates who aren’t too messy, or annoying!
Halls are a great foundation for making initial friends at University, so make sure you embrace your new surroundings. Location wise halls tend to be right on campus or in close proximity, so convenience for Lectures, the Student Union, and recreation is superb. In some halls you may also have catering options and can choose to go full board or self-catering, just like picking a holiday but more fun. Again check which option is the best for you. More detailed and specific information regarding your University halls will be available from the University Accommodation Office or the University website.
Purpose Built Student Accommodation – (Private Halls) - Overview:
Purpose built student accommodation in the UK is in somewhat of a golden era with some highly experienced and very professional providers such as UNITE, Liberty Living, CRM Students and Prodigy Living to name just a few who have raised the bar and vastly improved the student experience.
In privately operated halls you can expect to share your accommodation with other universities across the city, giving you the opportunity to expand your social circles. This accommodation option is managed independently from the University and will often feature all the latest and essential facilities however this will be reflected in your weekly cost.
Your student loan may not cover the extent of private accommodation so ensure you budget accordingly to be able manage any shortfall. It is also important to note that some private accommodation will have longer contracts to University halls, which can be as long as 52 weeks in some cases.
Location wise private accommodation can range from city centre to right out of town. Most of the main halls are positioned in prime locations so access to the main city attractions is easy. Purpose built accommodation will generally include all bills but never include catering, (barring the odd free breakfast in some) so make sure you budget accordingly.
Traditional Student Houses - Overview:
Shared living in Traditional Houses technically known as Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
This type of accommodation can often be more spacious than University Halls or Purpose Built Student Accommodation, with larger bedrooms, many will have separate kitchen / dining place, and a definded living room. Because of the layout of a typical traditional student house there is often a greater amount of spare space in hallways and cellars and generally they will benefit from either a garden or outdoor place, ideal for summer BBQ’s. Student Houses are also often of a more solid construction as compared to newer properties, with better sound proofing qualities, (important if your there is a snorer in your group)
The standard and rental costs of traditional student housing will vary vastly based on distance from campus and specification, it is very important to consider any additional costs as normally utility bills are not included and without adequate control the costs may spiral over the period of your tenancy. The best Student Houses in any University town or city will always be booked very early each year, so you will need to be quick if your group have a certain property in mind.
Image credits to Whittam Cox Architects
A leading national design group providing outstanding professional services to the Property and Construction sectors in the UK.