Study in the UK

A Guide to Student Housing in the UK

Oct 25, 2021

If you’re thinking of applying to a programme in the UK or have already made up your mind about settling there for your studies, housing is a big thing. It’s on everyone’s mind, from students to parents and even universities themselves. You need a good place to call home and rest in after busy days.

There are different options for housing. You can live in the hustle and bustle of halls of residence, with tons of other students. If that’s not your cup of tea, you can move a little further out and find a place to live with some of your friends, renting from a private letting agency or person.

Here are the top options for student accommodation in the UK!

Halls of Residence

By far the most common housing option for incoming students, halls of residence - colloquially often referred to as halls - are almost a rite of passage. Most universities will require their first-year students, particularly undergraduates, to live in halls. 

This housing option is often best suitable for social birds, as you get used to sharing a lot of spaces with your flatmates: rooms, kitchens, and even bathrooms. Nothing like a casual conversation with your neighbour whilst you wait to take a shower. 

Luckily, if you’re not a people person or a wisened graduate student who’s been through the process before, there are always options to get a single room with an en-suite or perhaps a studio.

Private Accommodation

After your first year as an undergraduate student, chances are you will want to live outside of halls. It is also more common for graduate students to live in this kind of accommodation early on, as it often turns out to be cheaper and more suited to their needs.

Your university’s housing office is still a great place to start. They will likely have an overview of trusted landlords and agencies, and they may be able to match you with other people looking for housing if you’re looking on your own.

Though uncommon, incoming international students are not always guaranteed housing or they do not want to live in university housing. If you’re coming in from outside the UK and struggle to find accommodation, has a selection of amazing and trusted housing providers. Other popular websites for housing in the UK are Gumtree, SpareRoom and Rightmove.

Top Tips for Finding Accommodation in the UK

In order for you to get a nice place to live during your studies, there are a handful of general tips. Starting early should go without saying - even if it just inspecting what kind of housing is available and within your budget. Any extra time you can gain by being ahead of the game is only to your benefit.

Once you have booked yourself a viewing or two, remember to check for important things such as the state of your potential home and its appliances. There is a handy checklist right here that lists all of the things to look out for and certifications to ask for.

Finally, remember that although it is important to have a nice space, you will be living there for a year at most. Aesthetically pleasing details such as big windows and hardwood floors may seem important, but having a clean and comfortable place to rest your head is the game changer that matters. Keep your expectations in check, and you’re more likely to love the place you end up in.

Though the prospect of moving to a new place is daunting, this information should give you peace of mind during your search. In the meantime, you can read about things you should know about studying in the UK and the UK’s degree classification system to keep you informed.