Student accommodation guide #1: university halls
Ucas application done, now the next challenge – sorting your university accommodation. If you’re considering university halls, here’s what you need to know…
Choosing university halls: pros and cons
- Generally convenient location: near to campus / the university community
- Everything’s sorted for you: the rent usually includes bills and you’re likely to have maintenance staff on hand if you have any problems
- Good for meeting other students: many in the same boat
- Extra support: you're more likely to have good pastoral care services on hand, such as counselling and disability support.
- Can be expensive: it’s worth comparing with other options and checking your budget first
- No guarantees: you might not get a place in your preferred accommodation
- Not 'your own space': some students feel it’s not very homely.
Typical costs: halls vs. private rentedWhile rent is inclusive of bills and contracts are slightly shorter than in the private rented sector, university halls is still overall likely to be the more expensive accommodation option overall.
According to the NUS Homes Fit for Study report, purpose-built student accommodation is a significantly more expensive option than privately rented accommodation, with average rents of £426 per month (versus £366 in the wider private rented sector).
Also, don’t dismiss the cheapest halls – what’s more important to you, having an ensuite bathroom or enough money to have a good time? Often students report being happier in cheaper accommodation as they still have enough left over to enjoy themselves.
University halls: facilities checklistIf you've decided to go for halls, there is still plenty to think about, including:
- Huge range of room types (standard, ensuite, studio etc.), sizes and locations to choose from
- Whether to go for catered or non-catered halls
- Many universities offer specialist accommodation for disabled students or students with children, as well as offering you the chance to choose quiet or single sex areas.
- Choosing university halls: more top tips from current students
- More student accommodation options: what else is available?