5 min read

How to apply for university accommodation

How to apply for university accommodation

by Judith Charlton

Moving in to a university residence and living on your own, probably for the first time in your life, is a huge part of the student experience.

Finding the right accommodation is key to helping you build the confidence and life skills that will make living in halls a time of amazing memories and even better friendships.

So, let’s take a look at how to choose where you want to live, the kind of university accommodation that’s available and how to apply for your accommodation.

Please note: At Newcastle University, you can only apply for accommodation if you are holding an offer to study with us. We'll then let you know how to apply and when you can submit your application. Applications have not opened yet.



  1. Researching uni accommodation

  2. University-owned, managed partnership, or private?

  3. What is included in student accommodation?

  4. Where you’ll live

  5. Contracts and contract duration

  6. How much is university accommodation?

  7. When to apply for student accommodation

  8. Getting to know your flatmates


Researching uni accommodation

Just as you have done when searching for your perfect university, it’s important you research your accommodation options and work out what's most important to you. Make sure to read up on the various accommodation types, payment options, contract types and more – this will help you make informed choices.

Visiting an Open Day is a great opportunity to have a look around university accommodation and ask current residents about their experiences. If you aren’t able to visit campus, take advantage of virtual reality tours or virtual events.

With so many options to pick from, you might also find it useful to draw up a priority list. For example, is cost your main concern? Would you prefer to have your own bathroom? Having an idea of what’s most important to you will help filter out accommodation that doesn’t suit your needs. 


University-owned, managed partnership, or private?

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to your student accommodation options. Firstly, there are three types of accommodation:

  • University-owned accommodation – owned and managed by the university and staffed by dedicated teams to make sure your experience is spot-on
  • Managed partnership accommodation – owned by a private company that will manage your tenancy while the university manages your application and allocation 
  • Private accommodation – owned and managed by private landlords

After that, you can break it down even further in pursuit of your perfect home from home. You can opt for either self-catered accommodation or catered residences typically offering a weekly menu of breakfasts and evening meals.

You can choose between studio apartments that include a sleeping area with en suite facilities plus a lounge/kitchen area for your sole use, or flats with multiple bedrooms and a range of shared or en suite facilities.

At Newcastle, you’ll find both University-owned and managed partnership accommodation. Our accommodation is self-catering, offering a fantastic range of facilities and room types, so there really are lots of options to choose from!




What is included in student accommodation?

In our accommodation, you can expect all rooms to include a bed, desk, chair, wardrobe and shelving, but then you can select from:

  • standard room – standard bedroom with shared kitchen and bathrooms 
  • rooms with washbasin facilities – standard bedroom with your own private washbasin, but shared showers and toilets
  • rooms with en suite facilities – standard bedroom with a private bathroom that features a shower, washbasin, and toilet
  • rooms with premium en suite facilities – larger bedrooms with en suite facilities that can also include a bath


Where you’ll live

You may be sure about the sort of accommodation you want, but that’s actually only part of the decision-making process. You also need to factor in location, as student accommodation can be on campus or at varying distances from your university.

With on-campus accommodation you’re at the centre of student life, just minutes away on foot from lecture halls and labs, plus all the university’s facilities, sports facilities and Student Union activities. This makes it very easy to get involved in the social side of university life – so much so, you may rarely leave the campus environment!

In popular student accommodation areas off campus, you’ll often find lots of shops, bars and food outlets, bringing a completely different vibe to your living experience.

You may also like the fact that you leave campus behind at the end of the day, but remember to factor in transport to and from university, and the time it takes to make the journey.

All our University-owned and managed partnership accommodation is in prime locations, either within a 20-minute walk to campus or close to public transport links. You could choose to live in the vibrant city centre with its restaurants and shops, or the artsy Ouseburn area popular with students for its live music and culture.

But wherever you live, you’ll be in an exciting part of Newcastle, well-connected by public transport links to campus and University facilities, as well as surrounding areas.




Contracts and contract duration

Contracts for University-owned and managed partnership undergraduate accommodation at Newcastle run for 40 weeks, and you usually move out shortly after the end of the academic year. Contracts for our postgraduate accommodation typically run for 50 weeks.

If you want to stay in Newcastle a little longer during the summer, you can request a summer extension. However, these are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

For your peace of mind, your contract will run continuously throughout the year, meaning you don’t have to pack up your belongings during the holidays. Instead, you can leave your room as it is (hopefully, after some tidying up!) ready for your return.

Finally, we guarantee a room to undergraduate and postgraduate taught students (eligibility criteria apply).


How much is university accommodation?

Accommodation costs at most universities - whether owned by the university or operated under a managed partnership - typically include all your utility bills which should help you budget. You’ll need to make sure there’s no extra cost for internet access and remember to buy your own TV licence, but other than that, you pay one price over a fixed term period.

With private rented accommodation you’ll need to establish with your landlord exactly what you’re paying for, what bills are included, and how long your rental contract is, in case this doesn’t cover the full academic year.

How much you pay is dependent on the type of accommodation you choose and your room’s facilities - in general, the fewer facilities you share with others, the more you will have to pay for your accommodation.

Different halls will also offer different communal facilities, such as an on-site gym, communal gaming area, CCTV/entry phone system, car parking or bike storage, and this will be reflected in the price, too.

For university-owned and managed partnership accommodation, check university websites for prices.


When to apply for student accommodation

Applying for university-owned and managed partnership accommodation is relatively straightforward.

When you receive an offer to study at a university, you should also be invited to apply for accommodation and will be guided through the process.




Getting to know your flatmates

It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious about living away from home. You might be worried about what it’ll be like living in a shared flat, or how you’ll get along with your flatmates.

It’s important to remember you’re not alone in how you’re feeling; in fact, your new flatmates will probably be feeling exactly the same! Good friendships don’t happen overnight, so give yourself time, particularly during those first few weeks at university when everyone’s trying to settle in.

Try to do things together – sharing the cooking and eating together is a simple step to getting to know each other; even doing the washing up afterwards can help you bond as a household.

At Newcastle, our friendly Accommodation Services team will make sure your time living with us is the best it can be and our ResLife team will help you settle into our student community, have fun and make new friends.

Our ResLife programme of social events and life skills workshops will help you on your first-year journey and there’s one-to-one support and drop-in sessions, too, if you need advice or just a friendly chat.


We hope you’ve found this blog post useful, and do remember to keep checking back for more resources to help you on your journey to university.

Get more advice for your journey to university HERE