4 min read

How to apply for university accommodation

How to apply for university accommodation

by Susie Woods

Moving in to university halls 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 the kind of university accommodation that’s available, how to choose where you want to live and how to apply for your accommodation.

In this blog post...

 

What is university accommodation like?

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to your student accommodation options. Firstly, there’s 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 who 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 halls typically offering a weekly menu of breakfasts and evening meals.

And 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 shared flats that are usually for four to six students with a range of shared or en suite facilities.

At Newcastle, you’ll find both University-owned and managed partnership accommodation ranging from traditional university halls to ultra-modern city centre apartments. All offer 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 university accommodation you can expect all rooms to include a bed, desk, chair, wardrobe and shelving, but then you can select from:

  • standard room – you share washbasin, shower and toilet facilities with flatmates
  • washbasin facilities – you have a private sink in your bedroom, but share shower and toilet facilities
  • en suite facilities – you have a private bathroom with shower, washbasin and toilet. In rooms with more space you may even have a bath

 

Where you’ll live

You may be sure about the sort of accommodation you want, but that’s actually only one 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 run 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.

 

How much is university accommodation?

The cost of university-owned and managed partnership accommodation typically includes all your utility bills – water, gas, electricity – 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. 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 via email to apply for accommodation. Find out more about what happens when you apply to university, here.

At Newcastle, you’ll be able to apply once you've received an offer and when our accommodation portal is open. You'll be able to select your three favourite halls and indicate whether you need a specific type of room because of a disability, or medical reason.

We’ll then review your application – we don’t process applications based on the date they were submitted. Our process means we allocate rooms in a way that’s as fair as possible. We aim to have a balanced mix of students in every residence and do everything we can to offer you a place in your preferred accommodation, although we can’t guarantee this.

If you’re allocated University-owned accommodation, we’ll email you asking you to accept the offer, and this usually happens later in the summer.

If you’re allocated managed partnership accommodation, you’ll receive an email directing you to the company’s online system to register and accept the offer.

After that, it’s time to start thinking about packing your bags!

 

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 in to 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. If you need some support with your university application, why not download our guide to writing a personal statement below? This year, we've included new guidance on how to project the transferable skills you’ve gained during the Covid-19 pandemic.

download your guide to writing a personal statement