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What is student accommodation really like? | A guide for parents

What is student accommodation really like? | A guide for parents

by Judith Charlton

Student accommodation will be your child's home away from home; a place where they meet their first university friends, learn to do their own laundry, and experiment with cooking some of their own 'signature' dishes.

University accommodation should be a safe, welcoming community where students can grow and transition into adult life.

We know that moving away from home for the first time can be a scary experience (for both you and your child), and you might not know what to expect. Read on to find out what the student accommodation experience is really like and discover some top tips for finding the perfect residence.


  1. Your child’s first friends

  2. A safe place for students to live

  3. We help them settle in and learn life skills

  4. Students are never far from campus

  5. How much does student accommodation cost?

  6. University-owned, managed partnership, or private accommodation?

  7. How long are the contracts?


Your child’s first friends

Student accommodation is where your child will make their first friends and university memories.

At Newcastle, we want our new students to feel at home as soon as possible, so when you arrive on campus, our friendly Accommodation Team will greet you and ensure your child has everything they need to settle in.



A safe place for students to live

One in six people in Newcastle is a student, and the city is renowned for being student-friendly - it's ranked 5th in the UK's top student cities (QS Best Student Cities 2024). At Newcastle University, we do all we can to make sure your child's new home from home is safe, secure, and worry-free. 

Most residences provide on-site support during office hours through our friendly reception desks. Entryphone systems and CCTV are installed at most accommodation sites, and our Safezone app means students can connect directly with University Security at any time, day or night. Our Security Team also patrols campus and the accommodation sites regularly for your child’s peace of mind.


We help them settle in and learn life skills

Before your child joins us, the Accommodation Team will be in touch with them to say hello and explain everything that is going to happen when they move in, including when and where to pick up keys when they can arrive, and more.

All first-year students are guaranteed accommodation (based on a few conditions), and most of our residences come with shared social spaces where students can get to know each other. Some residences also come with additional facilities including study areas, game zones and more.

But student accommodation is about more than just which flat your child lives in. Our ResLife programme has been designed to support our students during their first year living away from home with a regular events programme, free interactive skills sessions - ResHacks - and more.

Each student village has a dedicated ResLife co-ordinator and assistants to foster a sense of belonging, community, friendship, and independence. And our teams work closely with other University services, including Student Wellbeing, Students’ Union (NUSU), Student Services and Careers Service.


Students are never far from campus

All our sites are in prime positions, within easy reach of campus - whether that's in the city centre, close to Newcastle's restaurants and shops, or the artsy Ouseburn area that's popular with students for its culture and live music.

Great public transport links mean students are never far from University facilities, too, with easy access to Newcastle’s Central Station and bus interchanges, making visiting home quick and fuss-free. The Metro system also stretches from multiple stations in the city centre to the coast, countryside, and Newcastle International Airport


How much does student accommodation cost?

How much accommodation costs depends on where your child wants to live.

All our accommodation is self-catered, with the cost of rent typically including utility costs (such as water or electricity), WiFi and personal possessions insurance.

Before your child makes their application, you might find it useful to work out an overall budget for their first year at university by recording any loans they might be receiving and potential costs of student living on a spreadsheet. Once you agree on a budget, check this against our accommodation website to find accommodation that suits their style and budget.

Within University-owned student accommodation at Newcastle, we offer a range of flexible payment options, including monthly and termly payments. Our friendly Accommodation Finance Team is also on hand to speak to your child if they ever find themselves struggling financially. 


University-owned, managed partnership, or private accommodation?

So, what’s the difference between University-owned, managed-partnership, and private accommodation?

University-owned accommodation is owned and managed by the University. This means the friendly faces in reception, maintenance crews, Allocations, Finance and ResLife teams are all University staff. These teams work together with other teams across campus, such as the Wellbeing team, to make sure your child is well looked after.

Managed partnerships work with the University to provide rooms for our students. Although the your child will apply for their accommodation through the University, they will be looked after by non-university staff who work for the company that owns the building.

Finally, your child might choose to live in private accommodation not affiliated with the university, such as a private purpose-built hall in the city centre or shared housing.

These providers don't work with the university, so if in doubt, always check our official student accommodation information for a full list of University-owned and managed partnership residences. 

(Managed partnership residences can change, so keep checking our website to make sure you have all the information you and your child need about our available accommodation.


How long are the contracts?

Our undergraduate University-owned and managed partnership accommodation contracts run for 40 weeks,

That means your child will benefit from a continuous contract and can leave their belongings in their room if they go home for short vacations, such as at Christmas and Easter.

Although we use the terms parent/child in this blog for simplicity, it is intended for anyone fulfilling a parenting role.