Accommodation for students in the UK- A Brief Guide

The United Kingdom (UK)  is one of the sought-after study abroad destinations. Some colleges and universities even date back to the 12th or 13th centuries, and being an alumnus of those colleges is a matter of pride. While pursuing higher education in a country or a particular city, it is mandatory for students to reside there, and looking for accommodation is equally important.  Are you looking for quality accommodation for students in the UK without denting your pocket? There are various options available with regard to finding accommodation in the UK for international students. You have to choose on the basis of parameters like your budget, available options, location, etc. Here is a guide to help you understand the costs and other associated factors. 

Types of student accommodation in the UK

There are many private (non-sharing) and sharing accommodation in the UK for international students. Some of the common options include the following: 

  • University Halls – These are allotted to first-years at most universities. These are halls of residence that are managed by universities. You can stay with fellow students, make new friends, and enjoy easy access to your lectures, library, clubs, activities, and more. Some university halls may not always be on campus. Halls are a good way to ease into living by yourself; they help you prepare to live in private accommodation sometime down the line. 
  • Private halls – You will find several options for purpose-built student accommodation in the UK. You can choose rooms in these complexes, an increasingly popular option. These are managed by providers, with common areas and amenities including televisions, kitchens, etc. Studio apartment units are also available for students. Private hall providers are across leading UK cities, including Manchester and London. Most universities have their lists of approved providers of private accommodation options. They could also have partnerships with a few of them. Do check the costs of accommodation in this case. 
  • Other private accommodation options – Those not preferring halls or common living may shift into rented apartments, homes, and accommodation units with friends or groups. You have more control over the people you will live with. You can also flexibly choose from innumerable accommodation options in the market. However, the search process is slightly complicated and time-consuming. 


Cost of student accommodation across major cities

In this section, we will discuss the cost of off-campus student accommodation, especially in the major cities of the UK. Most universities offer halls of residence, especially to first-year applicants. However, many students move out to private and off-campus housing options afterward. On average, a one-bedroom apartment may cost anywhere between 610-740 GBP per month, while a three-bedroom apartment may cost 975-1,255 GBP per month. 

Here is a closer look at average rentals for top UK cities (per month)

  1. London- 1100-1300 GBP
  2. Manchester- 860-1100 GBP
  3. Brighton- 838-1300 GBP
  4. Birmingham- 700-1200 GBP
  5. Oxford- 1100-1700 GBP
  6. Glasgow- 800-1000 GBP
  7. Edinburgh- 700-1000 GBP
  8. Portsmouth- 422 GBP

Affordable cities include Brighton, Exeter, Portsmouth, and others. En-suite rooms require approximately 6698 GBP per year in the UK. This goes up to 9,878 GBP for London and 6,451 GBP for the other parts of the UK. 

How to book student accommodation off-campus/on-campus? 

You can readily find off-campus student accommodation in the UK without a hitch. This is possible if your university has a list of approved private housing providers and partners, especially if they do not have sufficient accommodation to cater to students’ needs. You can also find listings of private and student housing units in your chosen location. 

How to book off-campus student accommodation or even on-campus housing? You will have to apply for on-campus accommodation after accepting the university offer. Keep researching accommodation options while awaiting your offer. Applications are usually made online at universities, where you have to list your chosen residence, room types, etc. However, you may not always get your first preference. Private accommodation can be booked after direct engagement or online applications with the provider. You will have to pay deposits for both cases, i.e. for university and private halls. This may range between 150-500 GBP, depending on various factors. Make sure that factors like the UK guarantor are also finalized accordingly (the guarantor takes responsibility for rental payments in case of any default by the tenant). 

FAQs

Q1. How to find off-campus student accommodation in the UK?

Ans. You can check out your university’s list of approved private accommodation providers. You can also check websites that predominantly have local student housing in your preferred area. You can also check out direct listings.

Q2. How to book off-campus student accommodation?

Ans. You can start searching for accommodation early and then contact private accommodation providers accordingly. You can also view listings and advertisements or take the help of dedicated student housing platforms. You will then have to pay the deposit to complete your booking. Aspects like the UK guarantor also have to be finalized.

Q3. What is the cost of off-campus student accommodation?

Ans. The average weekly rental cost in the UK is around 166 GBP. This pertains to purpose-built accommodation for students. Private housing options may cost approximately 155-160 GBP per week for en-suite rooms and 228 GBP for studio apartments. London will have a minimum average cost of 259 GBP per week for private housing and 212 GBP each week for university-based housing.

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