The Student Room Group

Housing in UK Universities

I am a student currently in the first year of the International Bacculareate with plans to apply to the United Kingdom and Holland. My parents and grandparents have been supportive, however, one concern they've had is that I won't have the same support network that US Universities have for their students. In particular, they seem to be very concerned about housing. Could someone please give me a general outline of how the housing allocation system works for UK Universities, and in particular, for London Universities? For reference, I plan to apply to 5 of the following for Politics and International Relations:
- LSE
- Oxford
- St. Andrews
- UCL
- King's
- Manchester
- SOAS
- Edinburgh
- Queen Mary
Original post by Wepoh23
I am a student currently in the first year of the International Bacculareate with plans to apply to the United Kingdom and Holland. My parents and grandparents have been supportive, however, one concern they've had is that I won't have the same support network that US Universities have for their students. In particular, they seem to be very concerned about housing. Could someone please give me a general outline of how the housing allocation system works for UK Universities, and in particular, for London Universities? For reference, I plan to apply to 5 of the following for Politics and International Relations:
- LSE
- Oxford
- St. Andrews
- UCL
- King's
- Manchester
- SOAS
- Edinburgh
- Queen Mary

The way the vast majority of universities work in the UK is that you're guaranteed university accommodation during your first year as long as you apply before a certain deadline. In the university's websites you'll find instructions on how you go on about applying for accomodation at their places and any deadlines and conditions they have. Afterwards though, you are expected to find your own place to stay outside of university accommodation at most universities - usually you rent a flat or a house with a group of people or you might go to a privately operated university hall.
Original post by Wepoh23
I am a student currently in the first year of the International Bacculareate with plans to apply to the United Kingdom and Holland. My parents and grandparents have been supportive, however, one concern they've had is that I won't have the same support network that US Universities have for their students. In particular, they seem to be very concerned about housing. Could someone please give me a general outline of how the housing allocation system works for UK Universities, and in particular, for London Universities? For reference, I plan to apply to 5 of the following for Politics and International Relations:
- LSE
- Oxford
- St. Andrews
- UCL
- King's
- Manchester
- SOAS
- Edinburgh
- Queen Mary

As above normally students live "out" after first year (there are some exceptions e.g. usually for the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge you can get accommodation for the whole of the course in college, although some colleges require you to live "out" in second year at Oxford at least I believe). I don't know if St Andrews offers accommodation for the whole course - you'd probably need to check their website to see.

So it's really a question of what the rental markets are like in those cities/regions. London is going to be expensive and I expect anywhere nice will go very fast. I suspect Edinburgh would be similar. Not sure about Manchester. If privately renting in Oxford (e.g. you are applying to Oxford Brookes rather than the University of Oxford) then I suspect the housing market will be both expensive and fast moving.

Of course, as noted above since it's usually all undergraduate students who are living "out" after first year, normally during first year students will find others to look for housing together to live in a shared private rental together. So it's not like you're totally on your own! There are also often (especially in larger cities) private student halls, which are basically just owned by some company renting them out to students as dedicated student housing. These are often a bit higher than the average market rate than other student housing but do tend to come with everything "included" that you would expect from student halls of residence.

As noted if you mean the University of Oxford then the arrangement is a bit different as it's made up of numerous constituent colleges (you will choose to apply to one when you submit your application, or you can make an open application and be allocated to one) and undergrads normally live in college most or all of the time there. Specific rental prices and availability of housing for all years of the course or not vary between the individual colleges, although the OU Student Union has a "college suggester" tool which includes these and other factors to suggest colleges to consider and gives the details for them.

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