What type of accommodation do Universities offer?

AFS Team·24 May 2023·4 min read
What type of accommodation do Universities offer?

Securing the right student accommodation is a crucial aspect of your university experience in the United Kingdom. Here we summarise the various university owned accommodation options available to UK university students. We have included the main features as well as the  advantages drawbacks to help you make an informed decision.

On-campus accommodation

UK universities typically offer on-campus housing options that are managed by the institution itself. These options range from traditional halls of residence to university-owned flats and studios.

a. Halls of Residence

Halls of residence are large buildings divided into individual rooms or shared suites. They are designed to foster social interaction, with communal spaces such as lounges, dining areas, and laundry facilities. They are primarily aimed at 1st year students, who in the majority of cases will be guaranteed a room. 

The majority of halls are now self catering, although some catered options remain. If you do choose a catered option you will eat the majority of your meals in your residence. 


  • Close proximity to campus resources and facilities
  • Great way to meet new people and make friends 
  • A safe environment with university security and support staff
  • All-inclusive pricing that covers utilities, internet, and sometimes meal plans


  • Limited privacy
  • Some have shared bathrooms and other communal spaces
  • Relatively strict rules and regulations
  • Limited space for personal belongings

b. University-Owned housing 

These are shared houses or self-contained flats or studio apartments owned and maintained by the university. They are usually located off-campus and offer more privacy than halls of residence and may include a private kitchen and bathroom.

They are similar to the privately owned accommodation managed by landlords or letting agents you can find on www.accommodationforstudents.com but should in theory be managed to a higher standard and have all utility bills included.They are often great for students who have small children. 


  • Greater privacy and independence
  • Suitable for postgraduates or students who prefer a quieter environment
  • Reasonable proximity to campus facilities and resources


  • Reduced opportunities for social interaction
  • May be located further from the main campus
  • Off-campus accommodation

These are the two main types of university owned accommodation that will be available to you. Both has pros and con’s, however the majority of first year students prefer to live in Halls of Residence, as it is seen as a great way to make friends. 

For information on what to do if your university does not offer you accommodation click here.