Do You Have to be a Student to Live in Student Housing in the UK?

In General, University by Think Student Editor1 Comment

The hectic transition between leaving Sixth Form College and beginning university can be a source of stress, especially to those who must move over the summer holiday. Students must be ready by September for the academic year. Often, students will have many questions about their accommodation arrangements. Some students may choose to stay in the accommodation provided by the university and others may even wish to travel from home.

In summary, yes, you have to be a student to live in student housing. The term student housing can be split into, university halls, halls of residence and student housing. University halls and halls of residence are both specifically for university students, you cannot stay in this type of accommodation if you are not studying at the local university. As a non-student, you may be able to temporarily stay in all forms of student housing when visiting a student, but this is dependent on the specific rules of the accommodation.

This article is mainly aimed at those who wish to stay in student housing. If you fall into this category, then continue reading to find out more about how it all works! If you don’t, this article may still provide useful tips when choosing your student accommodation.  

Do You Have to be a Student to Live in Student Housing?

When it comes to student housing, the options are the broadest. Student housing is often a flat that you rent with your friends that you live in for the academic year(s). That said, student housing can also mean student-exclusive housing, so it is worth reading further in this article.

Most student houses tend to consist of students studying at the university, however, there is sometimes no rule saying that non-students or part-time students are not allowed to stay there. This is something you must check with your accommodation provider.

Student housing is your own rented property, so of course, visitors and friends are allowed to stay over. It is normally privately-owned and has no connection whatsoever with the university. Properties such as these tend to be managed by student housing companies and are therefore aimed at students as opposed to all people. It is because of this reason that the answer to your question is ‘maybe’- you should always contact the housing company and check. 

What is Student Housing?

Whilst it may be obvious that student housing is exclusive to students, it’s surprising how many types of accommodation account for the term ‘student housing’.  

Loosely, the term student housing describes the residence for a number of people who affiliate with a specific university or educational establishment. This means that it does not include university-owned accommodation. Now let’s take a look at the different types of student accommodation.

Type 1: Student Housing

Student housing is a form of accommodation that is off-site and privately-owned by housing companies which charge the monthly rent for its occupants.  

As one would expect, student housing is more spacious because it entails a whole house or flat which is occupied by a number of students. The living rules will be much more flexible; you may even get an en suite bathroom to yourself as well as a larger communal kitchen area. 

Type 2: University Halls

University halls and accommodation are usually part of the campus at the university, which means that they are located on the university site. They are only available to access for those at the university.  

University accommodation tends to vary depending on what type of room you select and whether you are postgraduate or undergraduate. It is likely that it will include a fully furnished bedroom, a kitchen area and bathroom facilities. Sometimes, the kitchen area and bathroom are shared between multiple people and therefore the bedrooms are the only private areas per student.  

Type 3: Halls of Residence

Halls of residence are similar to university accommodation as it consists of a large block of flats which house many students. Each with their individual bedroom, however, the bathrooms and kitchens tend to be shared.  

These halls of residence are different to university accommodation as they take on a more general nature, instead of the dormitory-style rooms. This can appeal to students who would prefer more independence but still want to be part of student life. The buildings are typically owned or managed by the university in partnership with a private company.  

What are the Advantages of Staying in Halls of Residence?

These buildings are usually off campus despite being in close proximity to the main university building, and therefore, this type of accommodation has slightly more leeway with who may be allowed to stay overnight compared to university halls.

This may mean that the rules are less strict and there is the option for non-students to visit those who live there. However, to remain on the safe side, you should check with the specific university to find out the rules that will apply to you. The halls of residence are typically only available to those who attend the university.

How Do You Choose Your University Accommodation?

It is understandable that choosing an accommodation can be a daunting process. It is the place that will become your living space for a year or more. There is no correct way to choose your accommodation, as everyone has different preferences and needs.  

Some students may choose to stay in the dormitory style accommodation for their first year and then move out into a student house for the following years. Some students may reside in the university residence halls for their full university education. And some may not even choose to spend a year in university-owned accommodation and directly jump into a student shared flat.  

To give you a brief rundown of what each place may entail, I can provide you with some insight which may help you select which type of accommodation is best for you.  

How Do You Choose Which University Halls (or Halls of Residence) You Stay At?

University halls are located typically on campus, which means that it tends to be the hub of student life. This can be appealing to many, especially first-year students, as it allows you to meet many people who are in the same position as you. Your social interactions and relationships play a large role in our mental wellbeing, so whilst prioritising social life may seem trivial, it is definitely worth considering.  

Halls of residence tend to be larger than university halls, they tend to be laxer on the rules compared to on-campus accommodation. Once again with this type of accommodation there is a real buzz about the place, and you really feel part of a big student community.  

Living in university accommodation does have its downsides, for example the limited space and shared facilities which is common for both university halls and halls of residence. This can be particularly problematic if you happen to get some difficult flatmates, I recommend you read this article if you find yourself in this situation. 

How Do You Choose Which Form of Student Housing You Stay At?

In contrast to both, student housing is a more free, independent lifestyle and this can be appealing to students who wish for more freedom. It also provides a larger amount of space per student. It is important to mention this type of accommodation requires more responsibilities, such as placing a deposit on your chosen accommodation, managing household bills and getting a TV licence.

Make sure you speak to other students who have had experience in all types of student accommodation to help aid your decision. I hope this article has helped; I recommend checking out the three articles below that link closely to student life at university:

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Career Guide
1 year ago

Thank you for your efforts and dedication to creating such a valuable resource for students. Keep doing great work!