So you're about to embark on your brave new life as a postgraduate student... but just how easy is it to get perfect accommodation as a postgraduate student in the UK?
You’ll be pleased to know that it’s not too difficult at all, once you know where to look, what to do and what you need. So let’s take a look.
Where to start your search?
The easiest place to start your search is at your university. Some institutions provide accommodation for some postgraduate students, especially if you are an international student. However, if you are from the UK or your university does not have a large spacious campus with plenty of accommodation to offer to lots of students, then you are going to find it unlikely that you will be assigned accommodation. You're best to start your search as early as possible – as like the University of Glasgow – most institutions advise to apply as soon as you can and also to consider if the accommodation provided by the university is suitable for you. If they have no university-specific accommodation available they should be able to advise you on good areas to live and reputable local landlords.
Halls of residence?
In the UK, university halls of residence are often the first option for undergraduate students leaving home for the first time. If you are a postgraduate student and you need to concentrate right away with your course, then you are likely to want peace and quiet, and to be surrounded by fellow ‘more mature’ students in the same position as you, which you might not find with university halls of residences. However, it's an excellent choice if to means you are going to have a room near to your lectures and the library you will mostly be using. This will save you time and also will cut your transportation costs which can be as much as £460 across the year in a city like Manchester – these costs can really eat into your budget.
What other options are there?
There are other great postgraduate student accommodation options available. Many universities and colleges have private accommodation providers nearby, and Fresh Student Living is one of these. Fresh Student Living offers accommodation for both postgraduate and undergraduate students all over the country and all of their halls of residences, shared flats and individual studio apartments are located with excellent transportation links to the local campuses. With a range of accommodation options at each location and regular events for residents, you will meet plenty of other students who are all studying in the local area. Socialising with people from outside of your course is a great way to escape from your studies and relax.
Postgraduate students who are already living in the area will often rent privately on their own or in shared accommodation. This is only suitable for postgrads who can go and check the accommodation thoroughly before they sign a contract, but it is a good choice for those who are local and who want some more peace and quiet. If you contact your student association, then they will usually be able to provide a list of locally approved private landlords. There is quite a bit of legal regulation for private landlords and tenancy agreements, so check this advice from the National Union of Students about renting in England. Fresh Student Living can also be a good option here as they offer self-contained studio style living as well as more communal types of student accommodation which can give you the perfect combination of mature postgraduate style lifestyle with a sociable option when you want it. Plus, if you don't have the option of checking your accommodation in person before you rent, then choosing a provider like Fresh Student Living means you can see everything online before you agree to rent.
Happy homes = happy students
A key part of a good postgraduate experience is having a place you're happy to call home. Here’s a table showing the places in the UK where students are happiest with their accommodation*.