When looking for a property as a postgraduate student, there are many things that should be considered. Unlike your undergraduate degree, studying at postgraduate level requires a lot more independent study. This means that the postgrad accommodation that you choose should satisfy your needs as you are probably going to spend a significant amount of time studying at home.
Although you will most likely wish to indulge in the student lifestyle, postgraduate study is a lot less about partying and a lot more about setting yourself up for a career in your chosen field. That's not to say that you can't party, just don't expect to party as hard as you did when you were an undergraduate.
Here are some important considerations when looking for your perfect student property:
Size And Comfort
As mentioned above, you will spend a lot of time out of university partaking in independent study so size and comfort of the property is a big consideration. You don't need to look for something that is massive but think about how you will feel in the property when you are house bound working towards deadlines. Ensure that the property has enough to keep you happy during these times, for example, a separate living area besides your bedroom and the facilities to study comfortably without neglecting space for some down time.
Cost of Accommodation
Cost is a large factor when looking for accommodation. Postgraduate study, although there are now finance options available, relies heavily on self-funding. The new postgraduate loans available do provide up to £10,000 in finance but bear in mind that this needs to cover your tuition, accommodation and living expenses for the duration of the course. It's a good idea to assess the average price of properties in the area before committing and view as many as you can before making the final decision. Do not sign a contract for a property that you are unable to fulfil, draw up a budget of your expenses for the year and work out what you can realistically spend on accommodation. Also be aware that the payment dates for your student finance may not fall perfectly in line with your deadlines for tuition fee payment set by your university. Purpose-built student accommodation like the rooms and flats provided by Fresh Student Living are a ideal for budgeting purposes, because all of your costs (bills, internet, insuranece, rent, etc) are included in your bill, meaning you won't get any nasty suprises.
As a postgraduate student, it is likely that you will choose to live with other postgraduate students. Postgrad houses do tend to be a lot quieter than undergrad student houses with a larger focus on studying. It's a good idea to look for properties housing tenants in a similar position to you, this can help your studies massively and be beneficial when looking for support from those who are in the same boat as you.
Hidden and Extra Expenses
Remember to look into any extra expenses that you could incur when committing to a property, this includes bills, deposits and any other fees that may be charged. There are some excellent private accommodation providers that will include bills as part of your rent agreement, Fresh Student Living are a good example of this.