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How to choose student accommodation

There’s a lot to think about when choosing the right university for you, and student accommodation is just one of the many things to consider.

To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together a guide on how to choose your student accommodation, including explanations of the various terms and things to look out for.

Research your choices

Just as you have done when searching for your perfect university, it’s super important that you research your options and work out the things which are most important to you. Make sure to read up on the various accommodation types, payment options, contract types and more – this will help you to make informed choices!

Visiting an open day is a great opportunity to have a look around university accommodation and ask current residents about their experiences. If you aren’t able to visit us, you can also take advantage of our virtual reality tours.

With so many options to pick from, you might also find it useful to make a bit of a priority list. For example, is cost your main concern? Would you prefer having your own bathroom? Having an idea of what’s most important to you will help you filter out accommodation that doesn’t suit your needs.  

University-owned, managed partnership or private

When looking for accommodation, make sure to check whether it is owned by, or in partnership with, the university. Phrases such as ‘for Newcastle University students’ don’t always mean the site has anything to do with the university.

It’s important to know whether your halls are university-owned or managed partnership, because there are significant differences between the two. For example, in a managed partnership, you will usually be asked to pay rent before your loan comes in* and may need to provide a UK guarantor. Managed partnership contracts also tend to be longer, which means you may have to continue paying rent for a few weeks after the term has finished.

*This is the case at the time of writing. To be sure, speak directly with your accommodation provider or refer to your contract for rent payment dates.

Contracts and contract duration

Contracts for university-owned undergraduate accommodation at Newcastle run from 38 to 40 weeks, and you would usually move out shortly after the end of the academic term. If you stay at a managed partnership site, your contract will typically last between 42 and 43 weeks; keep in mind that even if you moved out early, you will still need to pay rent for the duration of your contract.

If you wanted to stay in Newcastle a little longer during the summer, you can request a summer extension. However, these are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

For your peace of mind, your contract will run continuously throughout the year, meaning you don’t have to pack your room up for the holidays. Instead, you can leave it as it is (hopefully, after some tidying up!) ready for your return.

Finally, if you’re an international student, we guarantee accommodation for the entire duration of your studies with us. Although, we might not be able to offer you the exact same room each year.

Room types

Typically, accommodation is broken down into room or ‘wash’ types. You will be able to choose between:

  • A standard room

Standard bedroom that requires sharing all bathroom facilities

  • A washbasin room

A standard bedroom that requires sharing the showers and toilets, but you have your own private sink in your bedroom

  • An en suite room

A standard bedroom with a bathroom all to yourself

  • A studio room

A larger bedroom combined with your own private kitchen and a separate private bathroom

Generally, the less facilities you share with others, the more you will have to pay. For example, simply sharing a bathroom with a few people – such as in Marris House where there are three students per one shower – can save you a lot of money.

Catered or self-catered

Whilst most of our accommodation is self-catered, Castle Leazes offers a range of catered rooms. Cooking for yourself gives you the freedom to choose what, where and when to eat, whilst being in a catered room gives you more time to focus on your studies without having to worry about learning to cook or shopping for food.


You might be tempted to apply for accommodation right next to your academic building, but remember that whilst it’s important, there is more to university life than your studies!

When staying in university-owned or managed partnership accommodation, you will choose from accommodation based in the city centre, on campus or further afield. Each of these locations has its benefits.

For example, living in the city centre gives you easy access to everything Newcastle has to offer, including the numerous shops, restaurants and more. However, it can mean a slightly longer walk to your lectures. Living on campus is really convenient for those who prefer rolling out of bed and heading straight into your classes.

Living in the vibrant Gosforth suburb means you will be close to handy local shops and places to eat, whilst enjoying benefits of low-cost accommodation that is only a short metro ride away from the city centre and campus.

Wherever you choose to live with us, we will look after you to ensure that your first year at university creates wonderful memories to last a lifetime. If you need further information or help in choosing your accommodation, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly Accommodation Team who will be more than happy to answer any questions or address any worries you might have.

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