The most level-headed people can become frantic, stressed out shadows of their former selves when seeking the right place to live. Throw in a move to a new city and unfamiliar territory and the headache soon becomes a migraine for further education students. Preventing a lengthy hotel stay adds to the pressures of a quick turnaround time in finding suitable accommodation.
More than 160 universities are located in 69 cities across the United Kingdom and picking the right one is difficult. Finding the right area is crucial to reducing your stress levels. Local amenities, travel time to the university campus, and safety aspects must be considered. Undergraduates can enjoy halls, which will also aid their relocation by creating a social group from the get-go.
The decision for postgraduate students is not as simple. Studio apartments and university digs have their upsides, but students are more likely to place a higher importance on the neighbourhood they choose. Our simple guide to some of the UK’s biggest student cities, and popular postgraduate areas should help.
The former European Capital of Culture has become one the UK’s most popular destinations for young academics. The thriving Baltic Triangle is within walking distance of the city centre and Chinatown. It is a happening area which provides access to a host of restaurants, bars, and live music venues. The district is known through the city as its creative and digital quarter, making it the perfect location to get your projects off the ground. Studio accommodation is on the market from around £500pcm.
Queens University and the University of Ulster battle for the majority of Northern Irish students in the heart of the city. With Queens’ campuses scattered across Belfast, students generally seek accommodation in Queen’s Quarter in the south of the city, regardless of their education level. The University of Ulster has campuses spread throughout the country, but rentals in the Lisburn Road and Ormeau Embankment areas are sought after.
The affluent Upper Malone district puts Belfast among the highest average house price in the country, but smart searching can result in prices less than £300pcm. While crime rates are low in the area, parking is often difficult because of extensive terraced housing.
Plenty of undergraduate and postgraduate level courses are on offer in the Welsh capital, home to several higher education institutions. A gateway to the Brecon Beacons and more famously, the filming location of BBC’s Doctor Who, Cardiff has something for everyone.
A lively atmosphere has given the Cathays area a reputation as the most student-friendly area, with the majority of students in the early stages of an undergraduate course. In the northeast of the city, Roath is a 20-minute walk from the university. Woodland trails and lakes make a nice change from the raucous student vibe and offer relaxing alternatives between study sessions. Students will pay around £395pcm in the area.
Newcastle upon Tyne
An excellent hub for student life, England’s most northerly city sees more than a sixth of its population in full-time education. Many students even decide to stay on in the city after completing their studies, owing to the region’s developing job prospects. Heaton, Sandyford, and Jesmond are all within walking distance of the city centre, giving them an edge for flat-hunting students.
All three areas have their unique charms. On the doorstep of Northumbria University’s city centre campus, Sandyford is the cheaper option. Along with Heaton, it offers a large proportion of residential accommodation, providing a quieter experience for postgraduate degree studies. Rentals in Jesmond range from £400 to £500pcm, making it the most expensive of the three districts. A mix of boutiques and shops on Acorn Road and Osborne Road attract the more affluent students. The metro system in Newcastle, which runs through the city centre, ensures ease of access to university campuses from early in the morning until the late evening. Heaton’s location on the fringes of the city also means students can benefit from larger, often cheaper, supermarkets. There’s plenty of hotels in the city centre too, ideal for friends and families heading up to ‘the toon’ to visit.
Scotland’s capital is renowned for its New Year Hogmanay celebrations, so it’s no surprise it is a popular destination for students. The daily cannon blast from Edinburgh Castle and the tones of the indigenous bagpipes all add to Edinburgh’s natural charm as you navigate the Princes Street Gardens. Marchmont and Newington attract undergraduates, while postgraduates in the city tend to seek a less student-orientated location. Morningside in the south west of the city is generally the desired destination, with easy access to central universities. Rentals in Morningside are higher than the inner-city accommodation at around £500 to £600pcm.
With so much choice on the market though, the world of student accommodation is your oyster. We hope this list of the UK’s rental hotspots can aid your search.