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The University of Southampton
The Student HubSupport and wellbeing

Living at Home Students

A number of our students decide to continue living at home whilst studying; the University is committed to ensuring students who are local or commute to Southampton have a great student experience.

Living at Home Students

There can be many advantages to living at home but there can also be challenges - there's no 'right' way to be a student and finding what works best for you is important. If you're a living at home student the information in this section is designed to help you adjust to university life and ensure you know where to go to access support if and when you need it.

Undergraduate students who continue to live in their own or family home rather than relocate and live in student accommodation are defined as living at home students by the University of Southampton.

Commuter Fund

Our Commuter Fund is intended to support living at home students, from widening participation backgrounds, with the cost of their daily commute to university.

The Commuter Fund provides a non-repayable financial contribution of up to £250.00 per academic year to help towards daily travel costs. Find more information here.

Advice & Tips

  • Ease your transition and prepare for University life by getting involved in Welcome Week, held each year before the start of Semester 1.
  • If you are a local student, you are likely to know the local area really well, and can help other students settle in and get to know the best places.
  • Download our official MySouthampton app onto your phone or tablet; this gives you easy access to your timetable, campus maps, university emails, travel information and more. 
  • As you settle in to university life take some time to familiarise yourself with your campus.
  • Try to get to know people on campus; this will enable you to feel more connected.
  • To help you study from home, a number of University systems can be accessed remotely. The Southampton Virtual Environment (SVE) gives you access to your University desktop including all your files and the most popular pieces of software, from any device in any location. Microsoft365 can also be downloaded to your personal device free of charge as a student at the university. 
  • Everybody’s life and demands are different but managing your time effectively and making a plan that fits your study and home life commitments will help keep things on track.  
  • Your family and friends at home can provide an invaluable source of support and it can be useful to share with them aspects of your university life. Speak to those around, share with them your study plans and agree a time and space where you can study at home undisturbed.
  • Try and make the time spent travelling to University as enjoyable as possible. Use the time effectively, maybe do a little extra studying, listen to an audio book or unwind after a day of lectures - depending on your mode of transport. Be sure to research your route and the transport options in advance, try to have a backup plan in case of delay or cancellation; and allow yourself a little extra time to complete your journey at peak times. Further information on travelling to the university and travel discounts can found below.

Travelling to Campus

Planning your journey to and from campus, in advance, will help to make your commute to campus that little bit easier. The University’s transport site has variety of information on buses, rail, cycling and more, which can help you figure-out how best to travel to the University campuses.

Making travel as economical as possible is important, particularly for regular commutes, as a Southampton student you can access the following discounts or services, which may help to reduce travel costs:


The Unilink Bus service connects all of the campuses in Southampton, as well as Southampton Central Train Station. Route and timetable information is available on the Unilink website.

Discounts are available to all University of Southampton students when purchasing a certain bus tickets or pass and these discounts can be accessed in two ways:

  1. Information for accessing the discount for online purchases is available here. Discounted online purchases can be made through the Unilink app.
  2. Alternatively, you can visit the Unilink Office, situated on Highfield Campus in Building 57 above the Students’ Union Shop and open from 9:30 to 16:00, Monday to Friday, and just show your Student ID card.

All passes are valid on any Unilink or Bluestar bus in Southampton.

There’s also are a variety of ticket options available for regular bus travel, such as period bus tickets and ticket bundles, and these options may prove more cost effective depending on how frequently you travel to campus. Unfortunately, there’s no discounts available for single and day bus tickets.

Safety Bus

If you are attending an event or studying on campus and need to get home late at night the Students’ Union run the Safety Bus, which can drop you off right at home free of charge; the Students’ Union have further information here.


Investing in a 16-25 Railcard is a great way to save money on your commute to University. If you're travelling to University by train, you could save up to a 1/3 on your fare. Full time mature students are eligible for the 16-25 Railcard as well; you will just need to get your Student Office to complete the mature student declaration form.  


If you cycle to University regularly, then pop along to the on campus Bike Dr visits throughout the year, where your bike can be checked and tuned free of charge.

There are a number of cycle stores and hoops available at all sites. Access to the cycle stores can be added to your student ID card by visiting the Unilink office and costs £10 for the year. 

The Students' Union also offer a handy bicycle tool station, including bike pumps, tools and flat repair kits; just pop along to the Students' Union Reception, in Building 42, if your bicycles is in need of repair.


Students travelling from the Isle of Wight via the Red Jet foot passsenger ferry can access a student concession on season tickets and saver tickets. To purchase a student ticket you'll need to present a valid course registration document. 


If commute by car a good way to share the journey and costs of travel is to use the University's dedicated Liftshare platform to meet other Living at Home students travelling the same way.

Parking on our campuses for students is extremely limited, so before you set off be sure to familiarise yourself with the information on student parking permits and the pay & display parking available.

You can only apply for a parking permit once you have created your university computing account and applications are submitted via the online database. Parking permits may be issued to students who can provide evidence to one or more of the following:

  • Disability - students who are blue badge holders are issued with free permits to park on our Campuses and Halls sites.
  • Medical Reasons - you’ll need to supply a letter from your GP or Hospital Consultant confirming that use of a car is relevant to your condition.
  • Compassionate Grounds - you may require supporting documentation from a relevant professional e.g. a social work, and all cases are considered individually. Students who require parking for compassionate reasons and are known to the Student Disability Team may ask for them to support their permit application.
  • Participation in Elite Level Sport - you’ll need a supporting letter from the relevant National Governing Body, Sport England or, the Athletics Union.

On campus study space & facilities

Make the most of your time on campus and use those breaks in your timetable to do a bit of studying or to socialise with friends; you will find plenty of places and resources on campus available to you.

  • You can access study space in one of the University libraries. There are also some bookable PCs available. 
  • The Library offer a laptop loan scheme; so if you would rather leave the laptop at home you can visit one of the self-service lockers or front desks across our library sites to borrow one whilst your on campus.
  • You can find lockers in the Hartley Library on Level 4 - all students are able to access these to store their belongings for the day - just ask at the help desk for a key.
  • If you're on campus and hoping to heat up your lunch then the University's online campus maps can be used to locate microwaves, just use the amenities layer to show where they can be found.
  • Room Finder can be used to find any rooms on campus that have not been booked and are free to use. Any of the empty common learning spaces can be booked and used for studying or group work.
  • Hot Water is free of charge in all University and Students' Union catering outlets, so you can brew your own tea or coffee, just remember to pack your travel mug.
  • The Faith & Reflection Centre, on Highfield Campus, is open to all and offers a quiet space for you to relax with a free tea or coffee.
  • There are a number of catering outlets on our campuses, use the online campus maps to show our catering outlets by selecting the catering layer; some of them even feature opening times and menus built directly into the map.
  • If you ever find your devices running low on battery, there are charging lockers available in the Students’ Union on the Concourse, speak to SUSU Reception for further information.
  • There are also number of showers available to students on our campuses, these can be located using the University's online campus maps, just select the amenities layer to show where they can be found.

Getting Involved

There are many ways to get involved with university life and many opportunities to meet new people; try to explore the opportunities available to you, as these can be a great way of developing a peer support network.

Clubs and Societies

The University of Southampton Students’ Union has over 200 societies covering a wide range of interests; these are a great opportunity to meet new people and maybe even try something new.

University Activities & Events

The University and Students' Union put on a range of activities and events throughout the year. To stay up to date with everything that is happening on our campuses make sure to check SUSSED, the University and Students’ Union Events Calendars.


Hear from our students

Read how one of our living at home students has found her experience at Southampton - Emily is a History Student:

"Maybe it’s because one of the selling points of going to university is the excitement of moving away and living in halls, but there are some of us out there that decide to live at home while studying. Yes - you read that right, some of us consciously make the decision to continue living at home while we complete our studies. Like many others, I commute to university each day from my home. Our days are long and our mornings are early, but there’s no denying that we student commuters are an incredibly committed bunch.

Living at home wasn’t something I initially planned on doing after accepting my offer to study here at Southampton. My decision was one largely motivated by my mental health. It was a big decision to come to but it’s certainly been the right decision for me. I won’t sugar coat it: commuting can be really knackering. Days full of lectures and seminars become that little bit longer. However, for me, it’s been exactly what I needed. I get the best of both worlds; I still get to experience life here at Southampton and make the most of studying a subject I love, but I have also been able to keep the strong and reliable support system I have at home.  

For anyone who is considering living at home one thing I want to assure you of personally is that you won’t miss out on university life by not living on the doorstep of your university. This was always my main concern when I began to consider the possibility of commuting to university. But let me tell you now, this has not been the case whatsoever. Commuting can make things that little bit trickier sometimes, but it hasn’t prevented me from embracing the diverse range of opportunities – academic, vocational and extracurricular - offered to students at Southampton. For me, living at home has been one of the best choices I’ve made and I received so much support from my lecturers and personal academic tutor in coming to this decision.

Even if you haven’t considered living at home until now, I hope this encourages you to take a step back and consider your living options as a student, living at home, if a viable option, can really benefit a person."


The University has a wide range of support available to you, should you need any advice or guidance at any point during your studies.

Personal Academic Tutor & Student Office

If you have any concerns about your academic studies, your Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) is there to advise and support you. We encourage you to discuss any issues, which may affect your studies with your PAT, including at the start of the year letting your PAT or Lecturers know that you will be commuting to University, so they are able to support you and your individual needs.

If you are unsure how to contact your PAT, your Student Office will be able to help put you in contact and/or arrange an appointment.

Your Student Office deals with the administrative aspects of your programme, including those relating to coursework, assessments and exams. If you are unable to attend any timetabled lectures or seminars for any reason, you may need to inform your Student Office. You can find out how to contact your School’s Student Office here.


If you find yourself struggling with something whilst you are at University, then talking to someone about what is troubling you can make a big difference to how you feel; the Student Wellbeing Team is available for you to speak to about any emotional, mental health or wellbeing issues. Contact the Student Hub, if you ever need to reach out to them.


The University’s Student Support Fund is designed to help should you find yourself in financial hardship at any point during your studies. Further information on eligibility and how to apply can be found here.

Helpful Resources

Whether you are thinking about living at home whilst studying at Southampton or already do, the following websites have some useful advice and tips.

TheUniGuide- Living at Home

UCAS - Living at home advice

Studentastic - Staying at Home

The University cannot accept responsibility for external websites.
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