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FAQs about student accommodation

Read the answers to the most common questions we are asked about our student accommodation.

How to contact Residential Services

Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about student accommodation, or if you need support or advice.

Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 5959


Common accommodation questions for

Other commonly asked questions


Returning/Continuing students

We do have some availability in halls for current students who want a second or subsequent year in halls. Applications will open in January with a deadline in early February that will be advertised on our website.

 We will prioritise applications received from returning students by the published deadline as below;

  1. International students who are guaranteed a place in halls for the length of their course
  2. Any student who has an enabling need highlighted by our Enabling Services team for a priority place in halls. Note that priority may vary depending on the individual’s requirements.
  3. Students going on/returning from placements/exchange/study abroad programmes requiring accommodation for part of the year (e.g. I semester)
  4. Students returning from full year placements/exchange/study abroad programmes requiring accommodation for the full academic year following their return to Southampton.
  5. All other students

If we are unable to accommodate all students in categories 3-5 then a random selection process will be applied to the students in the category that cannot all be accommodated.

Students applying after the deadline for returning students will be considered if there is any availability of rooms. This may mean that their applications will not be considered until August.

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Insurance choice students

If you are an undergraduate student and have made the University of Southampton your Insurance choice you are guaranteed an offer of accommodation providing you apply by 1 August. You must accept the offer within 5 days of it being made.

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Twin shared accommodation

A twin room is one of our larger study bedrooms set up with two beds to allow two students to share the room and its facilities for a temporary period. As some of the facilities are being shared, the room is offered at a reduced rate of rent for any period where two students are in residence.

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International students

If you are a new, unaccompanied, non-EU international student, you are guaranteed an offer of a room in halls for the duration of your studies. For your first year, you will need to apply by 1 August in the calendar year in which your studies begin. For subsequent years, you must apply for accommodation during the second term for the coming academic year; the deadline for applications will be publicised nearer the time.

*International students are those paying international tuition fees.

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Postgraduate students

International: If you are an international fee paying postgraduate student, you are guaranteed an offer of accommodation for your first year as long as you comply with the criteria stated in the guarantee.

UK and EU: Although we are not usually able to guarantee accommodation for UK and EU or Channel Island postgraduate students we encourage you to make an application and we will offer you based on availability. We also still offer guidance and support in finding alternative accommodation if required.

Postgraduate accommodation

If you are a postgraduate student we will house you with other postgraduate students in postgraduate blocks, or in our bigger buildings e.g. at Mayflower, separate postgraduate floors. For 2017 onwards City Gateway is a post graduate only hall. Undergraduate students will be housed in their own flats/blocks.

NB some older undergraduates at their request may be housed with postgraduates at their request.

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Couples and families

If you are coming to Southampton to study as part of a couple or a family we can still offer you support in finding accommodation and may be able to offer you University owned accommodation.

To find out more about University accommodation suitable for couples or families including how to apply, please see our flats and houses page.  This type of accommodation is only available to students and staff at the University and is very limited, therefore we cannot guarantee that we will be able to make you an offer if you apply as a couple or family.

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What accommodation is provided for students with disabilities and/or medical requirements?

At the University of Southampton we already have a range of accessible and adapted rooms, including some with specific equipment and fixtures. We work closely with the University's Enabling Service to find suitable accommodation, making reasonable adaptations where and when possible based on individual requirements. Please contact  Enabling Services, and provide details of your needs on your accommodation application form. You will be required to provide medical or appropriate evidence to Enabling Services to support your application and any additional requirements that you may need. All details that you provide will be kept confidential.

Further information about the support that can be offered to disabled students can be obtained from the Enabling Service, either by telephone on +44 (0)23 8059 7726 or by email at You can also find more information on the Enabling Service website.

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Study abroad and exchange students

Every year the University attracts many visiting students from all over the world, on study abroad and exchange programmes.

We are able to guarantee accommodation for students on a wide range of study abroad and exchange programmes. To find out if your programme includes a guarantee of accommodation, please contact us. Unfortunately we are not able to guarantee accommodation to students on the Erasmus+ exchange programme. 

If we do not offer a guarantee of accommodation for your programme, you are still welcome to apply. However, applications are on a first come, first served basis and you may wish to look at private rented housing in Southampton.

If you are coming to Southampton for the whole year or for Semester 1 only (arriving in September) we ask that you apply by 1 August. Later applications will not be treated as guaranteed.

If you are coming on an exchange for Semester 2 (arriving in January), we encourage you to submit an application as early as possible with a requirement that applications are made before 1 December.

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Students who are under 18

If you are planning to join the University before your 18th birthday but after your 16th birthday, we will guarantee you a place in a hall of residence providing you apply for accommodation by the deadline of 1 August. If you apply after 1 August we will prioritise you for a place in halls.

Please note that we house students who are under 18 with students who are over 18, and that, as for the University as a whole, our halls are considered an adult environment. As such, there may be some limitations placed upon their activities at University for the period up until they reach their 18th birthday.

If you are a UK or EU student and will be under 16 when you start studying we will prioritise you and your guardian for suitable family accommodation. Please contact us via to discuss this in more detail.

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Part-catered accommodation

Part-catered accommodation is available at two of our halls, Wessex Lane and Highfield Hall . For more detailed information about catering in halls, please see the University catering website.

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How do I apply for accommodation at the University of Southampton?

To apply for accommodation you need to submit an online application for the relevant year you wish to live in halls. You are able to apply once you have been made an offer to study at the University and the application is open.

If your application is for next year and you are a new student, you should apply for accommodation by the 1 August in the year you commence your studies. If you are a continuing student then you will be notified when the continuing deadline is each year (around January/February). If you are applying for accommodation in the current academic year, applications will open as soon as there is availability in halls.

Find out more and Apply for halls.

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What options of contract length are there?

36, 38 or 40 Week contracts are most suitable for undergraduates, whereas postgraduates usually prefer the 51 Week contract. If you choose a shorter contract and find you need to stay in Halls over the summer, you can apply for this summer accommodation.

In some halls we offer a 36 week contract, known as standard 36 week contract , which runs until 1 July but excludes the Easter vacation period. This means that students with this contract need to move out of their room completely over Easter, before returning to their hall once the vacation has ended. All our contracts include accommodation over the Christmas vacation period.

Not every contract length is offered in every hall.

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How much choice do I have?

On our online application form the majority of students will be asked to fill in 3-5 preferences (minimum of 3) with options based on catering (self-catered or part-catered), halls site, room type and contract length. We will allocate and match accommodation as closely as possible to students' preferences, although preferences cannot be guaranteed.

Students studying in Winchester can choose to apply for Erasmus Park and Riverside Way, our halls in Winchester.

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What bed sizes are available in halls?

Information regarding the different bed sizes that we offer in halls can be found on this downloadable PDF.

What if I am too tall for my bed?

In certain instances the standard size of bed provided in your room might not be adequate for your needs. In these instances we will work to change your bed for a more suitably sized one as soon as we can. Please note that in general, bed sizes are not changeable and cannot be 'upgraded' unless the need is provable and apparent – e.g. if you are visibly too tall for the provided bed.

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What if I don't like what I've been offered?

We will offer you the best option available on the day of allocation, taking into account availability, suitability, student options and profile, and the need to create a balanced community in halls. We are not able to change allocations once they have been made.

Whilst we do look at each case individually, we are only able to effect a change where there are extremely exceptional circumstances - usually where we are given late evidence of rapid onset medical conditions or other fresh requirements that necessitate a change.

We sometimes find that if a student is not happy with their allocation when they receive it, they change their mind once they have moved in. However, if after moving in you still wish to change your accommodation, you are welcome to use our room swap process, or to ask for a supported room move to a different room or hall.

Please note that if you reject your offer of accommodation but you still require a room you will need to submit a new application. This application will not be considered until all other unallocated students have been made an offer, so we cannot guarantee that we will be able to make you another offer of a room in halls.

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When and where do I pay for my accommodation?

The date each instalment of your residence fees is due is included in your offer of accommodation. The easiest way to pay your fees by Recurring Card Payment, which you will be required to set up when accepting your offer of accommodation.

If you do not wish to pay using the recurring card payment you set up when accepting your offer, then you can cancel this and use one of the following alternative methods of payment; you can pay online at or at the Student Services Centre on the Highfield Campus by credit/debit card, or cheque. 

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What support and advice do you offer students living in the private rented sector?

The University of Southampton runs an accreditation scheme (the Southampton Accreditation Scheme for Student Housing, or SASSH) in conjunction with Southampton Solent University and Southampton City Council. All properties that the University advertises on its private rented lists have to join the accreditation scheme. Accredited properties will comply with the standards of the SASSH scheme. Please visit the SASSH website for more information.

For further information and guidance on private rented accommodation, please visit the accommodation section on the Student Services website.

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If I have welfare or financial concerns, is there someone I can talk to?

The University has a number of services that you can talk to for advice and guidance about the many different issues that students may face. The Student Services Centre has a team of Advisors that can provide much useful assistance and where appropriate offer advice about other sources of information and support. These may include the Student Life Team in your Hall of Residence, the Mentor Service, the Counselling Service, Financial Information and Assistance and the Students Union Advice Centre.

The Student Services Centre is here to help you and the sooner we know about an issue the quicker we can help you to resolve it.

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How do I report faults or maintenance issues with my halls room?

All faults should be reported online through the Planon Self-Service system. This can be found through the Sussed Portal ( and is on the right hand side under Personal Links or it can be accessed directly at

If it is extremely urgent or an emergency then you should contact your halls reception.

You can also monitor the progress of any faults reported through this system.

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Can I park my car at my halls of residence?

We strongly discourage all residents of our Halls from bringing their cars to the University of Southampton. The proximity of most University locations to each other and the quality of public transport systems means it is not necessary in most cases. It is a stance that is also considerate of the environmental impact of the unnecessary use of cars as well as the impact on the local community.

We can only offer spaces to our residents if they have certified medical conditions or exceptional circumstances which require them to run a vehicle. Applications for a parking permit for these reasons should be made in writing to before taking up residence. All residents in Halls should be aware that it is the policy of the City Council not to issue parking permits for use on residential roads or in council car parks to residents of University Halls.

All other residents, at Halls excluding City Gateway and Mayflower, can purchase three visitor permits per term from your Halls Reception. These permits can be used when family and friends visit throughout the year. We also offer free parking during specific periods within the year, for more information on when free car parking is available at your Halls please contact your Halls Reception.

We understand the need for students to travel within Southampton, and therefore a Unilink bus pass is included when purchasing your accommodation with us for the academic year.

We also allow some parking on site during moving in/moving out periods, please contact or speak to your hall reception for further information.

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Moving in

Once you have received and accepted an offer of accommodation you can start planning your arrival. As part of this you will need to complete an e-induction to book your arrival time. Your e-induction will also include information on directions, what to bring and important things you need to know before moving in.

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What is a show flat?

Show flats aim to provide prospective students with an opportunity to see student accommodation

University Open Day (October) and Accommodation Open Day (March / April)

For our University Open Day (October) and our Accommodation Open Day held once a year in March/April we will ask for paid volunteers to show their rooms in show flats. Visitors will also have access to communal areas including kitchens. Kitchens will be staffed by guides during the tours who will be there to answer any questions the visitors may have. Additional cleaning will be provided in the communal and shared areas of the flat. As with tours throughout the year, we do expect that any residents present during the visits are polite and friendly, and that they keep the shared areas clean and tidy with no potentially offensive material visible. Residents will be notified in advance and receive a small reward for any inconvenience.

Other visits

During the academic year, accompanied tours may visit a room left unoccupied in a show flat. Visits to show flats during the academic year are always as part of a guided hall tour where visitors will be accompanied by a tour guide. They will only enter and visit communal areas, such as the corridors and kitchens, and they will have access to the show room. They will not have access to any occupied room and students will not be expected to show their rooms.

It is the responsibility of the trained tour guide to show the visitors around and to answer any questions. However, if residents are present during a tour, we expect that they are polite and friendly.

Additional cleaning is provided in the communal areas and shared facilities of a show flat, and we expect that these areas are kept clean and tidy with no potentially offensive material visible.

Due to the disturbance these tours may have on residents, for weeks when the tours take place a small payment (£10 per week in 16/17) will be deducted from the accommodation fee. Residents also benefit from having one fewer resident in the flat, meaning additional space in the kitchen and shared facilities.

If show flat residents are unable to keep the communal areas at a reasonable standard, or intentionally disrupt the tours then Residential Services reserve the right to move the residents to a flat of similar category and location that is not a show flat.

Sometimes, it may be necessary for tours to happen in flats that have not been designated show flats. If a tour is scheduled for another flat, it will again visit a vacant room and the communal areas of a flat. Residents will be notified in advance and will receive a small payment (£10 per week in 16.17) a tour occurs in this flat as gratitude for the cooperation and help of residents.

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Privacy Policy

We value your privacy and comply fully with all GDPR guidelines. You can view our full privacy policy.

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How do alcohol free flats work?

This year we are offering undergraduate students the option to live in alcohol free accommodation. This will be undertaken as a trial and will be subject to availability as we work out what the overall demand for this option will be.  As a result please note that we cannot guarantee an offer of alcohol free accommodation to all who apply for it.

If you are placed in an alcohol free flat you agree that you and your guests will not consume or store alcohol within the flat at any time during your occupancy. If you are found to do so we reserve the right to move you to another room of our discretion.

If you are interested in this option you should respond with ‘yes’ to the question on the application form about alcohol free accommodation.

Alcohol free flats are an entirely optional choice  – no student will be placed in an alcohol free flat unless they apply to do so.

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Can you apply for halls as a group?

As either a postgraduate, returning undergraduate or pre-sessional student, you have the option to apply as a group so that you can share a flat with friends. You will see the page to enter your group name when you apply, make sure your group all enter the same name, and enter the same preferences in your applications so that you're allocated together.

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private housing in Southampton

Renting privately

Read our advice, and find out what support we offer for renting privately in Southampton and Winchester

Buying fruit from the market

Living costs

Read about the cost of living for University of Southampton students

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