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Room allocation procedure

Room allocation procedure

Room allocation procedure

Room allocation procedure

Room allocation procedure

Room allocation procedure

The University of Exeter values the diversity of its community because it believes this enriches employment, research, studying and learning experiences. 

The University is committed to a policy of equality of opportunity and aims to provide a working, learning, living and social environment that is free from unfair discrimination. 

As such, we allocate students within our residences with the aim of achieving a mixed and diverse community. 

The allocation of accommodation is managed by the Accommodation Office. 

The allocation process

Allocations of full year undergraduate students are randomised. The computer will select at random an application from all students indicating a particular residence as their first choice. We then look at the additional accommodation preferences to allocate students to corridors/flats within the residence. This process then continues until the number of students required to fill that residence has been reached.

Applications from postgraduate students, along with short-term (one semester) exchange students, are processed in date order of receipt (first come, first served basis).  

If, due to demand, we are unable to allocate you to your first preference of residence then we will look to allocate you to your second preference. If this is also full then we will look to allocate you to your third preference, and so on.

Due to some residences being heavily oversubscribed, it may not be possible to allocate you to any of your preferred residences. In this situation, we will use the information you have provided in your application form as a guide to the next most suitable residence. Depending on the volume of applications we have received, this may be a residence that has not previously been advertised or accommodation in the city via a nominated partner provider. 

If you would like to see how popular each undergraduate residence was in the previous application cycle then you can view our 2022-23 Undergraduate Application Ratio Table which shows how many applications were received compared to how many bedspaces were available. This data is based on the applications received by the end of the 2022 guarantee period.

Students with disabilities or other supported health requirements will be prioritised and considered on a case-by-case basis. 

The table below shows which factors the Accommodation Office do, or do not, take into consideration when processing applications and allocating rooms to students:

before guarantee deadline
before guarantee deadline
after guarantee deadline
after guarantee deadline
Date of application No Yes Yes Yes
Proximity to college* No No No No
Academic achievement** No No No No
Unconditional offer Yes No Yes No
Tuition fee deposit received No Yes No Yes

* Proximity to college - As you may be taught in any academic building on the university campuses we may not place you in the residences which are closest to your college/campus of study. We don't intentionally allocate students registered on the same course into a flat/residence as we try to create a mix of students. The exceptions to this are students on the BMBS and MSci Nursing programmes, as these students will be allocated together due to the contract length requirements of their course.

** Academic achievementYou must make the University of Exeter your Firm choice in order to be able to apply for accommodation, but achieved/expected exam results are not taken into account when allocating accommodation.

Please note: the above allocations process applies to unaccompanied full-year undergraduate/postgraduate students only.

Additional preferences

During the application process we give you the opportunity to indicate certain lifestyle-related additional preferences for accommodation. We will take as many of these preferences into account as possible when allocating you to accommodation, but whether we are able to meet any of these preferences depends on the number of other students making similar requests and the availability of accommodation. If you indicate multiple additional preferences, we cannot prioritise one additional preference over another, so we may be able to meet one or some of your requests but not all, and again this will depend on demand and availability.  

The exception to this is if you select on your application that you require single gender accommodation. Our default position is to allocate mixed gender flats, but we understand that there may be religious, cultural or personal reasons why this is not suitable for you. This will therefore be considered above any other additional preferences, subject to availability. 

We are also unable to meet requests for allocations to a specific residence, floor level or room unless there are medically supported reasons for needing this. The Streatham campus is spread across hilly terrain and many of our residences are built into the hillside, meaning a ground floor room may not be at ground level. If you have medically supported reasons for needing a particular floor level then you will need to engage with Wellbeing Services so that they can support your application for accommodation.

Please see the drop-down boxes below for further information about additional preferences:

We normally allocate a mix of male and female students to each flat/floor. If you require a room in a male-only or female-only flat/corridor then you should select this option on your application. Please note that studios may be located within mixed gender corridors because they are self-contained accommodation without any shared facilities. 

The majority of our undergraduate students will be aged 18-20 but if you would prefer to live with students of a different age range then you are able to indicate this on your application. The options which are available to you are "under 21 years" and "21 years and over".

For undergraduate students, we aim to provide designated quiet blocks or to place students together who indicate on their application that they wish to live with others who prefer a quieter lifestyle.

For 2022/23, self-catered residences which are designated as 'quiet' for undergraduate students include Lafrowda block MB (en-suite), Lafrowda block Q (standard), St German's - Christow and Lydford blocks, East Park blocks J (ensuite and standard) and D (ensuite), Birks Grange Village block Q (ensuite - excluding two flats in the block) and Rowancroft Garden House.

For 2023/24, self-catered residences which are designated as 'quiet' for undergraduate students include Birks Grange Village block Q (en-suite), East Park block J (ensuite and standard), Lafrowda block MB (en-suite) and Rowancroft Garden House (en-suite).

We may be able to create 'quiet' corridors or flats in other residences if there is sufficient demand.

If you wish to apply for designated quiet accommodation then please tick the relevant box within the Further Preferences section of the application form.

Due to the layout of the catered residences we are unable to offer designated 'quiet' catered accommodation. We will still look to group students together who express a preference for 'quiet' catered accommodation, however this may be alongside other students who have not requested ‘quiet’.

Similarly, while we do not offer specific 'quiet' residences to Postgraduate students, you are still able to indicate a preference for 'quiet' accommodation within the application form and we will endeavour to allocate you with other students expressing this preference.

We will aim to allocate students who request to live in an alcohol-free environment together in flats/corridors within the residences. We are unable to guarantee a permanently alcohol-free environment but by grouping like-minded people together we hope we can create an opportunity for those who would prefer this option.

In applying for this type of accommodation, applicants understand that alcohol will not be brought into, be stored or be consumed in the flat.

If you wish to apply for alcohol-free accommodation then please tick the relevant box within the Further Preferences section of the application form.

While we will endeavour to meet additional preferences at the time of initial allocation, due to students moving rooms throughout the year it may not be possible for the initial dominant preference of a flat to be maintained. We will, however, ensure that a flat remains single gender if we have allocated two or more students to it who have expressed that preference. 

Medical requirements

If you have a disability, medical or mental health condition which means you have specific accommodation requirements you will need to indicate this in the relevant section of your application. You will also need to discuss your requirements with our Wellbeing Services and are likely to be asked to provide relevant supporting evidence of your condition. Please see the Medical Support tab on our How to Apply page for further information on the process you will need to follow.

Allocation of accessible rooms

We have a number of rooms which have been adapted for students with specific requirements in their accommodation. Please refer to our accessible rooms page for more information. Once we have made the allocations to all students requiring these rooms, any remaining rooms will be allocated to the next student requesting accommodation. Therefore, you may find that you are allocated to a room with some adapted features even if you have not requested, or require, an accessible room. 

Our accessible rooms are generally larger than non-accessible rooms, and in some cases there can be a considerable difference in floor space. For example, our accessible rooms at East Park have a total floor space of 25.5m2 compared to 12.7m2 for a non-accessible room in the same residence. 

Frequently Asked Questions - Allocations

For undergraduate students whose academic offer is, or becomes unconditional (UF), we process applications before A level results are released in the summer.

If your academic offer is conditional (CF), we will process your application when the academic offer is confirmed.

When we review undergraduate accommodation applications, we allocate to a percentage of rooms in each residence based on the number of unconditional offers made by the University, and the percentage of accommodation applications received. This means that we do not fill all the rooms within our residences before A levels are released.

Therefore, due to demand levels, we cannot guarantee that you will receive one of your preferences.

This allows us to ensure that there is a mix of students living in our residences whose applications become unconditional at different times, which helps to build a diverse community in each residence during the academic year.

We do undertake allocations through the summer and our current programme is:

Applications received between Applications processed Offer will be sent to you
3 April to 5 May – UF status only In May By 30 June
6 May to 31 May - UF status only In June By 30 June
1 June to 30 June – UF status only In July By 21 July
1 July to 31 July – UF status only By 12 August By 12 August
3 April to 31 July awaiting confirmation of A level results A level results onwards By end August

If you are applying after 1 August, please see our Applying After the Guarantee information.

As a deferred student you will already have an unconditional Firm (UF) status when the application system opens. However, as explained in the previous question, we only allocate to a percentage of the rooms in each residence so that we do not fill all of the rooms within our residences before A-level results are released. This percentage is based on the number of unconditional offers made by the university and the number of applications received.

As we are able to process your application early you are more likely to be allocated to one of your preferences, but it may not be your top preference. 

En-suite rooms are the most popular type and there is greater demand for these rooms than we have available. In the 2022-23 cycle, 82% of undergraduate applications had en-suite as their first preference but only 68% of our undergraduate beds were in en-suite rooms. If we have not been able to meet any of your residence preferences, we will then use the responses in your application to guide us to the next most suitable residence. You will be asked which is the most important factor you would like us to consider: location, room type, cost, or you have no preference. We still cannot guarantee to be able to meet this request but it helps us to look for the most suitable available option.

The University’s commitment to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination leads to a mixed environment within our residences. 

You are able to specify on your application that you require male-only or female-only accommodation and we will make every effort to meet this 

Socialising is common within university residences, and some students’ diets include meat or alcohol. We expect our students to act respectfully to their fellow residents, and living harmoniously with others who may not share the same views or values is an important life skill. 

The Residence Life Team are available to you throughout your time in our accommodation and can provide resources and support to help you manage communal living successfully. Residence Life recommend completing a flatmate agreement with your neighbours when you arrive, to help you agree on common practical questions and begin a positive dialogue around managing shared facilities. 

The vast majority of our residents are those who meet our accommodation guarantee and so are likely to be undergraduates and postgraduates in their first year of study. However, we do offer a limited number of rooms to students studying in other years due to supported medical requirements (including some rooms for non-supported returning students in 2023-24), as well as students who come to the University on Study Abroad or International Exchange programmes and who have previously studied at their home institutions.

The accommodation blocks are usually allocated as a whole to either undergraduate or postgraduate students however, we may sometimes offer accommodation to both groups within a single block depending on the level of demand and the size of the residence.

For undergraduate students, whilst a large proportion of our residents are UK based students, around 25% come from overseas. Our postgraduate residences accommodate mainly international students.

Due to data protection we are unable to release details of other students. Please also bear in mind that all room numbers are provisional and subject to change up until the point which you arrive to your accommodation.

Excellent service with email. I had got my contract within days as the university understood my problems with Visa application. I would like to thank the accommodation team for this. Thank you. 

Former resident