Room allocation procedure

Room allocation procedure

Room allocation procedure

What is considered during the allocation process?

The University is committed to building diverse communities in all its residences and the allocation of accommodation is managed by the Accommodation Office.

  • We will allocate popular residences first but allocations 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. This process then continues until the number of students required to fill that residence has been reached.
  • If, due to demand, we are unable to allocate you to your first preference 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 preferences. In this situation, we will use information you have provided in your application form as a guide to the next most suitable residence. 
  • *UPDATED* If you would like to see how popular each undergraduate residence was 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.
  • Depending on the volume of applications we receive, it may be necessary for us to source additional accommodation in the city which may not previously have been advertised.  
  • Students with disabilities, health needs or other special supported requirements will be prioritised and considered on a case-by-case basis.

Please see the table below which shows what the Accommodation Office do and do not take into consideration when 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 taught in any academic building on the university campuses we may not place you in the residences which are closest to your college. 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. We cannot guarantee you accommodation on your campus of study.

** Academic achievement - The University of Exeter needs to be your firm choice before you can make an application for accommodation and to help build diverse communities we do not take into account your academic achievement.

The allocation process for our families/couples accommodation is different. If you are applying for this type of accommodation, please visit our families/couples webpage for further information.

The vast majority of our residents are those who meet our guarantee of accommodation 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 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.

We have a number of rooms which have been built so that they can be 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 requesting 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.

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
4 April 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
4 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.

Additional preferences

During the application process you will be asked to indicate certain additional preferences for accommodation. We will take these into account when allocating accommodation but please note that we cannot guarantee that we will be able to fulfill any of these additional accommodation preferences.

As part of our commitment to encouraging a diverse community within our residences, we no longer consider elements such as a student's hobbies and interests when we look to allocate to a room. This is to help you expand your social network beyond those who are studying on the same course or who have the same interests as you.

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:

Approximately 60% of the standard catered rooms in Mardon, Lopes and Ransom Pickard residences are twin occupancy (one room shared between two students). It is therefore possible that if you apply for a standard catered room you will be offered a twin occupancy room. 

While you are able to state on your application if you prefer to be allocated to a single or a twin room, due to greater demand for single occupancy rooms some students may receive an offer for a twin room despite not having requested it. We will only make you one accommodation offer and are unable to offer you an alternative single occupancy room before arrival. We understand, however, that living in a twin may not be your preference so you will be able to speak to our Accommodation team after your arrival and discuss a possibility of moving to a single room. 

Once you've accepted the accommodation offer for a twin room you will be paying a twin occupancy rent for the period you have a twin occupant. If the second occupant moves out during the year then depending on availability we may then be able to offer your room to you on a single occupancy basis and at the single occupancy rate for the remainder of the contract period.

All our catered ensuite rooms and self-catered residences are single occupancy rooms apart from those specifically offered as couple/family accommodation.

We normally allocate a mix of male and female students of varying ages to each flat/floor. If you would prefer to live in a male or female only flat/corridor or with students in your own age group please indicate this on your application.

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 will be 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.

We are currently reviewing the designated quiet blocks for 2023/24 and will update this page in January. Please be aware that there are likely to be changes to the blocks which were designated as quiet in 2022/23.

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.

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. 

Please note we cannot guarantee an offer of quiet accommodation to all who apply for it.

The University of Exeter aims to offer students an option of living in alcohol-free accommodation. The offer will be subject to availability and demand.

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 formthis type of accommodation you can do so by answering the question about your preference for an alcohol free environment on the accommodation application form. Please note we cannot guarantee an offer of alcohol-free accommodation to all who apply for it.

The University of Exeter will endeavour to provide accommodation for students who wish to live in a Kosher environment to support their Jewish faith. Students living in this accommodation will have requested a Kosher environment and as such will be expected to adopt the appropriate lifestyle.

The accommodation provided is likely to be at our St Davids residence which is standard accommodation with shared bathroom and kitchen/communal areas and will be provided to any student meeting our guarantee of accommodation. However, this may mean that undergraduate and postgraduate students requesting Kosher accommodation will live in the same flat/house.

If you wish to apply for Kosher accommodation, you should indicate this in the relevant section of your application. We will also require a letter of recommendation from your Rabbi, which you should send marked for attention of Accommodation Office team to

The exact residence will be allocated once we know how many applicants have opted to live in a Kosher flat/house and it is not possible to guarantee being able to offer this environment if the demand does not equate to the minimum number of residence in the flat/house available. In this case, students requesting a Kosher environment will be housed together, but other students (who were not seeking this type of accommodation) will be allocated to the flat/house alongside them in a non-Kosher environment. We will confirm whether you have been allocated to a Kosher flat/house when we make you a formal accommodation offer

Please note that postgraduate students applying for this type of accommodation will be allocated to an undergraduate residence.

If you have a medical condition that the University of Exeter should know about, you will need to indicate this on your application. Please see our medical support tab for further information.

Room moves may be possible after the start of term and we would aim to move you to another room/residence in accordance with availability and priority. Please see our dedicated 'room move' webpage for further information.

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