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Self catered accommodation
Catered accommodation

Advice for parents

Leaving home for university is a big step and, as the new term approaches, both parents and students will often experience a mixture of emotions. With this in mind, the University offers a few tips for parents to help you and your child make the transition to higher education.
To see the terms and conditions of living in university owned or managed accommodation, please see our legal webpage.
The information below provides suggestions on how to support your child while they are living away from home:


The University of Exeter welcomes students to the University as adults and the Accommodation Agreement is a contract between the University of Exeter and your son or daughter. Once they have entered into a contract with us we will discuss all matters relating to their residency directly with the student.

The Accommodation Office will be happy to provide you with general information, however, any specific information about your son or daughter’s accommodation including application, offer or their time in residence can only be given to the student directly. This is so that we can adhere to legislation set by General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) (2018). Prior to the student signing their accommodation agreement, the student can give consent for us to speak to you about a specific matter on their behalf however, we would recommend that you speak with your son or daughter about any concerns you may have in the first instance.

Please see our Privacy Notice for further information about data protection.

Do rest assured that whilst living here, we have excellent support services in place to assist and support students when they need it. Further information about this is available within the dropdown tabs below.

Keep calm and stay positive!

It is important to keep a positive attitude about all of the upcoming changes - your son or daughter may be feeling anxious about the new life they are about to start, and you don't want to make it worse! Let them know that it is completely normal to feel nervous, but you have confidence in them. 

Take a step back

Encourage your son or daughter to be more independent as September approaches. Build their self-confidence and help them to become more pro-active - they will soon need to organise themselves and make their own decisions.

Remember, our accommodation agreement is a contract between us and your son or daughter. Due to data protection, we can usually only discuss its details with them directly, regardless of who is footing the bill! For further information for parents and third parties please visit our data protection pages.

Keep in touch

Leaving home is a big step and most students will feel homesick at some point. It is important that they know you are there for them and that they can contact you if they need some support. 

As tempting as it may be to invite them home whenever they are upset, instead encourage your son or daughter to give it time, and remind them that they are unlikely to be the only ones feeling low. Encourage them to use the support services available at the University, including the Residence Life Team who offer in-house support and advice to our residents.

Some students will throw themselves into university life, and you may not hear from them as often as you would like. Try contacting them via email or text message rather than phone calls - you may get an answer more often!

Applying for accommodation

At the University of Exeter, we offer both self-catered and catered accommodation. Our catered halls fee includes sixteen meals per week: breakfast and an evening meal (Monday to Friday) continental breakfast, brunch and an evening meal (Saturday and Sunday). Lunch is not provided Monday to Friday, however, students are provided with a mini fridge within their catered rooms and access to a utility area to make lunches and snacks. In order to see what meals are provided in our catered residences, please see our 'about catered halls' website for information, including how you can order a replacement meal if you are unable to attend.

We have three different standards of room available also:

  • Standard (sharing the bathroom facilities with other students)
  • En-suite (own en-suite available within the room)
  • Studio (own en-suite available within the room as well as kitchenette and dining area)

For further information about the accommodation available at the University of Exeter, please see our 'how to choose' webpages.

At the University of Exeter, we have a wide range of accommodation in Exeter which is owned, managed or approved by the University of Exeter for students studying with us. These accommodation options include houses and flats to more traditional halls of residence. Whatever your son or daughter's preference, the University of Exeter has a range of accommodation styles and budgets to suit.

Please note that we are unable to guarantee accommodation to all of our students and therefore we encourage you to look at our Accommodation Guarantee to see which of our students are guaranteed a bed space.

For applications for accommodation usually open in mid-April and the guarantee deadline is 31 July and these dates will be update on our Login webpage in January of the year of entry. Students can apply for accommodation after this date, however, applications are dealt with differently. Further information is available about this in the next tab.

It is not compulsory to live in university accommodation during their first year and students are able to search for private accommodation within the city if this would be more suitable for their requirements.

The University is committed to creating balanced communities in all its residences and the selection of residences is managed by the Accommodation Office.

Selections are random and we allocate popular residences first. Once the number of students required to fill a residence has been selected, we look at the additional accommodation preferences, including interests, to allocate students to corridors/flats.

Students are asked to indicate four preferences of residence. We strongly advise that the preferences listed are all places that the student would be happy to live in and are not chosen at random, in the hope of receiving their 'top preference'.

Students with disabilities, health-needs or other special requirements will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Further information about this is available in the tab below.

For more information about this, please view our 'Room Allocation Procedure' webpage.

If we are unable to allocate your child one of their preferences, we will use the accommodation preferences on the application to make them an offer of accommodation e.g. a student who has applied for residences that are self-catered en-suite on-campus accommodation, may be offered an en-suite self-catered accommodation located off-campus. For information about our policy regarding requesting to move accommodation, please view our 'Room Move' webpage.

Our Accommodation Guarantee deadline is 31 July which therefore means that any students who apply for accommodation from 1 August onwards will not be guaranteed a bed space.

Students can still apply for accommodation, however, applications are dealt with slightly differently. For example, students are unable to choose specific residences that they wish to live in and are able to instead choose the type of accommodation they require (catered/ self-catered) and the standard of room (standard/ en-suite/ studio). Further information about this is available on our 'Applying after the guarantee' webpage.

We expect that demand for University accommodation will be high and information will be updated during August as we become aware of what is available. Please view our Accommodation Blog  and Facebook page for instant updates.

Please note that not all of our accommodation is located on the Streatham Campus. Of our total number of bedspaces is around 6,500 (including undergraduate and postgraduate residences), 87% are on campus and 13% off campus. These percentages will also differ for catered and self-catered options.

Our walking distance maps show the approximate distances to get to the centre of the Streatham Campus (the Forum - shown at point 3.)

If you would like to get an insight into what living off campus is like, take a look at our off campus accommodation video

The University of Exeter endeavours to make reasonable adjustments to support individuals who, due to disability, a long-term medical condition or sensory or physical impairment require adapted accommodation or a particular location to help them participate fully and enjoy a fulfilling university experience in line with the Equality Act 2010.

We are able to offer a limited number of adapted and accessible rooms so students should apply as early as possible for their accommodation and contact AccessAbility/Wellbeing Services to discuss arrangements so that any reasonable adjustments can be implemented before a student arrives.

For information and advice about typical adjustments, what we can provide and any financial subsidies which can be obtained, please view our 'Accessible rooms' webpage.

Once all of applications have been considered from students requiring adjustments, if any of our adapted and accessible rooms remain available they will be offered to the next student to be allocated accommodation. This does mean that any student may be allocated to one of these rooms without prior notice.

Occasionally the University admits students who are under the age of 18 years*. In most cases this will be a very temporary situation, as the student will be approaching their eighteenth birthday. 

Students are able to apply for university accommodation and we will aim to place them on campus, with students of a similar age (approximately aged 18) with students who share similar interests as per our Room Allocation Procedure. It is highly unlikely that students under 18 will be able to secure private accommodation in the city until they are aged 18 or older.

The University of Exeter has a dedicated webpage for students who will be under the age of 18.

*The University does not normally admit students under 16 years old. For BMBS Medicine we will not admit students under 17 years old, and all students must be 18 years old by the 1st January within the first year of the programme.

Please see our legal webpages for contractual information depending on your son or daughter's year of entry.

Preparing to move in

We have created a comprehensive list of what to bring in our Moving In Checklist 2022 which we recommend you look at prior to your son or daughters arrival.

For further information about their arrival at the university, please see our '' webpage.

Make sure your son or daughter is able to use a washing machine, to budget for their weekly shop and to cook a few simple dishes (especially if they will be in self catered accommodation). Three course suppers aren't necessary, but it is important that they are able to feed themselves nutritious meals to maintain their physical and mental health. 

Our own chefs have provided some informative cooking videos to be used by our students:

The University has a Sustainable Travel Plan and actively seeks to encourage green travel. In line with this, there is no parking available on either the Streatham or St Luke's campuses (including Rowancroft) for resident students.

If you are bringing a vehicle with belongings on arrival, you will only be able to park near the residence for a limited time booked in advance. To allow all our 6,000 students time to arrive, once the belongings have been taken to the room, you will then be offered a parking space elsewhere on campus to park for the remainder of the day.

Please note that you will only be able to park outside the residence for the booked arrival slot therefore we advise that all belongings are brought at this time. If you later have other items to deliver you may be asked to park at another location and then will need to carry them to the residence from your car.

Students will be notified via email after they have confirmed their offer of accommodation as to when they are able to book an arrival slot

Once they have arrived at university

Accommodation fees are not due in one lump sum, however, they can be paid in this way if you wish, although no discounts will be available if choosing to do this. For information on the different methods of payments we accept, please see our 'how to pay' webpage.

To see the instalment due dates please visit our website. Please note that the total amount and instalment amounts will be available in your son or daughters accommodation account.

What help is available on campus?

If your son or daughter requires any support whilst staying at the University of Exeter there are a number of services available to help. Please click on the links below to find out more information about each service:

Wellbeing Services

The University of Exeter Wellbeing Services team, made up of counsellors and mental health practitioners, are all highly skilled and experienced. 

Our Mental Health and Psychological Therapies teams are available to offer advice, therapeutic and practical support to help students cope personally and to manage their studies.

Our AccessAbility team are disability specialists dedicated to supporting students with a disability or long-term health condition including Specific Learning Difficulties and Autism Spectrum Conditions.

As there are a number of teams within Wellbeing Services, if you are unsure which team to speak to please call 01392 724381, email or speak to them on instant chat and the team will be happy to guide you.

Find out more information about how Wellbeing Services can help your son or daughter to manage their health and wellbeing on the Wellbeing Services webpage.

International Student Support

The International Student Support Office is made up of a team of trained immigration advisers who are qualified to provide the latest immigration advice covering a range of visa types. Advisers are available to discuss any issues students may be facing and are able to signpost to the appropriate team when dedicated to advising and supporting non-UK students on all campuses.

Residence Life Team

Living away from home in a new city (or country) can bring new challenges, so every student living in our accommodation is assigned a Residence Life Mentor who has experience of student life.

Your son or daughter can speak to them confidentially about whatever is on their mind. And they will visit one evening a week to answer questions, help with any problems, and keep students up-to-date with what’s going on in the University and city.

Overnight, members of the Residence Life Night Patrol support Security by visiting residences. If a student has a problem late at night, we recommend they contact security who will arrange for a member of the team to help.

Please visit the Residence Life Team website for further information and to see which team are available to help within their area.

Students' Guild Advice Unit

The Students' Guild Advice Unit provides free, independent and confidential advice and information on a range of issues affecting students, including: housing, money and academic related matters.

The Advice Unit is based on Level +1 of the Forum adjacent to Devonshire House on the Streatham Campus and on Friday's during term time the 'St Luke's Advice Surgery' is available within College House on the St Lukes Campus. Please visit the Students' Guild Advice Service for information on times and availability.

Student Information Desk (SID)

SID is the first port of call for all student related enquiries. It is available online, via the telephone and in person (at both the Streatham and St Lukes Campus). Please see their website for further information on opening times and availability.

The University of Exeter has extremely low crime levels and is a safe campus but we encourage students to remain alert and aware of their surrounding teams. Campus Security are the uniformed staff who can be seen around campus and driving our security vehicles. They are available to provide advice and assistance, 24 hours a day 365 days a year and are based in Northcote House on the Streatham Campus. Estate Patrol monitor fire and intruder alarms, the University’s extensive CCTV system and provide a rapid response when required.

Estate Patrol will endeavour to maintain a safe and secure environment for students, staff and visitors by remaining vigilant and acting proactively to minimise risks.

Estate Patrol patrol both campuses and in al university owned, managed and nominated accommodation.

Students living in our catered halls are required to vacate their accommodation at both the Christmas and Easter vacations. Students living in self-catered accommodation can remain in their accommodation during this time.

For information about moving out of accommodation for a vacation or at the end of the contact, please see our dedicated moving out pages.

Please note that if you plan to move your son or daughter out of their accommodation during February, March or June that we have Offer Holder Visit Days and Open Days taking place during these months. We there advise you to check the dates of these events prior to arranging a student departure in order to save congestion.

If your son or daughter has a maintenance or repair request in their accommodation then they will need to report the problem immediately to their designated residence reception either in person, by email or by using the telephone. Please encourage them to provide as much detail as possible when making a report.

If they wish to lodge a complaint then please review our complaints procedure.

After their first year

At present, we are only able to offer returning students accommodation to those who have a supported medical application and the majority of students will seek private accommodation in the city.

Despite not living in our accommodation, looking for the next home does not have to be daunting as there are several options, such as:

  • Renting a shared house or flat
  • Renting a single flat or apartment
  • Renting a room in a landlord's house (lodging)
  • Living at home
  • Living in private residences (just like university accommodation)

We encourage students to take time during the first term to consider where they want to live and who they wish to live with. It is important to remember that once an accommodation contract has been signed it is very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to reverse the decision, so make sure they have thought everything through before making that commitment.

Guild Advice can help by looking over contracts before student sign up and can offer advice about all aspects of living in private accommodation in the city.

The Accommodation Office administers the Studentpad website, which lists properties/rooms from private landlords and large student accommodation private providers. Advertisements for the next academic year will be available on Studentpad as soon as landlords advertise their properties.

Students living in the city have access to our Community Engagement Officers  who help provide information and guidance to students living in private accommodation.

The video below provides information and assistance on how to begin a search for private accommodation in the city: