Skip to main content

Prospective Undergraduate Students - Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on an FAQ below to reveal the answer. If you can't find the answer you are looking for please contact the Accommodation team on 0300 555 0444 or email us at


You will not be able to apply for accommodation until you make Exeter your Firm choice. Once you have advised UCAS/Admissions, then it can take a couple of days for the details to be transferred to our accommodation system, and then you will be able to create an account and submit your accommodation application.

We guarantee to make an offer of accommodation if you apply by the guarantee deadline and are:

  • An unaccompanied home or international undergraduate who has firmly accepted an offer of a place at the University of Exeter entering your first year of study (i.e. Year 1) as a full-time student.
  • An unaccompanied incoming study abroad or exchange student studying at the University of Exeter for the full academic year starting in September.
  • An unaccompanied international postgraduate in your first year of study for the full academic year starting in September as a full-time student. Note: You are defined as an international student if you pay international fees.

It is not always possible to allocate you to one of your preferences or within on-campus accommodation. Our guarantee is a guarantee of a bed space, not a particular residence.

If you have accepted Exeter as your Firm choice then you can apply online from April in the year of your entry to the University. 

You will need to register your account using a personal email address which you will have ongoing access to. We do not recommend you use a school/college email address as these accounts are often shut down over the summer and you would then not receive any updates from us about your application. 


Please make sure that all of your personal information is correct when creating an account, in particular:

  • The 'Student ID' is your Exeter Student ID number, also known as an Exeter Reference Number. You can find this on any of the correspondence which you have received from Admissions. Please do not try to use your UCAS ID number as this will not be recognised.
  • Please input your first name and surname (last name) in full, as you would have put on your university application.
  • Your date of birth can be input either using the pop up calendar tool, or in the format DD/MM/YYYY.

Please ensure that the password you choose is at least 8 characters in length, and includes at least one upper case letter and at least one number. 

You can edit your accommodation application if you haven't yet submitted it by logging on and clicking on 'manage my booking'. If you wish to make changes but have already submitted your application then you will need to delete it and start again. Please note that deleting and resubmitting your application will affect when your application is processed. You should therefore carefully consider this if you are a postgraduate, semester student or post-guarantee applicant, as these applications are processed in order of receipt. 

Certain residences are designated specifically for undergraduate or postgraduate students so will only be listed if they are relevant to your type of application. Catered accommodation is only available for undergraduates. If you are trying to apply for a privately run halls of residence that is not listed then it may not be one of our nominated residences for your year of application. Therefore, if you would specifically like to live there, you will need to apply directly to the relevant company.

If you are applying outside of our guarantee period (i.e. after 1 August) then you will only be able to select the 'type' of accommodation (catered or self-catered) and 'style' (en-suite, standard, studio). You will not be able to select specific residences.

From our walking distance map you can see that the academic buildings and residences are all within walking distance to the centre of campus and therefore we would advise to consider all of the residences available and not only the ones closest to your college. Besides, as the campus is very busy during term time, your lectures are likely to take place in different locations rather than just in your college buildings. 

When allocating we do not allocate by course or college. Our aim is to create a mix of students in each residence/flat who study different courses. We like to think that if you enjoy living with your friends your university experience will be off to a good start.  

For more information on allocation visit our allocation procedure webpage.  


We do not allocate rooms on a first come, first served basis (excluding semester students, postgraduate students, and applications received after the guarantee deadline). As long as you apply within the guarantee period then we process all guaranteed applications on a random basis.

Full details of our room allocation procedure can be found on the room allocation procedure webpage.

If you are applying for accommodation as a new undergraduate student, you will be able to select four residence preferences on your application form.

We will try our best to allocate you to one of your preferences, depending on availability. You can review our allocations procedure online for details of how we allocate each residence.

The likelihood of being allocated one of your preferences varies depending on many factors, as demand can change each year and this year we will also have brand new residences available to apply for. As a general guide, in 2022/23 74% of all guaranteed applicants were allocated to their first preference of residence (not necessarily room type) (66% in 2021/22) and around 97% of all guaranteed applicants were allocated to one of their preferences (75% in 2021/22).

If you would like to see how popular each 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 2022/23 application cycle.

This is a difficult question as it is the students who create character/vibe of a particular location and hence the atmosphere can differ from year to year. We would encourage you have a look at the images and virtual tours of the residences to see their physical features. Furthermore, if you look at our accommodation blog there are guest blogs from past students who can give you an insight into the character of the residence they lived in. Similarly, take the opportunity to speak to Student Ambassadors during the Open Days and Offer Holder Visit Days as they can share their individual experience of living in residences. 

You are welcome to select from any of the available residences on your application form, regardless of their location, based on your personal preference. The only residences you cannot select are those designated for students studying at a different level to you, for example undergraduates cannot select postgraduate residences, and vice versa. Exeter is a relatively small city with good transport links – take a look at this walking distance map for a rough idea of where our campuses and residences are located.

All of our catered residences are located on the Streatham campus so if you are interested in catered accommodation, we would encourage you to check your timetable with your college before applying. Catered meals are served at set times in the morning and evening, so you may end up missing meals if you have early lectures or evening commitments on the St Luke's campus.

Take a look at this recent blog post – ‘Exeter: A two campus city’ for more advice and suggestions.

Please note: Students who are joining the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (BMBS) programme or MSci Nursing programme must select from specific residences which are available on a contract length aligned to their extended programme dates. Please refer to our dedicated webpages for further information, via the hyperlinks above. 

Students studying medicine tend to focus their accommodation application preferences at the Rowancroft residences which are just a few minutes walk from the St Luke's Campus, or James Owen Court in the city which is roughly half way between St Lukes and Streatham Campus. However, you can apply for any residence available on the application form.
Please note: Students who are joining the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (BMBS) programme or MSci Nursing programme must select from specific residences which are available on a contract length aligned to their extended programme dates. Please refer to our dedicated webpages for further information, via the hyperlinks above. 


Due to the random nature of our undergraduate allocation process we are unable to accept requests from friends who wish to live with each other. 

Going to university is an opportunity to meet new people and widen your circle of friends. We therefore encourage students to live with someone new, knowing that your friend is easy to visit in a nearby residence.

You do not have to live in University accommodation whilst you are studying at Exeter. Some applicants, such as mature students, may find that living in private accommodation offers them greater flexibility and the independence they prefer. To find out what alternatives there are view our private accommodation webpage for more information on shared houses, purpose-built accommodation and lodgings in the city.

If you are looking for a short-term accommodation, the visitor accommodation webpage provides information on staying in local bed and breakfast accommodation or hotels. 

We are usually only able to house first year undergraduates, but do reassess our availability each year in relation to projected new student numbers. If we are able to offer accommodation to students of other years then we will publish information on our Returning Students webpage.

Most students will move into private accommodation for their subsequent years of study. Options include:

  • Purpose-built private halls of residence – very similar to University accommodation with cluster flats offering standard and en-suite rooms, or self-contained studio rooms
  • Shared houses and flats – advertised and managed by a landlord or an agency acting on the landlord’s behalf
  • Resident landlord/host family – offering a room/rooms in their own home. Some may also include meals within the rent

The private accommodation webpage has additional support and guidance on how and when to look for private accommodation and things to consider when searching.

The Accommodation Office also administers a website called Studentpad, which allows landlords/agents to advertise their properties. Studentpad also has a Messageboard facility which allows you to connect with other students who are looking for flatmates.

Guild Advice offer free independent advice if you have any contractual issues with landlords, or issues with your housemates.

Accommodation contract

Your nine digit university ID number is provided by the University when you are offered a place to study at the University of Exeter. The number is likely to begin with a six or seven. You should be able to find your ID number on any of the correspondence you receive from Admissions, and it may be referred to as an 'Exeter Reference Number'.

For new students, this is a different number from your UCAS ID number. For current students, this is the number shown on your University ID card.

When we make you an offer of accommodation you will receive an email asking you to login to your accommodation account to review the offer made. Our online services enable you to access and accept the accommodation contract anywhere in the world. 

Alternatively you may wish to make arrangements for a relative or close friend to access your accommodation account on your behalf so that they can carry out your instructions. If you know you are not going to have any internet access at all then your representative will need to check your accommodation account every couple of days to see if an offer has been made.

This will depend on the contract agreement that you have entered into, so you do need to make sure you fully understand the cancellation and termination policy before you accept the contract.

Remember that applying for accommodation is different from securing accommodation and it is important to understand the point at which you will have entered into a legally binding contract.

If you are allocated to University of Exeter accommodation in Exeter, the Accommodation Term & Conditions Section 6 explains our policy on termination of the contract. If you decide not to (or are unable to) register for your academic course you are able to be released from your contract and we would ask that you contact us as soon as you make your decision so we can process your request. If you do register for your course starting in September/October then you will be committed to the contract that you have with us.

If you are staying in INTO accommodation at University of Exeter, please check with the INTO team for their cancellation policy. 

For students studying in Cornwall, please check the details within their accommodation Terms and Conditions.

If you secure accommodation in the private sector in either Exeter or Cornwall, each accommodation agreement will vary and you should clarify with the provider of the accommodation what will happen before you agree to the accommodation contract.

If you are allocated to University of Exeter accommodation in Exeter and you do decide to defer your academic place until next academic year, we will release you from your contract without charge. You will, however, need to apply again for next academic year and we will allocate you accommodation in early Summer before you are due to arrive. Applications for the new academic year usually open in early-April. 

If you are in INTO accommodation at University of Exeter, please check with INTO team for their cancellation policy. 

For students studying in Cornwall, please check details within their accommodation Terms and Conditions.

If you secure accommodation in the private sector in either Exeter or Cornwall, each accommodation agreement will vary and you should clarify with the provider of the accommodation what will happen BEFORE you agree to the accommodation contract.

The University offers the following contract lengths: 32, 40, 42, 43, 44, 48 and 51 week contracts. The contract lengths are specific to the residence you are applying for, and cannot be altered. 

  • All catered accommodation is offered on a 32 week contract. This means that you are only paying for term time and do not need to pay for accommodation over Christmas and Easter. At the same time this means that you have to vacate your room for these periods, and may also be required to remove your belongings. For more information about moving out and your belongings please take a look at the Moving out of catered webpage.
  • Contract lengths for self-catered accommodation range from 40 to 51 weeks. Most accommodation for undergraduate students is offered on a 40 week contract. This covers term time, Christmas and Easter holidays providing you with flexibility with your potential travels over the vacation periods and the convenience of keeping your belongings in your room at all times during your contract. 
  • Contracts offered near the St Luke's campus (Rowancroft) are 42 weeks. Students studying the BMBS programme are offered 43 week contracts in either Rowancroft or Nancherrow, Students studying Nursing are offered 48 week contracts in Rowancroft. This reflects the longer teaching periods which are required for these courses. 
  • Longer 44 and 51 week contracts provide the option of staying longer into the summer in the residences, which many international and postgraduate students prefer due to their study commitments and travel considerations. 

We understand that starting university and moving away from home can be an unsettling period, but our experience shows that the vast majority of our students are very happy with their room once they have moved in and met their flatmates. For this reason we do not process requests to move prior to the start of term and our advice would be that you accept your offer of accommodation in order to secure your bed space and move in as planned.

The Residence Life Team are available for students living within university accommodation and are there for students to speak with them confidentially about whatever is on their mind. If students are experiencing noise issues at their residence or maybe they are not getting along with their flatmates then they are there to offer advice and support.
If you do wish to submit a request to move, we require students to log an enquiry via SID Online.  This can be done from the beginning of September, once the student has completed the University's enrolment process. Full details can be found on our dedicated Undergraduate Room Moves webpages.

Currently 59% of all standard catered bedspaces are in twin shared rooms. If you are applying for a standard catered room then there is a strong possibility that you will be allocated to one of these shared occupancy rooms, particularly if demand for catered accommodation has been high.

We are only able to send one offer of accommodation and if you decline the offer of a twin room then we may not have the availability in any of our residences to be able to make you an alternative offer. If you decline your offer then you would need to begin the application process again. You would still be covered by our accommodation guarantee if you are able to re-apply by 31 July. If, however you decline your twin room offer and re-apply after the guarantee deadline we may not be able to offer you university accommodation and you may need to secure accommodation in the private sector. 

We appreciate that, on occasions, no matter how hard we try to match students based on their interests and lifestyles you may not want to continue sharing a room. If that is the case then there is the possibility of moving rooms, and twin room occupants are prioritised along with students who have medical requirements. In previous years we have been able to offer single occupancy rooms to all students who wanted to move by the end of first term, but this is dependent on the availability within our residences. Please see our room moves webpage for further details.

With more than 6,500 students arriving over Freshers' Week we have staggered arrivals to ease congestion both in the city and on the campuses. 

Arrival any earlier than Freshers' Week is not recommended, but may be possible in extenuating circumstances.

We recommend you read our early arrival information before you enquire. If you have any further questions please contact the Accommodation Office for advice.

You may stay in your room for the full period stated on your accommodation agreement.

If you have a catered 32 week contract you do not pay for accommodation over Christmas and Easter vacations and may not reside in them for these periods. If you are not planning to return home and require accommodation over these vacation periods please contact the Accommodation Office as we may be able to accommodate you in self catered accommodation. 

If you have a self catered 40, 42, 43, 44, 48 or 51 week contract you may stay in your room for the full period stated on your accommodation agreement. 

Should you wish to stay in Exeter after the end of your contract period then we are able to offer Summer Accommodation. Alternatively, take a look at the information on our visitor pages or our private accommodation pages if you require temporary accommodation.

Contractually, if you have accepted an offer of accommodation and decide to register as a student, then you will be required to honour that contract. This also means that you should not book alternative accommodation if you have already accepted a contract with us.

Fees and payment

If you are sent an offer of accommodation within a University owned/managed residence then you will not need to pay a deposit. Once you accept the accommodation offer online you will form a legally binding contract.

If you are sent an offer of accommodation with one of our partner providers then they will contact you with details of their booking process, and any deposit/reservation/prepayment required.

The rent includes:

  • Heating, lighting, water & internet
  • Cleaning service (levels vary across residences; some exclusions apply – see the residences' pages for more details
  • Basic personal effects insurance cover. (For more information on insurance cover please read the insurance FAQ in the in the Rooms and Facilities section below)

Our How to Pay webpage gives information about when to pay your accommodation fees

The University accepts various methods of payment as detailed on the Student Finance webpages.

When you are a registered student, please log an enquiry via SID Online for advice.

It is also recommended that you contact Guild Advice who are able to offer impartial and confidential assistance on a whole range of issues, including housing, finance, and academic related matters.

The majority of students are exempt from paying council tax, but there are a few exceptions. Registry provide a comprehensive guide and are happy to offer advice and assistance.

Rooms and facilities

For information on what to bring with you to your accommodation (catered and self-catered) please take a look at the Moving In Checklist 2022

If you would like to save yourself having to carry essential items, order online with UniKitOut and have your items delivered directly to your room before your arrival in September. 

Additional items of furniture are not permitted in our residences, due to Health and Safety regulations. You will find however that your room and communal areas have all the furniture you need provided. This helpful Moving in checklist lists items you may want to bring with you, or purchase when you arrive in Exeter.

The only exception to this is if you require a fridge in your room for medical purposes; in this case please contact our Wellbeing team for their support. 

Room numbers are subject to change until your arrival so your room number will be confirmed when you arrive at your accommodation.


When you are completing your online application you will be asked 'Do you know where you will be staying in the UK?'. If you don't know your university accommodation details yet, then you can tick 'No' and then should explain in the free text box that you have applied for university accommodation.

You may also wish to refer to the university’s step-by-step visa application form guide.

Our 2021 Undergraduate Accommodation Prices gives more information about average room sizes in each residence and you can also use our virtual tours to see each room type.

However, room sizes vary across the residences and any measurements given are a guide only.

The bed sizes in the residences available can be found on the individual residence pages and also in the following comparison documents:


All en-suite study bedrooms have a washbasin. Most standard bedrooms have washbasins but please see the individual residences' web pages for further details.


Exeter has a bustling High Street with many international brands as well as independent shops including a variety of international food shops. There are also a number of large stores in the city centre where you can order items online for collection. These include:

  • Argos
  • John Lewis
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Wilkinson

For more information on shops available in Exeter view the Visit Exeter website.

There are small supermarkets located in the centre of the Streatham Campus known as the Market Place, as well as other smaller outlets selling essential items in other locations on campus for example at Cornwall House and Birks Grange Village. Exeter city centre is a short walk from either campus where you can find a larger supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsburys, Marks & Spencer, Iceland and Waitrose which is only across the road from St Luke's campus. 

All rooms have either data points or a wireless internet connection. For more information please review our Residents Information under Network connection and wifi section.

In most cases it isn't necessary to bring a TV with you as there are internet connections in every study bedroom giving access to IPTV via your laptop or computer. Not all of our student bedrooms have aerial sockets - check on your residence's webpage for more information.

You may bring a television for your communal area but you will need to purchase a TV licence. Please see the TV Licensing site for more details. Please note that if you intend to watch live television on your computer you will also need a TV licence.

You are now required to be covered by a TV Licence in order to download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC iPlayer. This applies to any device and provider you use. Find out more on the TV Licensing website.

Pets are not permitted in University accommodation.

Your personal belongings in your locked rooms are insured and insurance cover is provided in all University owned/managed and approved accommodation by Endsleigh Insurance. Once you have received an offer of accommodation, we advise you to check your policy details and level of insurance cover through Endsleigh and‌ to find out if you need to extend the cover for valuable items such as laptops, cameras, musical instruments, mobile phones and bicycles.

It is important to find out exactly what you are covered for as you may find that the contents cover is not sufficient and you need to extend it to protect all of your possessions both in and outside of your room. For further information please view the details provided on our Residents information page.

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.

Guests of students living in University residences may enter halls, however, they must be accompanied by a member of the residence. There must not be more than four visitors/guests in the accommodation at any time.

Any student wishing to have overnight guests must seek permission in writing from the Residence Management Team via, who will take into account fire and safety implications and, in shared rooms, the interests of your roommate. Visitors may not stay overnight for more than three consecutive nights. The Residence Management Team will withdraw permission for guests to remain if their behaviour is deemed antisocial or unacceptable in any way.

Please note that overnight guests need to be over 18. Permission will not be given for overnight guests over Arrivals Weekend and during Fresher’s week.

Students should note the conditions in Visitors of the Terms and Conditions of Residence. Residents wishing to have a guest should provide the following information:

  • Student name and student ID number
  • Residence - building, block, flat number and room number
  • Arrival date
  • Departure date
  • Confirmation that the guest is over 18

If you live in catered student accommodation you can usually leave your belongings in your room over the Christmas vacation, but may have to move your belongings out in the Easter holidays. A number of storage companies in Exeter are able to store belongings if you are unable to take them home; please see the Storage tab on our Residents Information webpage for further information. 

If you live in a self catered residence your contract runs right through these two holiday periods so you are able to leave your belongings in your room until the end of your contract.

Unfortunately, we are currently unable to provide storage facilities at the University however, a number of local companies offer storage solutions:

For more information, please contact your residence reception who will be able to assist you.

Disclaimer: this information is for reference only; these companies are in no way affiliated to the University. The University cannot be held responsible for the quality of service they provide.

The Student Accommodation Code was introduced in 2006 by Universities UK and GuildHE. It protects your right to safe, good quality accommodation, wherever you study and outlines everything you can expect from your accommodation as well as your responsibilities as a tenant.