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Accommodation in Exeter

How we allocate rooms

The allocation of accommodation is managed by the Accommodation Office.

For unaccompanied full-year undergraduates who have applied by our guarantee deadline, our computer will select one of your applications at random to allocate a room in a particular residence. We usually start with the most popular residences and look at the additional accommodation preferences to allocate students until the number of students required to fill a residence has been reached. 

A student reading on his bed

Applications from unaccompanied full-year postgraduates, or exchange students coming to Exeter for one semester, are processed on a first come, first served basis.  

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

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

If we cannot allocate you to any of your preferred residences, we will use the information you have provided in your application as a guide to choose 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. 

Please note, we do not allocate rooms based on:

  • how close or far the academic buildings you will study in are  
  • what you achieved in your exams
  • specific floor levels or rooms (unless you have medical needs) 

Additional preferences

You can indicate certain lifestyle-related preferences in your application, which we will consider when allocating you accommodation. Whether we can meet these preferences depends on the number of 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, but not all requests.

Due to students moving rooms throughout the year, it may not be possible to maintain the initial dominant preference of a flat. We will, however, ensure that a flat remains single gender.  

You can indicate additional preferences based on the following: 

If you require a room in a male-only or female-only flat/corridor, you should select this option on your application.  

We normally allocate mixed gender flats, but we understand 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. 

Studios, however, may be located within mixed gender corridors because they are self-contained without any shared facilities.  

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

If you’re an undergraduate who wishes to apply for designated quiet accommodation, please tick the relevant box within the Further Preferences section of the application form. We will aim to place students who prefer a quieter lifestyle together. We do not implement formal restrictions when you live in quiet accommodation but instead anticipate students reaching an informal agreement or setting expectations amongst themselves. It doesn’t mean that you have to live in silence, but we expect students living in these areas to show extra consideration to their flatmates and neighbours in keeping noise to a minimum wherever possible, and to adopt a moderated lifestyle in respect of the way they socialise within the accommodation.

We can’t guarantee a permanently quiet environment. Communal living will always involve some level of noise and unfortunately, we can’t control the level of external or environmental noises.

For 2023/24 and 2024/25, self-catered residences which are designated as quiet for undergraduate students are:

  • Birks Grange Village block Q (en-suite)  
  • East Park block J (ensuite and standard)
  • Lafrowda block MB (en-suite)
  • Rowancroft Garden House (en-suite)

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

Due to the layout of the catered residences, we cannot offer designated quiet catered accommodation. We will look to group students together who express a preference for quiet catered accommodation, but 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 aim to allocate you with other students expressing this preference.

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

We cannot 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 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 and contact our Wellbeing Services to discuss this. 

We have several 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 allocated all students requiring these rooms, any remaining rooms will be allocated to the next student requesting accommodation. Therefore, you could be allocated a room with some adapted features even if you have not requested or do not require an accessible room.  

Find out more about accessible rooms.

Frequently asked questions

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

Please refer to our When will I hear? section to find out when we process applications.

When we review undergraduate 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 we do not fill all the rooms within our residences before A levels are released.

This allows us to ensure 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. 

As en-suite rooms are popular and there is greater demand for these rooms than we have available, it is possible you won’t be allocated this preference.  

In the 2023-24 cycle, 78% of undergraduate applications had en-suite as their first preference but only 66% of our undergraduate beds were in en-suite rooms.

If we cannot meet any of your residence preferences, we will 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, or cost, or you can have no preference. We cannot guarantee we’ll 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 means you will be in a mixed environment within our residences. 

Socialising is common in university residences, and some students’ diets include meat or alcohol. We expect our students to act respectfully to 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 can provide resources and support to help you manage communal living successfully. Residence Life recommend completing a flatmate agreement when you arrive, to help you agree on common practical questions and begin a positive dialogue around managing shared facilities.  

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. We also offer a limited number of rooms to students studying in other years who are returning or have supported medical requirements, as well as exchange and study abroad students.

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

Due to data protection, we don’t share details of other students. Please also note that all room numbers are provisional and subject to change up until when you arrive to your accommodation.