Student accommodation

Last updated: 23 May 2019
During coronavirus (COVID-19) there is up-to-date guidance about student travel and moving home from Student Information Scotland.

If you're studying at college or university, you can live in:

  • student accommodation – halls of residence, private halls or self catered flats
  • in a private flat
  • at home – if your campus is near where you live

If you're a care leaver, find out if your college or university offers 52-week accommodation.

Visit the SAAS website to check if you are available for funding.

Further support

The care leavers charity Propel offers accommodation advice and the Unite Foundation offers accommodation scholarships to care leavers.

Get advice about renting privately if you're a care leaver on the Shelter website.

Different types of student accommodation

Some colleges or universities will want you to apply for student accommodation and others will reserve a place for you. Check with your college or university to find out what they offer.

There are different types of student accommodation that you may be able to rent including:

  • halls of residence
  • private halls
Most student accommodation is not available to part-time students.

Halls of residence

This is normally a flat with:

  • several bedrooms
  • a kitchen, toilet, bathroom and possibly a lounge area that you'll need to share

Most universities and some colleges offer 'catered' and 'non-catered' accommodation in halls of residence.

Catered accommodation means your meals will be included in your rent and you'll eat in a dining hall. Non-catered accommodation means you'll buy and make your own food.

Private halls

These halls are owned by private companies and have been built for students. Most of these offer rooms to college or university students.

Speak to your college or university to get you more information about these.

Self-catered flats

In this type of accommodation you normally have:

  • your own bedroom
  • a kitchen, toilet, bathroom and possibly a lounge area that you'll need to share

You may find that you have to pay bills separately to the rent in this type of accommodation. University properties are often in or near the campus itself and so travel costs to and from the university are minimal.

Some universities have accommodation for families but they are offered on a first come first served basis.

Private renting

If you choose to rent privately consider:

  • what bills you'll need to pay on top of your rent, for example electricity, gas and council tax
  • whether furniture is included
  • what you're responsible for

Find out more information about renting from a private landlord.

Landlord requirements

Landlords are required by law to sign up to a tenancy deposit protection scheme. This means the deposit you pay is government-protected. Find out more information about tenancy deposits.