Living away from home is a big change for many students and signing a year's contract for accommodation is a big responsibility.

It is important that you consider all of your options and be aware of the implications should things go wrong.

University Accommodation

Ulster University ResLife manage accommodation bookings for all campuses and they have lots of information on what is available and how to apply on their website.

Check out their Need to know section for information and advice on accommodation.

Private Accommodation

If you choose to live off campus, you will have to secure privately rented, shared accommodation.

There are a number of websites you can visit to search for student accommodation, such as NIHE Student Pad or SpareRoom and you can also enquire at local letting agents.

Unless your rental agreement covers all utility bills, you will have to budget for this every month. If you are living in shared accommodation, utility bills are split between each tenant.

Best to lay down some ground rules on how you plan to pay for these to avoid any awkward conversations if someone hasn’t paid their share for the month.

Ensure you shop around for the best deals available from utility providers, such as Wi-Fi.

If you have any issues, or if you need general advice regarding student accommodation, you can speak to your UUSU Advice Bureau.

Living away from home tips

Protect your items

Protect your items from theft, flood or fire with contents insurance.

Those who are renting are not automatically covered should anything out of the ordinary happen.

Check if you are covered by your parent’s home insurance.

AVOID a costly fine

You must ensure you have your own individual TV licence, regardless if you watch TV online, or on a traditional TV. Failure to secure a TV licence could result in costly fine. Find out if you need one.

Housing Benefit or Rate Relief

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible to Housing Benefit or Rate Relief.

TV packages

Consider cancelling pricey TV packages and opt for a cheap online streaming service to save money whilst studying.


Smartlink cards

The Smartlink cards from Translink are bus passes for bulk-buying journeys, avoiding the hassle of carrying change and can save you up to 35%.

Y-Link cards

Y-Link cards from Translink can help save up to a 50% on daily travel costs, such as the Uni-link bus and rail travel. Make sure you sign up for yours.

Car Park Permit

Save money by buying a campus Car Parking Permit, or if you are attending Belfast campus, speak to Q Park staff for a reduced weekly parking permit in St Anne’s Square multi-storey carpark.

Alternatively, check out Belfast City Council for local parking and tariffs. Don't forget to download the JustPark app for cashless parking.

Car sharing, buses, cycling or walking

Save even more by car sharing, cycling or walking to University.

Don't forget to check for buses running privately, e.g. Rooney.

Nursing Students

If you are a nursing student, you may be eligible to claim for excess travel costs incurred whilst on placement.

For more information contact BSO directly.