University owned or managed accommodation

  • The University has a large amount of student accommodation which it either owns or has nominated from trusted providers. The majority is for first year undergraduate students and a smaller amount is for post-graduate and families.
  • Only a small amount is for returning students who have a medically supported reason for applying.


  • Close to campus and services.
  • Great way to meet other new students.
  • Catered or non-catered.
  • Different lengths of contract.
  • Break clause if you interrupt or withdraw.
  • Possibility of moves within accommodation.


  • Limited availability for returning students.
  • Limited to living with students which may not be for everyone.
  • Limited parking.

Have a look at the University Website here for more information.

Purpose Build Student Accommodation (PBSA)

  • These are large buildings usually solely for the use of students. They can be flats where kitchens are shared among a few people but you have your own on suite room, or self-contained flat. The buildings can have additional shared spaces such as common rooms, cinema room, gyms etc and these are usually managed by the company.
  • Have a look at the University Website for a list of PBSA’s. Click here.


  • Staffed – often 24 hours a day – security
  • Community living with others
  • Your own space
  • High standard of living
  • Bills inclusive may be easier to budget
  • Possibility of shorter Covid friendly contracts or breaks in contract


  • Expensive
  • Not part of the wider community of Exeter
  • Can feel isolated in self-contained flats
  • Living very closely with other people
  • Many of these will be part of the National code. assured accommodation. This is a scheme designed to provide a minimum set of professional standards for larger student accommodation providers regarding their accommodation management.

Private accommodation of residential properties let out to students

  • The traditional idea of student accommodation is shared private house where groups of students share the tenancy. Those closest to the University can be popular, particularly if you are looking to share with a larger group. There is a lot more choice if you would consider living further out and with a smaller number of friends.


  • Cheaper
  • Communal living
  • Part of wider city
  • Living in a home


  • Problematic housemates
  • Dealing with landlords
  • All tenants are jointly responsible for the tenancy
  • There is no accreditation scheme that our private sector landlords are part of but there is housing legislation that they must follow.

Lodger arrangements

Resident landlords offer rooms in their own homes and share living spaces. There are less regulations with Lodger agreements and as such notice periods can be shorter as long as they are ‘reasonable’. This could be fixed term or on a rolling monthly or weekly agreement. As you are in the Landlord’s house they may wish you to live by a more prohibitive list of ‘house rules’.


  • Cheaper
  • Shorter contracts possible
  • Shorter notice period if you wish to leave
  • Part of wider city community
  • Homely feel


  • Tenancy is less secure
  • Getting on with the landlord and feeling that you are a guest in their house
  • Deposit does not have to be protected

Living at home and commuting in or study online

For many students who live locally it suits them to stay at home and commute in. This could be living with family or your own home. If you are eligible for student finance you can still get a maintenance loan, but this could be at a lower rate.

This year many students have chosen to study from home and this may be an option for next year if we are expecting COVID to be around for some time to come. We cannot guarantee what will happen but if you are not sure you should return for example if you have health concerns then you may wish to think about this as an option.


  • Cheaper
  • Part of a regular community rather than a more student focused one
  • Living with family


  • Missing out on the student experience
  • Travel costs
  • Living with family


The majority of our housing advice is aimed at undergraduate students and while much of this is relevant for all students, we recognise that our postgraduate and mature student’s accommodation concerns can be a little different.

Often 11 month long specific student contracts are not what you are looking for and instead would prefer a standard rental agreement with a 6 or 12 month fixed term which become periodic thereafter, continuing on a month by month rolling contract.

Or we see more of our postgraduate or mature students as homeowners or have children so will need bigger properties.

If you are a student carer you may find it useful to look at our Student carer pages.


As well as thinking about what type of accommodation, you will also want to consider where.

Most of our students want to be as close to campus as possible and avoid a trek up one the many Exeter hills to get to there or back. However, that is not always possible and the closer you get to campus, the more likely it is to be more expensive and that accommodation may be more in demand.

Other things to consider could be if you would like to live in a quiet neighbourhood, if you would prefer a livelier feel perhaps in the heart of town or the University accommodation area would be better.

Before you start, have a look at this map of Exeter to familiarise yourself with different areas and possibilities. Accommodation further out can be cheaper and give you more options.

Exeter is not a big city and there are plenty of bus routes so that most areas are a good choice for students.

Devon Bus Services

Stagecoach Timetables