Photo of a university of London

University of London: the Student Guide

Being a student in London is stressful, not only are you working your way through a mountain of work, but you're also living in one of the busiest and most expensive cities in the world. With 40 universities and around 400,000 people completing some form of study in the capital, it's no wonder finding somewhere to live is a nightmare.

Finding somewhere to live

Most students will spend their first year in halls of residence just for the experience; over-flowing bins in communal kitchens, regretful nights out and endless pesto pasta, but then choose to rent with friends or course mates from second-year onwards. However, university halls of residence are usually more expensive than renting, so you if you don't want to incur a greater cost in first year its best to start looking for somewhere private to rent.

Once you've sorted out who you want to live with, be it friends, course mates or others in in a flat hunting group, it's time to start looking for a property. You might be lucky enough to find something in May or June but there may be less properties on offer. From August to September the back-to-uni rush is on, with properties advertised on average 2 months before they're available, Londoners have the least time to find their accommodation of any UK students. Without the typical student rental market of other UK cities, the search can also be highly competitive, and involve complex hidden costs, from guarantors to admin fees.

The cost of living

After you've found somewhere to live the London cost of living is your next big burden. If you're a UK student, your maintenance loan is unlikely to stretch very far once you factor in rent, bills, food, and regular trips to XOYO, so it's important to plan ahead. According to the National Student money survey the average monthly expenditure of students at London universities in 2019 was £900, with rent being the largest contributing factor to this sum at around £485 pcm. Despite being exempt from paying Council Tax, the money saved is quickly used up when you have to pay £5.19 for a pint in the pub, or £2.40 on the tube.

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Finding a place to live

There are more than 40 universities in London, so finding a place for your and your friends to live can be a challenging task. Moovino's goal is to help you with make this as easy as checking your notification. Check the page dedicated to your university for more information.