When your preferred university has accepted you, one of the most important decisions you can make is about student accommodation. Choosing where to live requires considering a range of different factors, all of which can make a difference. If you are going to UCLan, then you need to familiarise yourself with the surrounding area.
Preston is a medium-sized city with around 140,000 residents. That means there is a good balance between the availability of services and a quieter, homely feel that will stop you from feeling too overwhelmed. It is a vibrant, diverse city full of everything you could need, from pubs, clubs and bars to shopping centres. Follow some of the charming side streets and their cobbled stones, and you will find a range of quirky independent boutiques.
As well as Preston itself, you can also take advantage of its surroundings. If you enjoy walks in the countryside and dramatic scenery, then you are not too far from the Lake District. There are also walking and cycle routes in and around the city itself. In short, UCLan students, regardless of their preferences or interests, should be able to find something to their tastes in the Preston and the Lancashire area.
Where to live if you study at UCLan?
In your first year at UClan, you may want to live in student halls on campus, but you are likely to want private student accommodation as you progress in your studies. Student-friendly areas surround the city centre in Preston, so you can have easy access to everything you need. The terraced houses in Ashton are particularly charming and perfect for house shares with other students and being just a short walk from the centre. Plunington (Plunny to natives) is particularly popular with UCLan students. Most houses here are three-five bedrooms, so again, perfect for sharing.
If you want to move out a bit further and are willing to spend a little bit more, then Fullwood might suit you. It may be considered a premium area, but you have all the amenities you need without travelling further into the city, meaning you may be able to have a more restful experience. There are supermarkets and smaller local shops, pubs and parks for leisure and a library if you need to do some extra studying.
Bear in mind that some residential areas will also be home to elderly people or families with young children, who may not appreciate some of the louder aspects of the student lifestyle. This is another reason that students often like to live close together. Wherever you choose to live, you have a responsibility to be a good neighbour.
Important things to consider when choosing student housing include access to transport. Do you have a car, in which case do you need a parking space? Are you carless, in which case you want to be near the main bus routes or railway station? Then there are shops and leisure facilities, as well as safety and security. If you are disabled, you are likely to have additional access needs. You may also be influenced by the choices made by your friends, especially if you plan to share a house. Price will obviously be a major factor, so ensure you have your housing budget set before you start. Don't forget to allow for things like electricity, gas, water and internet, which are not always included in the rent.
When should I start looking for student accommodation?
When looking for student accommodation, the best advice is the sooner, the better. There is always a lot of competition for the best student accommodation in Preston between the many students who will all be searching at the same time as you, and the best rooms and deals will disappear fast. After all, more than 30,000 students live in the Preston area, and every one of them will need to find accommodation. Leave it until just before the academic year begins, and prices are likely to soar, despite the prime locations already having been taken.
This is particularly important when you have a friend or group of friends with whom you have agreed to share. You need a selection that can suit all your needs, which means you will need to discuss your requirements and how they mix with theirs early on, whilst there is still time to negotiate and compromise. Establishing relationships cannot be rushed, and just because you are friends with someone in casual social situations does not mean you will necessarily be comfortable sharing the same house. Even if you have not settled on your housemates, you can still start looking and adjust your search criteria if your circumstances change.
The earlier you start your search, the more choice you will have, from who ends up being your housemate, where in the city you are based, and whether you get the room with the best view. Most landlords will start displaying vacancies on UCLan's own accommodation site from December, ready for the new year to begin in the following September. Most students will start their search in the spring, around March time.
Even if you have not had your place confirmed yet (or are waiting for a visa as an international student), you can still start looking. Many providers will allow you to make a provisional reservation whilst you wait for your official OK.
Is it too late to apply for student housing?
Leaving it later does make things more complicated, but it doesn't mean it is impossible to find student housing. You may need to be more flexible in your approach and accept that you may have to settle for a property that is not entirely what you would have picked as your first choice. You can do a few things before and during your application that may make things a little easier.
Find housemates: If you already have a friend or friends with whom you have agreed to share, this is simple enough, but if not, you still need to find a way to connect with other students seeking accommodation. You can start by asking friends and classmates to recommend their friends, but you can also use social media. Facebook groups are an excellent way to find people in precisely the same situation as you, giving you the chance to work together and pool resources for a property that suits you all.
Find a property: It is easy enough to find properties to rent online, with some sites specifically focusing on student accommodation. Many will have filters allowing you to select the most relevant features for your particular requirements. UCLan also has its own advice pages and search engine to help find places to rent, though parts of this site are only available to enrolled students. Renting from a private landlord providing student accommodation in Preston may be the cheaper option, but student lettings agents could offer more security and local knowledge.
View the property: You should never agree to move into a property without seeing it first, so you know exactly what to expect and if it meets your requirements. This is also an opportunity to ask additional questions about rent, fees, length of tenancy, parking, neighbours and the local area. In some cases, a virtual viewing may be more convenient.
Once you have decided on a home, make sure you put your offer in quickly. Good student housing is highly sought after and will not remain on the market for long, especially if you have left it late in the year. You should, however, take your time reading the contract to be sure you understand exactly what you are signing.
So, you know you will be studying at UCLan, and you know you want to live in Preston. Now it is time to find the perfect student accommodation for you. Brunel Court is ideally situated near the campus and city centre. You can easily reach everywhere you need to go. Our student accommodation provides the height of comfort and luxury, with all the most modern features and at affordable prices.
Brunel Court student accommodation in Preston is divided between luxury pod apartments, gold studios, silver studios and ensuite rooms, meaning you can choose just how much space and privacy you want. Bedrooms, living areas, kitchen facilities and bathrooms are all high quality and well-equipped. Whichever form of accommodation you pick, you will have a personal space to live, work and relax. We also provide additional facilities for our student residents, including laundrettes, social areas, gym, study area, cinema and even a retro arcade.
These extra features are included in the price, along with utilities such as power, heating and water, and internet. Parking spaces are available, although there is a small extra fee. We can also offer secure storage facilities for bicycles. Whilst on-site, you can enjoy the landscaped gardens or participate in a range of social and entertainment activities.
Preston is a beautiful city with a thriving nightlife, and studying at UCLan allows you to be right at the heart of it. All you need to do is start looking early, do your research thoroughly, and then choose somewhere like Brunel Court, where you will have access to everything you need for a fulfilling time at university.