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On-Campus VS Off-Campus: Making the Best Choice for Student Accommodation in Preston

Choosing suitable student accommodation Preston is pivotal for students beginning their journey at the University of Central Lancashire. When weighing the pros and cons of on-campus versus off-campus student accommodation, it’s essential to consider factors such as convenience, community, cost, and personal preferences. On-campus student housing offers seamless access to university facilities, minimizing the hassle of commuting and fostering a tight-knit community. Conversely, off-campus housing provides a broader range of choices and greater independence, enabling students to select a location that best suits their needs. Each option comes with its benefits and challenges. This article will delve into the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision and thrive in your student life in Preston.


On-campus Student Accommodation in Preston

On-campus student residences typically fall into four categories: Standard, En-suite, Studio, and One/Two-Bedroom Apartments.

  • Standard: The most common type features multi-bedroom setups shared among six people. Each student has a private bedroom with basic furnishings, while the living room, kitchen, and bathroom are shared. Rent ranges from £200-£300 per week in London and £100-£200 per week elsewhere.
  • En-suite: This option is similar to Standard but with private bathrooms for each bedroom. It is usually 10-20% more expensive than Standard accommodations.
  • Studio: A single flat with an open-plan design where the kitchen and bedroom share the same space. Ideal for those who prefer privacy, though cooking may lead to lingering odours in the sleeping area.
  • One/ Two-bedroom Apartments: more space and privacy, with separate rooms for sleeping and living. Due to limited availability, these apartments are pricier and harder to book, but they are a viable option for those with a larger budget.

Advantages and Disadvantages of On-campus Student Accommodation


The most apparent advantage of on-campus accommodation is its proximity to the school, as you can walk there daily. At the same time, on-campus accommodation is well-equipped so that you can bring your belongings with you. On-campus accommodation generally provides facilities and services such as water, electricity, gas, internet access, TV, laundry, etc. These are very friendly to students studying in the UK for the first time.

In addition, living in on-campus accommodation allows you to meet many students from different countries and cultures. The most important thing is that the university's reputation guarantees on-campus accommodation, so you are highly protected in terms of safety. So you don't have to worry about problems with your accommodation contract or if the facilities break down and no one is there to take care of it.


Firstly, most schools in the UK offer a limited number of dormitories, which you need to book in advance, and if you don't get a booking, you'll have to look for off-campus accommodation. Moreover, on-campus accommodation is also more fixed and less selective. Some dormitories are old, with outdated hardware and facilities, and the supporting facilities are more straightforward. Some dormitories have less space for public activities, so you may not be able to live in them as comfortably as you would like.

Secondly, on-campus accommodation is more expensive. Most of the on-campus accommodation fees cover the cost of utilities, internet, heating, and other services, so the price is slightly more expensive than renting a room outside. Moreover, many on-campus residence halls in the UK are co-educational and need to differentiate between nationalities, so many students need time to get used to it.

Off-campus Student Accommodation in Preston

Due to the limited availability and high price of school dormitories, there are usually not many good choices after May. Because school dormitories are expensive, many students choose to rent a room. There are two options for off-campus student accommodation: House and Flat.

  • House: relatively cheap, usually 4-5 people live in a detached house, beautiful scenery, large yard.
  • Flat: Apartments, usually two or three bedrooms, are located in good, easy-to-travel locations but expensive. The type of apartment is similar to a school dormitory; almost all students live in it, and the rent is included in the bill. The rent will increase according to the apartment type, but the overall price is similar to a dormitory.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Off-campus Student Accommodation


The off-campus dormitory is not only rented to the students of the flat, but it may also be a single rental housing way. Off-campus renting has many advantages, such as being relatively inexpensive and able to practise independent living, with more freedom and no one to care if you come home late. However, when choosing an off-campus apartment, you should consider several factors: the house's condition, location, security, the price of the rent, and the agent's reputation.


In contrast, some potential risks and problems are associated with off-campus renting. For example, if you don't have a close relationship with the school, the housing contract with a third party can easily lead to disputes, and security is not guaranteed. Although off-campus renting may not be so expensive when shared among many people, you have to pay for your utilities, so those who have just arrived in the UK may not be too accustomed to it because the self-payment site is different. The procedure is still a bit more troublesome. Secondly, the kitchen and bedroom of off-campus rented rooms are somewhat separate, so you may have to put up with the smell of grease from frying and cooking in your bed, the window, and the cooker hood.


In conclusion, choosing between on-campus and off-campus student accommodation in Preston hinges on your individual needs, preferences, and priorities. By carefully considering factors such as budget, lifestyle, and personal goals, you can make a well-informed decision that will enrich your university experience and set the foundation for a successful and enjoyable time at the University of Central Lancashire.

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