The second year of your undergraduate degree may be the most enjoyable. You’ve successfully navigated your first year, made new friends and established yourself in a new city. Your second year is likely to include more demands when it comes to studying, and you may want to spend a little less time socialising, but there are still plenty of opportunities to make the most of university life.
It’s also the year when many students who have been living in university accommodation such as halls of residence during their first year, move into accommodation off-campus. So what options do second-year students have when it comes to safe, comfortable and convenient student accommodation?
This guide explores accommodation options available for second years and discusses some of the things to consider when looking for somewhere to live as a second-year undergraduate.
Accommodation options for second years
Although it’s sometimes possible to continue living in university accommodation as a returning student, most undergraduates move out of halls and into privately rented accommodation in their second academic year.
Sharing a student house with friends made during the first year of university is a popular choice for many second years. These houses can vary in size, location and quality but will frequently be found in particular, student-dominated parts of the city and can have up to 10 bedrooms. As rent and bills are shared between housemates, this can be a cost-effective way to rent but clear agreements need to be made in advance to avoid disputes.
Living at home
If your parental/family home is within easy travelling distance from your university campus, then living at home might be an option. Alternatively, you may do the majority of your lectures, seminars and coursework remotely, and would prefer to save money by staying at home. However, this limits your opportunities to interact with your peers face-to-face and can be draining if you do have to travel to campus every day.
Specialist student accommodation providers like Mansion Student can help bridge the gap between university accommodation and the rest of the private rental sector. These are high-quality, luxury apartments and self-contained studios in purpose-built or redeveloped buildings, usually with great access to university campuses and other city centre attractions. They’re the perfect option for second-year students, combining the benefits of university accommodation with added luxury and extra facilities.
Finding suitable accommodation for your second year
When you’re looking for accommodation for your second year it’s important to be realistic about costs. The city and specific area a property is located in will impact its rental price, as will the property size, features and on-site facilities. Newcastle, for example, is one of the most affordable student cities in the UK, and our Mansion Tyne accommodation starts from just £99 per week. This is for a classic ensuite room with a double bed, study area and plenty of storage, and a shared kitchen/living room with other tenants.
Ask yourself: Does the area meet your needs? Is it close to the library, amenities and cultural activities you’re interested in? If you’re studying in Leeds, for example, you may prefer a slightly quieter location like our Woodhouse Apartments. Take some time to consider your preferences when it comes to location.
Does the property offer you enough space, and does it have the facilities you require? Many shared houses are quite basic in what they offer, whereas purpose-built accommodation will offer more luxury features. At our Ernest Place accommodation in Durham, for example, there is a cinema room, fitness studio and gym, outdoor area, roof terrace, on-site maintenance and much more.
Arranging a viewing for a second-year home
The majority of students start viewing accommodation for the following academic year between November and March of their current year. Before booking in an appointment to view accommodation, you can speak to the property’s management team, landlord or estate agent. They will be able to advise whether the property will fit with your budget, or recommend more affordable alternatives.
There are a few important factors to consider when viewing accommodation for your second year. These include the location and quality of the property, the levels of security and privacy on offer, and the on-site or nearby facilities.
Choosing who to live with in your second year
A lot of students going into their second year of undergraduate study get to choose who they want to live with, after having been assigned flatmates in halls of residence. These might be the same people who they lived with in halls or friends from their course.
It’s important to choose your house/flatmates carefully, they should of course be people you get along with, and you should all be in agreement about where you want to live and how much you’re willing to pay for the accommodation. This is especially important if you have to set up your own bills. You should be open and upfront in your discussions to avoid disputes when you actually start living together later on.
However, if you lived at home or on your own in your first year and feel like you missed out on making friends, you can opt for a flatshare in private rented accommodation in your second year to meet some new people. Alternatively, you might actually prefer living alone and would rather rent a studio or one-bed apartment for yourself—especially if you’re in your early twenties or above and didn’t like living in halls with freshers just out of sixth form!
Unlike shared houses, purpose-built accommodation will offer a number of property sizes to suit communal and independent living. In Dundee, for example, our Peterson Hall development offers a choice of accommodation options from a 2-bed shared apartment or a 3 – 6 bed apartment fitted with modern kitchens, large study desks and plenty of storage space
Renting privately with Mansion Student
Mansion Student are a leading provider of high-quality, purpose-built student accommodation. We put student welfare at the heart of everything we do, and all of our properties conform with the ANUK National Code of Standards for Student Accommodation. Our student apartments and studios provide plenty of luxury features and amenities, and prices are inclusive of all utilities and contents insurance.
If you’re looking for high-quality, secure second-year student accommodation in the location of your choice, get in touch with Mansion Student to arrange a viewing or get booked in today.