Preparing for postgraduate study: finding yourself accommodation

Embarking on postgraduate study at Plymouth will likely mean a house move for a lot of you. For those in Plymouth already, it might be because current housemates are moving on from the city and leaving your current place unsuitable for you, whilst others will be coming from another part of the country or even another part of the world! Regardless, the topic of accommodation will probably be cause for a range of different concerns, but it needn’t be something to worry about as long as you start thinking about it well in advance.

  • Ask yourself a few basic questions

How far are you willing to walk into University? Remember lectures will often be multiple days per week, so you need to be happy to make that trip come rain or sunshine. Will you be bringing your car? You’ll need to find out what the parking arrangements are like for your street, and what price you may need to pay for a permit. Do you want to live with other students or perhaps you’d rather live on your own, or with a partner? Do you want bills all included (my preference as it’s one less thing to worry about), or would you rather sort things like internet, gas and water yourself?

  • Get familiar with Plymouth

If you’re not familiar with the city, then make sure you take the opportunity to visit beforehand (if it’s feasible), so that you can familiarise yourself with neighbourhoods in the local area and where they are in relation to the university campus and other amenities such as the city centre.

  • Check out the accommodation webpages

There’s plenty of helpful info on the Plymouth Uni website, and the Residence Life team are on hand to offer you advice should you need it, (their contact details can be found on the website). Furthermore they keep a database of approved private accommodation which you can utilise should you need too, and this is a great place to start if you’re having trouble finding somewhere.

  • Once you’ve found somewhere

A few other useful questions you might not have thought to ask at this point include: does the place come with kitchen utensils, plates, pans etc. or will you need to buy them? What about other essentials like an iron, a hoover, television, or a desk to work at? They’re often all things you’re going to need, and many landlords will throw them in with the house, but not always, so don’t just assume.

  • Start thinking about accommodation as early as you can

September is going to come round pretty quick believe me, so save yourself from unnecessary worries and a mad rush, and get your housing sorted in good time for the start of the year so you can enjoy going back to university!

These are just a few pointers for you to consider at this stage in making the move to postgraduate. Hopefully it’s enough to get you thinking about what to do next. Keep an eye out for my next few posts where I’ll be covering some of the other things you’ll need to start preparing on the run up to starting your programme next September.