Once your place is confirmed, you must decide whether to live in halls of residence or opt for private accommodation, says Sam Pope

University/college accommodation

Most institutions give priority to first-year students to help settle in. You will either be housed in a hall of residence or in a student flat. Student rooms contain a bed, table, chair, lamp, book case, wardrobe and sometimes a sink. Some are more modern and offer an en-suite bathroom and internet connection. You will normally share bathroom facilities and other communal areas such as laundry rooms and kitchens.

If you are bringing your family, ask about it as soon as possible because there is only limited accommodation available for families.

Private sector accommodation

Sometimes it's not possible to offer everyone accommodation, especially if your place came through Clearing in August. If this happens, ask the accommodation officer if they can recommend local landlords. An advance trip to the UK may be advisable so you can look for accommodation in person. It's always the best idea to leave your family at home until you are established.

The cost

How much you pay for accommodation will depend on your university/college and the town or city you will be living in. It is much more expensive to live in the South-east of England and especially in London. In many cases accommodation owned by the university is much cheaper, although sometimes private rental can be just as cheap. Typically, you can expect to pay the following per month:

Accommodation: £160-£350

Heat and light: £20-£40 (if not included)

Food: £110-£135 (if not included)

Travel: £1-£3 per day (if centrally based)