Edinburgh is home to over 35,000 students and accommodation competition is fierce. With three main universities spread across the city, choosing your student accommodation can be tricky. Different universities offer different locations, catering options, and choosing accommodation is unique to each person’s priorities. To help you in this decision, we have provided the ultimate guide to student accommodation in Edinburgh.

What type of student accommodation in Edinburgh?

The type of student accommodation you choose may depend on your year at university. Many first year students will start university in student halls, and then move into student housing in their second and third years. However, it is important to choose the type of accommodation that you are comfortable with.

Student Halls near Edinburgh universities

For first-year students, university halls are an excellent starting point. They provide a supportive environment, making the transition to university life smoother. These halls are typically located on or near campus, offering convenience and a sense of community. They often include utilities in the rent, making budgeting easier for new students

Student halls are a great way to meet other students in your university. Although the living groups can be hit or miss, halls are guaranteed to put you in the centre of university life. You can choose either catered or self-catered student halls, depending on how confident you are in your cooking ability! Catered halls are typically more expensive, but you could argue that money is ultimately saved from not buying a weekly food shop. Self-catered halls tend to be cheaper and gives you the option of cooking, which is a useful life skill to master early on.

You could alternatively go into Private Halls, which are student halls not run by the Universities. Fresh Student Living is a good example in Edinburgh. Just a quick walk away from the University of Edinburgh campus and a short bus-rise away from Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh Napier campuses, these Private Halls provide a resourceful alternative to university-run student halls.

Find more of the best student halls in Edinburgh on our list.

Student Houses in Edinburgh

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Whether it is you first, second or third year at university, you may want to investigate student housing as an accommodation option. Typically, cheaper than student halls, student housing is completely independent of the universities and features a rental agreement between a landlord and student tenants. In Edinburgh, you can either sign up to a trustworthy letting agency, or conduct your own research via housing sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla. Student housing takes the common form of flats in Edinburgh, so finding accommodation for more than five people is often more difficult. Whether you are moving into a studio flat, a flat share or moving in with a few friends, student housing is a great accommodation choice!

Luxury Student Accommodation in Edinburgh

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Edinburgh also has several luxury student accommodations, which are more independent and with less shared facilities. Although these are considerably more expensive than alternative options, they are worth the money if you are willing to pay. For those wanting an ensuite bathroom, private kitchen, and proximity to university campuses, this may be a consideration.

How to find student accommodation in Edinburgh?

Letting agencies are your best bet for a secure accommodation choice in Edinburgh. Once you have decided on your location, it is a good idea to research the reputable letting agencies in the area. If it is a popular student area, they are likely to be better at finding housing suitable for students at decent prices. Although some agents also include bills in their rental contracts, it is important to check your tenancy agreement to make sure. This could add another £50-100 to your individual rent price per month, depending on whether bills are included or not.

It is important to note that the Edinburgh student housing market tends to run slower than English Universities. It is more competitive to find housing within the summer months, so if you want to be sure of your accommodation for next year, we advise getting on top of it early.

Where to live?

The location of your accommodation is a crucial decision to make. The area you choose is dependent on what you want to be closest to, whether this be shops, university campus, or clubs. In Edinburgh, you could live in New Town, which has great access to Princes Street and the main shopping district. If you want to be closer to a higher student population and cheaper food shops, Newington might be up your street. Make sure you know what you want to prioritise, and you will find the right location. Luckily, if your first-choice area does not work out, then you will have easy access to the whole city through Edinburgh’s public transport system!

You can find more on where to live in Edinburgh as a student here.

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Budgeting and costs

Budgeting for accommodation is a critical aspect of student life in Edinburgh. Costs vary depending on the type and location of housing. It’s important to factor in rent, utility bills, internet, and possibly travel costs when budgeting. Students should also be aware of deposit requirements and any agency fees. Planning and budgeting effectively can help avoid financial stress and ensure a more enjoyable student experience

What to do if you can’t find student accommodation in Edinburgh?

In the event of not finding accommodation in Edinburgh, it is important to contact your university. University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University and Edinburgh Napier University all have systems in place to support students who are struggling to find accommodation.

Universities in Edinburgh also offer various support systems to assist students with housing. This includes accommodation services that help find university or private housing, financial advice, and support with any housing-related issues. These services are invaluable, especially for international students or those unfamiliar with the local housing market. Beyond Edinburgh university accommodation services,  you can also get help by looking at student unions, forums online and other property listings websites that have accommodation and advice specifically for students in Edinburgh.

Is student accommodation in Edinburgh cheap?

The ultimate student accommodation guide to Edinburgh
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This really depends on where you choose to live and the type of accommodation. In general, student accommodation in Edinburgh isn’t cheap, ranging from £140-£280 per week. This is typically on a room basis, so it’s obviously a little more if you’re planning to live with more space or less people.

Nevertheless, there are cheaper options available, which are under £100 per week. It just takes a little digging and asking around to find them. Make sure to contact your university support and check local lettings to compare.

7 tips to help you find student accommodation in Edinburgh

Here are seven tips for finding student accommodation in Edinburgh, tailored to the specific needs and characteristics of the city:

  1. Start early: Begin your search for accommodation well in advance of the academic year. Edinburgh’s student housing market is competitive, especially around the start of term.
  2. Utilise university resources: Check with your university for any guidance or resources they offer. The University of Edinburgh, for example, provides useful information and support for finding accommodation.
  3. Explore specific student accommodation providers that operate in Edinburgh: Consider providers specialising in student accommodation in Edinburgh, such as Collegiate AC, Fresh Student Living, Unite Student Accommodation, IQ Student Accommodation, and The Student Housing Company.
  4. Choose the right location: Prioritise locations based on proximity to your university campus, access to public transport, and availability of amenities. Each neighbourhood in Edinburgh has its unique charm and advantages.
  5. Use online platforms: Leverage online platforms like Rightmove, Zoopla, and Unilodgers to find suitable student accommodations.
  6. Budget accordingly: Be aware of your budget and consider the total cost of living, including rent, utilities, and other expenses. Edinburgh isn’t necessarily the cheapest city, so it’s important to also consider how you’ll be getting to uni from your accommodation each time and generally getting around.
  7. Inspect the property: If possible, visit the property in person to check its condition and ensure it meets your needs. If you’re planning to live with mates, it’s often good to go all together to make sure everyone is happy. The last thing anyone wants is to feel uncomfortable with where they’re living.

Whichever student accommodation in Edinburgh you choose, we wish you happy house hunting! If you need anymore help regarding student accommodation, check out more of our top tips for finding the perfect student accommodation.