Oxford can be a minefield when it comes to finding a place to live. There are many types of student accommodation, from cheap to luxury. It all depends on whether you will be studying at the University of Oxford or Oxford Brookes University. It is one of the most important decisions you will have to make, so here is our guide with all the information you need on where to live in Oxford as a student.
Student areas in Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford differs to most universities as most students will live in their colleges for the majority of the entire duration of their courses. Oxford has 39 colleges, most of these are in the city centre with other colleges located in the north of the city or east of the city.
For students based in the city centre, there is a long list of things to do. Oxford is full of museums, shops, restaurants and bars. Students of Oxford have access to prestigious libraries and sports facilities. The city is relatively small, so walking from the centre back to student accommodation should take between 10-20 minutes depending on which college you live in.
This area is much quieter than the centre but still boasts some of the best independent bars/eateries in the whole of Oxford. Colleges in this area include St Hugh’s, St Antony’s, Kellogg and St Anne’s. It is also closer to the university parks which offer plenty of public green spaces.
This area is home to St Hilda’s College as well as accommodation blocks for other colleges. The universities sports and recreation grounds are located here, including sports pitches/courts, a gym, a swimming pool and other training facilities for the university sports teams. It is also relatively close to the Cowley road, an area with a bustling nightlife.
Oxford Brookes University
Cowley is by far the most popular area for student housing at Brookes. It is next door to the O2 Academy, home to the most famous Oxford Brookes club night; Fishies. It also has a number of convenience stores, a large Tesco Metro and independent bars, restaurants and takeaways. You can walk to the Headington campus in about 15 minutes, which is where the majority of courses are held. The downside to Cowley is that the university U5 bus route (BrookesBus) only goes directly to the city centre from the Cowley Road, not to the campus itself, so walking or biking to lectures is the most popular option. The estimated monthly cost of living in this area would be around £500-600 per month for shared housing. There are fewer halls around Cowley, with the average cost of £600-700 per month.
Headington is another very popular area for students at Brookes. It has better bus connections than Cowley, with the U1 BrookesBus going from the Wheatley campus through the centre of Headington, past the Headington campus and into Oxford city centre. It will take you about a 10-20 minute walk to get to Headington campus, but if you live near Headington shops, it would be a 5-minute bus journey. Wheatley campus students also choose to live here as it is closer to the city centre and has the direct bus route, which takes roughly 20 minutes. The estimated cost is similar to Cowley; it would usually be around £500-550 per month for shared housing and £600-800 per month for halls.
Marston campus is home to all healthcare courses, so it makes sense that this area is popular with healthcare students! It is a more residential area than Headington or Cowley. All the convenience stores/takeaways are right on the edge of Marston so it can be a long walk depending on which part of the area you live in. The upside to this area is that it is on the U5 BrookesBus route connecting you directly to Headington campus and Marston campus. It is more common for second/third-year students to live here in private housing, at an average cost of £550 per month.
Wheatley is quite far out of the city, so it is only Wheatley campus students who tend to live here. The campus is home to Engineering and Computing courses. It is a much quieter area in a small town, but there is a large ASDA nearby and convenience shops/pubs. There is one halls option that is catered at £640 per month and private housing, which on average costs £500 per month.
This is an area in West Oxford, it is outside of the city centre and is home to the Harcourt Hill campus which is where Education, Early Years and Teacher Training courses are held alongside some English and Communications courses. There are few student halls in this area and a selection of private housing. It is an area that has a lot fewer amenities than the other options, so housing prices average from £400-£550 per month. There is also the Brookes sports centre which includes a swimming pool and outdoor sports fields.
Cost of living as a student in Oxford
Average cost of university-owned halls: £600 per month
Average cost of privately owned halls: £750 per month
Average cost of private house shares: £550 per month
The price of rent and living in Oxford is often said to be the highest in the country outside of London. Always expect to be paying an extra £50 per month on top of your rent for bills if they aren’t already included. The average cost of a pint is £4 according to PintPrice and a night out would normally cost around £40 on average including drinks, taxis and ticket prices, so definitely make the most of pre-drinks. Student nights tend to be a lot cheaper with offers on drinks, such as £1 drinks in Atik on their student nights. One of the most popular club nights in Oxford is Fishies, most attendees dress up in themed fancy dress every week, the average cost of fancy dress is around £10 per outfit depending on how much of it is homemade!
The Best Student Halls in Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is unlike most universities when it comes to student accommodation, as it is arranged according to what college you study in. Accommodation can be offered for the entirety of your course or just for two years, depending on what you are studying. The university has 39 colleges, and our guide includes the most popular if your college isn’t listed below, then please visit their website for more information. The majority of students live in their college’s accommodation and those who don’t tend to live in a shared private house. For information on the cost of the University of Oxford halls, please click here.
Price from: £169 per week
This is one of the only non-university owned halls that is available to University of Oxford students. It is shared with Oxford Brookes students and is made up of en-suite rooms with communal social spaces. Information on different pricing options is available to Oxford applicants only.
The accommodation is made up of shared houses slightly north of the city centre a short distance away from the college. Cleaning of communal areas is provided, and there is also an on-site café.
Also located north of the city centre, this college’s accommodation is in the college itself and has a common room, gym and boathouse. Meals are on a pay-as-you-eat basis in the cafeteria.
Located near Jericho, the halls-style accommodation is made up of single bedrooms with shared kitchens. There are en-suite or shared bathroom options and a dining hall for weekday meals. There are also college-owned shared houses that are available to be rented out by third-year students.
Accommodation is only available during term-time, and it is also located in Jericho. The rooms are halls-style study bedrooms.
Accommodation is available on-site for three years here, but from the second-year undergraduates can live out. Most rooms are en-suite; however, some do have showers shared between two rooms. There are formal dinners three times a week, with the rest of the food being casual self-service.
This college is located just off Oxford’s High Street, and accommodation is guaranteed for all first-year undergraduate students. Bedrooms are all single-occupancy and kitchens, and bathrooms are shared between 4-6 students.
Accommodation is guaranteed for the entire duration of a student’s course, although you can choose to live out after the first year. First years are allocated single bedrooms with shared bathroom facilities, and there are sports pitches and tennis/squash courts available to use.
Located close to Oxford’s High Street, this college’s accommodation is guaranteed for first, second and fourth years. There is a mixture of informal and formal dinners throughout the week in the dining hall.
First and third-year student accommodation is located on-site at the college. This accommodation is made up of single or double bedrooms and shared bathroom/kitchen facilities. Second-year student halls are self-catered and en-suite, located in Iffley.
Oxford Brookes University
Oxford Brookes has many private and university-managed accommodation in various locations for different campuses. Students do not have to live in specific halls, but there are a few halls that are only for students doing certain courses such as Nursing/Midwifery and Primary Education.
Price from: £198 per week
This privately managed hall has a mixture of a great location as well as luxury facilities. It is a ten-minute walk from the Headington campus; the rooms are en-suite with a three-quarter or double bed. Studio or shared flats are available, and there are larger social spaces on offer here.
Price from: £153 per week
Cheney is owned and managed by Oxford Brookes, and it is the closest hall on offer to Headington Campus, it is just a five-minute walk away. There are en-suite or shared bathroom flats available, and each flat has 5 or 6 occupants.
Price from: £163 per week
This hall opened in 2019 and is popular with both new students and continuing students. It is a 15-minute bus journey from Headington campus, so its modern vibe and private gym are its main selling points.
Price from: £169 per week
This privately managed hall is very close to Parade Green and has a university bus stop right outside. It has en-suite rooms and studio flats and a social area with a pool table.
Price from: £167 per week
This hall is also managed by Oxford Brookes and is a ten-minute walk from Headington campus. As well as single rooms with en-suite/shared bathroom options, there are also family flats and twin rooms available.
Price from: £192 per week
This is one of the only halls located in Cowley for new students, so it is perfect for the Oxford Brookes nightlife. It has a more contemporary feel than most of the other halls and is made up of en-suite bedrooms in flats of 4, 5 or 6.
Price from: £159 per week (including catering)
Based on the Wheatley campus, this is Oxford Brooke’s only catered hall. It has shared bathroom facilities (but you do get your own sink in your room). It has a cafeteria external to the accommodation block which serves meals included in your rent, and there are also shared kitchenettes in the hall’s building for making light meals/snacks.
Price from: 168 per week
This hall is the best-rated option for students studying at Harcourt Hill campus. It is made up of en-suite bedrooms in flats of 5 or 6 and has the Harcourt Hill gym/swimming pool next door. There are also studio flats on offer for couples.
Price from: £89 per week
This is the cheapest option for student halls for Oxford Brookes students and is located on the Harcourt Hill campus. Students from other campuses could stay here if they wanted to as the university BrookesBus links this hall with Headington and Wheatley campuses. It is made up of shared bathroom facilities in flats of 9.
Price from: £116 per week
This hall is another economical option, and it is 2 miles away from the Headington Campus. It has shared bathroom facilities in flats of 6, 7 or 9. There is a communal computer room, and all bedrooms come with their own sink.
The Cheapest Student Halls in Oxford
Oxford Brookes University
If you want to live in the cheapest halls for Oxford Brookes students, it is important to consider the contract length as well as the weekly rent cost, as some halls contracts run for a lot longer than others, which would greatly impact the overall price you have to pay over the year. So, we’ve put together a list of the cheapest halls and their contract lengths to help you compare the different options.
Price from: £89 per week (38-week contract)
Price from: £116 per week (38-week contract)
Price from: £153 per week (50-week contract)
Price from: £167 per week (38-week contract)
Price from: £163 per week (38-week contract)
University of Oxford
Most of the accommodation prices are only available to Oxford applicants/offer holders. Oxford University-owned accommodation can be cheaper than private housing as students only pay for term-time accommodation, whereas private housing contracts typically last for 11 months. Please click here to find out more about accommodation prices and living costs.