Things to consider now about student life

In the past, ‘student life’ has had its own unique traditions, stereotypes and rights of passage. However, with the increase in the number of students and the diversity of their backgrounds, there is now more choice than ever about the kind of ‘student life’ you might want to live. Given that you may have some particular preferences, it is important to consider life outside your studies when choosing which universities to apply to.

Today, around 80% of students move away from home to study at university, with 20% choosing to remain at their family home. Wherever you choose to live, your university is where you will study, and it is likely to be the centre of your social life too. For many, this is where you participate in arts, culture and sport; where you go for entertainment and nightlife; and where you do part-time work or volunteering.

You may already have a clear idea of the kind of ‘student life’ you want to live. However, while you’re still at school it can be hard to get your head around this. To help you think about what preferences you might have, we have included some suggestions below, including links on accommodation and employment.



If you choose to live at university, in your first year you will probably live in student accommodation on campus, which will be arranged through the university. For further information about campus accommodation options, you should look at a university’s own website.

In the following years you may be able to continue living on campus, but most people choose to live in private accommodation nearby. You can find out more through any normal lettings agents, or there are websites that focus specifically on accommodation for university students.

Uni Lodgers

Sanctuary Students


Part-time jobs

Although your student loan will help to cover the costs of your accommodation and keep you fed, in order to make the most of student life you may need to work to earn some extra money while you are studying.

When looking for a part-time job, a good place to start is by getting in touch with your university’s student union. As well as advertising jobs on the university campus, they will also provide information about other opportunities in your local area.

Another popular choice among students is to look for part-time work in local bars, restaurants or shops nearby where you are living whilst away. There will be a lot of students who are interested in these jobs, so it is worth getting in touch with employers early.


How to find out more about student life

One helpful way of finding out more is to speak to teachers, siblings, friends or family contacts who may have lived in the place or studied at the university you are interested in. However, bear in mind that, depending on when they were there, they might not be the most up-to-date.

Another helpful way of finding out more is to look at publicly available data on student life. This might include a university’s own website; more general websites such as the National Union of Students; or student-focused websites such as Student Room or UniBubble.

You can get started with some effective independent research just using Google or YouTube. So, to find out more about student life, you might want to think about:

  • Nightlife – e.g. bars, clubs, restaurants
  • Social life - e.g. arts and entertainment, societies and sports clubs
  • Student voice - e.g. National Student Survey

Building on the above data, we have created a detailed profile of two regions, which you can access via the links below. We will be adding more regional profiles over the coming months.

East Midlands

North West