Coming to Lancaster University
Pre-departure information to help you plan your travel to Lancaster and settle in once you arrive.
Before you set off
Before you travel to the UK and Lancaster there are a few things you’ll need to sort and plan. Here are some of the things you may need to think about.
Visa and CAS
Our expert Visa and Immigration team are on hand to help you throughout your visa application if you require one. As part of the application you’ll need a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) and we will send you this electronic document automatically once you’re eligible to receive one. You won’t get a CAS until your offer is unconditional and we have received your passport details.
For more details about visas and immigration, including information about CAS and ATAS certificates, you can visit our visa and immigration pages.
If you have any questions or concerns you can contact us at:
You might also want to check the UK Visa and Immigration webpages and information available from the Home Office.
Prepare your finance
You will need enough money for your first few days/week - £300 should be enough. Many students choose to use travellers’ cheques for the rest of their money as it’s safer than carrying lots of money.
You should not bring lots of money or cheques with you, and be aware that you may need to declare it at customs.
You can pay your tuition fees in advance, but at least the first instalment will need to be paid when you register with the University. Payment can be made online, by cheque or by bank transfer. Details of how to register and pay any fees will be sent to you before the start of term.
What to pack
Here’s a list of things you will need and that our students recommend you bring with you on your travels.
- Driving License - If you have one
- Passport and other important documents
- Credit card - this will come in useful while you set up your UK bank account
- Money (UK Sterling)
- Prescribed drugs or medicine - You'll also need to bring a letter from your doctor explaining what the medicine is for in case you need more.
- Laptop, music player and other electronics
- Bilingual dictionary
- Camera - to capture your best moments
There are some things you’ll need but might want to buy in the UK to save space and make travelling easier:
- Cutlery, crockery and saucepans
- Cleaning products
Pre-sessional English courses
If you are planning to complete one of our English language courses ahead of your students, you can find more details about these online including accommodation information and start dates.
Travelling to the UK
Lancaster is just over 1 hour from Manchester and Liverpool, and 2.5 hours from London, Glasgow and Edinburgh. It is well connected and easy to get to.
When flying to the UK, we recommend arriving into Manchester Airport. It’s the largest international airport near to Lancaster and is well connected to us via train and car routes. The campus itself is only 3 miles south of the city of Lancaster, and is well served by buses, main roads and cycle routes. Check out our maps and travel page for more information about getting to Lancaster and different travel options.
Term dates and travel planning
Before you set off to the UK, it’s a good idea to check your local authority’s and the UK Government’s travel information. You can check the UK information on the government website.
Our term dates are published online to help you plan your travel.
We also offer an airport collection service to bring our international students to Lancaster University during the arrival period. Details about the latest service will be updated closer to the start of term.
Welcome and settling in
Once you arrive at Lancaster for the start of the academic year, we will have a variety of activities planned to help you set up and get settled in. This will include opportunities to meet your department and your college.
More information about UKVI regulations for registration can be found on our Student and Education Services webpages.
Register with the University
Before the start of your course, we will send you an email asking you to begin Registration online. You must provide your passport, entry clearance visa and Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). You will be required to collect your BRP on campus.
Healthcare in the UK
Many international students are required to pay a health care surcharge which enables them to use the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). It’s important that you register with a doctor soon after you arrive in the UK. And, we suggest you obtain travel insurance for your journey to Lancaster.
Open a bank account
You should arrange an international bank account or bank card so you are able to make card or online payments for basic necessities once you arrive in the UK. There are many banks in the city and you can set up an appointment during Welcome Week.
Coming from Hungary to the UK, Reka shares her experience of arriving and settling in at Lancaster, and how she made the most of her time here.
We have a variety of Buddy programmes to help new students with welfare and academic concerns. These informal, short-term programmes match you with a current student who can help you to settle in and feel supported. They offer a space to ask questions and get some advice.
Your home away from home
Our accommodation has been named ‘Best University Halls' eight times since 2010 at the National Student Housing Awards. We offer almost 7,000 bed spaces for undergraduates, postgraduates and families.
Tab Content: Applying for accommodation
You will be invited via email to apply for college membership and accommodation from June for undergraduate programmes and March for postgraduate programmes in the year you are due to start.
If you have an unconditional offer or are deferring entry we will still contact you at the appropriate time.
Tab Content: Receiving an offer
We will send your offer of accommodation by email and ask that you log back into your online account to view the details and accept or reject it. You will have seven days to consider it.
We do not make any undergraduate room offers until the UK exam results are published in mid-August and we know who is definitely coming.
Tab Content: Accepting your accommodation
When you click to accept the offer you are accepting the Terms and Conditions of the contract presented to you. You will also be directed to secure the room by paying a deposit, refundable at the end of the contract providing no deductions have been made.
Around a week before you arrive, you will be sent an invoice by email to pay for your accommodation.
Tab Content: Off-campus accommodation
While many of our students choose to live on campus, there is also lost of options to live in the city. To support our students in finding their home, we have created the Lancaster University Homes official accreditation scheme to ensure housing is of an approved standard.
There are lots of green spaces around our modern accommodation. These provide great places to spend time with friends.
Your bedroom is a great place you can personalise and show off your personality. It's a comfy place to relax in the evening and to study.
Some of our accommodation includes communal social spaces to gather with friends or study.
Your bedroom will usually include a personal space for you to study.
The communal kitchens have lots of space for cooking and sharing meals with your friends.
Discover campus and the city
The University is based on a stunning 560-acre parkland campus, where you’ll find high-quality facilities and a range of services. We have theatres, art galleries, a cinema, bars, restaurants, a modern sports centre and a vibrant library.
The city of Lancaster is a historic part of the UK with a modern outlook. Home to a medieval castle, cobbled streets, buzzing energy and contemporary businesses. It’s got everything from independent boutiques down little lanes to major brands on the high street.
Lancaster is also a hub of activity, with a packed schedule of festivals covering music, literature, arts, and culture, to headline events such as Light Up Lancaster and Highest Point.