Choose your college and accommodation

Before you arrive you will be invited to apply for accommodation on campus for your first year at Lancaster. Undergraduates will also be invited to apply to a college while all postgraduates become Grad College members

Our collegiate system

Lancaster University is proud to be one of a handful of universities in the UK to operate a collegiate system. There are nine colleges in total – eight for undergraduates and one for postgraduates.

Choosing a college 

When you are invited to apply for accommodation, you will also be asked to choose a preferred college. This applies to all undergraduates, including those who choose not to live on campus.

Colleges are communities. As well as containing accommodation, they also offer social and sporting activities, regular college trips and inter-college competitions. To find out more about the individual colleges at Lancaster University visit the Collegiate System webpage or take a look at this quick explainer video.

Off campus students may be particularly interested to find out about Bowland and Lonsdale Colleges - the two founding colleges of the University. Both colleges have facilities such as quiet/social study space, kitchens and lockers, which are handy for students who live off campus. As a student who commutes, you may wish to choose either Bowland or Lonsdale College when you join the University as they are working together to provide activities and events specifically aimed at students who live off campus.


We invite all new students to apply to live on campus when they accept an offer of a place - take a look at the Accommodation website to see the types of accommodation available and prices.

If you want to live on campus you should submit an application via the accommodation portal. Unless you are a late applicant, you should receive an offer from us by mid-September. You can secure this by paying a deposit through the Portal as part of the acceptance of the terms of the offer.


Accommodation fees can be paid through our online payments portal once you have received your invoice. For details of what will be provided in your accommodation as well as information on maintenance, cleaning, terms and conditions and more take a look at the Residents' Handbook (PDF). Once you have been accepted into a college, you will receive confirmation and be required to pay a college membership fee of £36 for undergraduates and £12 for postgraduates for courses beginning in 2019. Find out more including how to pay. Please also be aware that if you live in campus accommodation you do not have to pay Council Tax, and the council will already have been sent your details, so you don't need to apply for an exemption. Find out more about Council Tax reductions and exemptions including for students who live off-campus.

City housing

Lancaster University also runs a scheme that helps students find good quality private housing in the city. Visit Lancaster University Homes for more information.

Find out more

For more guidance, please see the Accommodation website, or call our hotline number: 01524 594910.