Applying for accommodation

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Here’s a list of questions we’re most often asked by students who’d like to live in university accommodation. If you have any other questions, please contact us.

When can I apply for accommodation?

All new students can apply now.

Who can apply for accommodation?

If you’re applying for accommodation you should have listed Anglia Ruskin University as your first choice, and firmly accepted a conditional or unconditional offer from us. You should also be joining a full-time course. 

Our university accommodation is available to those living more than 35 miles away from campus in Cambridge, or more than 15 miles away from campus in Chelmsford.

You can use the Google maps distance calculator to work out how far away you live. Type in our postcode (Cambridge is CB1 1PT; Chelmsford is CM1 1SQ). Click on search and once it says 'found', type your own postcode over the top of ours. Click the 'found' button again. The distance will appear below the map.

Alternatively, use our Cambridge 35-mile radius map.

35-mile radius map

I live within 35 miles of the Cambridge campus or 15 miles of the Chelmsford campus. What should I do if I'd like to live closer to campus?

There are plenty of rooms, flats and houses to rent in Cambridge and Chelmsford, and you can share with other students from Anglia Ruskin.

Our accommodation website, Studentpad, lets you search for houses, flats and rooms in Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough. (You’ll need a password from your local Residential Service before you can use it.) We also have lists of letting agencies in Cambridge and Chelmsford.

Cambridge agency list

Chelmsford agency list

Our guide, How to be a happy house hunter, has helpful information if you’re planning to rent.

How to be a happy house hunter

Is accommodation guaranteed?

We can usually offer rooms to most new, first-year students, but we can’t guarantee accommodation. Places in Cambridge especially are limited and do fill up.

It’s best to apply for accommodation as soon as you’ve firmly accepted a conditional or unconditional offer from us.

We can also help you to find private rented accommodation.

How do I apply?

There are two easy steps:

  • make sure you've read about the accommodation we offer
  • apply online

You can start an application and log back in another time to complete it, but we are unable to change your accommodation choice once you have submitted your application.

First time login

You'll need your ARU student ID number and a password to login. Click on the ‘Email me my Password’ link if you don’t know your password. This will be sent to the email address you registered with UCAS (or with ARU for non-UCAS applicants).

If you have any questions or require further information about any aspects of living in our accommodation please contact Residential Service.

Can I monitor my application?

You can track your application online, all the way through to the moment you arrive with us.

Why would my application not be successful?

There are a number of possible reasons:

  • our accommodation was already full at the time you applied
  • in Cambridge, you live within 35 miles of campus
  • in Chelmsford, you live within five miles of campus
  • Anglia Ruskin University isn’t your first choice
  • you’re planning to study part-time 
  • you’ve lived in our student accommodation before
  • you’re under the age of 18 on the date you start your course, and can't be offered a place in university accommodation (your parent/guardian has responsibility for where you live)

You can read more details in our Allocations policy.

Allocations policy

If my application is unsuccessful, what other accommodation options are there?

Go to our Private rented accommodation page for help with searching for a room, finding temporary accommodation and other helpful information.

In Cambridge, if I apply online for a property managed by a partner of Anglia Ruskin, is the process different?

The application process is the same. We’ll check that your application meets our requirements of our Allocations policy, then pass it on to the property manager. They will contact you by email with an offer.

This relates to: CB1; The Railyard; the YMCA; Sedley Court; and The Forum. You may need to pay an administration fee to cover things such as reference checks and contracts. This fee is generally non-refundable.

Allocations policy

I’ll be going on a placement during my course. What accommodation should I apply for?

If you’re going to be studying nursing, midwifery or operating department practice, you may be able to apply for NHS hospital accommodation close to your placement.

For other courses, you can live in university accommodation and travel to your placement. We recommend asking your faculty where your placements are likely to be, before you apply for accommodation. We can’t accept cancellations or requests to vacate university accommodation if you decide you want to live closer to your placement.

I’m already studying at Anglia Ruskin, but have never lived in university accommodation. Can I apply?

If you’re eligible then yes, you can apply for a room.

If you’d like to live in university accommodation during the next academic year, apply in early January. Spaces are limited. If you want to move in part way through the academic year, please contact us to find out if rooms are available.

Who can I expect to live with?

Anglia Ruskin is home to students from all over the UK and the world, so you’ll live with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. University accommodation is interfaith, mixed gender and culturally diverse. We promote a tolerant, socially diverse community.

Students requiring food preparation areas that are meat free or free from food allergens may want to consider booking a studio apartment where available, or look to rent privately which we can help you with.  We are unable to offer meat-free or allergen-free kitchens.

Where can I live if my course starts in January, March or June?

Accommodation options can be limited for courses starting in January, March or June. Some NHS accommodation is available for students with hospital placements.

In Cambridge, we hold a small number of rooms for full fee paying international students who are starting in January. If you’re a UK or EU student, you’ll need to rent privately. Visit our Cambridge page for more details.

In Chelmsford, we have a small number of rooms available for international, EU and UK students. See our Chelmsford page for details.

In Peterborough, you'll need to make your own arrangements in the private sector. Take a look at our Peterborough page for details.

I’ll be doing a hospital placement as part of my course. What accommodation option should I choose?

Students with hospital placements often choose to live in NHS accommodation. It’s a chance to live near to placements with students on similar courses. Hospitals can also offer contracts that fit with your course. Find out more about accommodation for students with hospital placements.

You can also apply for Anglia Ruskin’s university accommodation. However, please take tenancy dates into consideration when submitting your application form.

What options are available if my course runs beyond June?

Subject to availability, some university accommodation is available over the summer. You may need to move rooms. NHS accommodation may also be available over the summer for students with hospital placements.