How we allocate accommodation on our Canterbury campus

Group of students in Turing College kitchen

Wondering about how our rooms are allocated? Here’s all the information you need.

So, you’ve applied for accommodation, you’ve selected your room preferences, and you’re now just waiting to receive your University accommodation offer. If you are eligible for our guaranteed room offer, you will receive your offer by email once your place at Kent becomes unconditional (typically within 14 working days after UK A-level results are published in August). Which is why it’s essential to make sure you’ve used a current email address when you apply and remember to check it regularly.

But what’s happening in the background? Let us take you behind the scenes as the Accommodation Team are hard at work allocating all our 5,000+ rooms on campus.

Park Wood 5 bed house
Over a fifth of our student rooms are located within Park Wood, with both en-suite and shared facilities options available. Park Wood 5 bed house (shared facilities) pictured.

We prioritise allocations according to application date

Simply put, the earlier you apply, the more likely it is that you will receive your first or second choice of accommodation. Our allocation software will place students into their top available preference starting with unconditional offer holders and those who applied earliest. Don’t worry if you log in to your account to change your preferences in your application at a later date though; this will not affect your initial application date which is the one used for allocation.

If, due to demand, our software can’t allocate you to your first preference, then it will look to allocate you to your second preference. If this is also full then it will look to allocate you to your third preference, and finally your fourth preference. Our programme will only allocate students to preferences and rooms that are suitable for your student type (for example if an undergraduate student selected Woolf College Studios as one of their preferences this would be skipped by the software as Woolf College Studios are only available to postgraduate students or for medical reasons). Once the software has allocated the bulk of students, our Accommodation Team will complete a general overview checking the below considerations. 

Due to some residences being heavily oversubscribed, it may not be possible to allocate you to any of your preferences. There are ways to minimise the chance of this (such as applying early and spacing your preference locations out across campus) and you should read our application blog for more tips on this. However, should it not be possible to allocate you to any of your preferences then the information you include in your application form will be used as a guide to the next most suitable available residence.

If you would like to see how popular each undergraduate residence typically is then you can view our supply vs demand graph or table showing which areas are over or under subscribed.

Turing extra large flat bedroom
Turing College is one of our most over-subscribed accommodation areas despite only being available to new first year students. Turing Flats extra-large en-suite room pictured.

When allocating rooms the following things are also considered:

  • We aim to allocate all new first year undergraduate students on campus, including those who have applied through clearing. If you are not eligible for our guaranteed room offer, your application will be considered once you have an unconditional firm offer of study at Kent, even though your room offer is not guaranteed.
  • First year, returning students and postgraduate students are housed in separate flats or blocks wherever possible. This means that first year students have the best opportunity to make friends, as they will be new to university life and getting to know our beautiful campus together.
  • We are committed to nurturing an inclusive and diverse community that is open and accessible to all students.  We aim to ensure a range of gender and nationality in every flat, depending on the amount of students who apply and are available within that preference. We do consider special requests (see below) meaning that single gender accommodation can be provided on campus as long as enough students in one area request this to fill the flat/house. We do not allocate accommodation based on a student’s ethnicity as neither the Accommodation Team nor our software has access to this data when allocating.
  • We prioritise requests from students who will be under the age of 18 when starting at Kent. Whether that’s a preference for en-suite or part catered accommodation, or a request to live in single gender housing.
  • We support students with medical conditions by offering accommodation that meets those needs. You’ll need to include this information in the ‘additional notes’ section of your application, but before applying if you have any questions or concerns about ensuring our accommodation meets your medical needs, you can contact the Accommodation Team who can offer advice and support. There is more information on what accommodation options are available on our accessible accommodation webpage, including links to our Student Support and Wellbeing team.
  • We allocate people of similar ages together wherever possible. Students tell us that they often feel more comfortable with housemates of a similar age to themselves, especially when living away from home for the first time, so subject to demand and availability we take this into account during allocation, particularly for our first year students.
  • We consider students special requests.  Want to live with friends?  Need an extra long bed?  Prefer to live in a single gender flat? Looking for moderate living accommodation? Just let us know in the ‘additional notes’ section of your application and subject to availability and demand we’ll do what we can to make your room the right match for you. Just remember if you want to live with friends you will all need to include each others names and student/applicant IDs on your application so that we know that you all want to do this.

We want all our students to live in a room that’s right for them, which is why we have these considerations in place to try to meet your needs and wishes in your applications. However, student demand and availability will decide if, and how many, of these requests we can meet. The single best thing that you can do to increase your chances of living in your first or second preference accommodation is to apply as early as possible.

Father and sons carrying boxes and suitcases ready for the start of term
The vast majority of our students arrive on Arrivals Weekend in mid-September.

What happens next?

When the time comes to send out offers of accommodation, we email these out small batches to ensure our team and software can appropriately respond to any queries. It also means that we can reallocate any rooms that students have declined or wish to move from, meaning that as many people as possible are allocated to their first or second choices of accommodation. If you are offered a room that you do not want, don’t just decline your offer – give us a call first to see what room moves we can facilitate, as rejecting your offer means that our software will remove your application from our system.  If this happens, you’ll need to contact us to reactivate your application should you still wish to live on campus.

Once you have accepted your offer, you’ll just need to get ready to move in! Don’t worry we’ll send you emails and update our arrivals webpages with everything you need to do in the run up to arriving so you’ll be ready to go in no time.

If you have any questions about accommodation at all, you can contact us.

We look forward to welcoming you to campus!