Parent's Guide

As a parent, guardian or someone with care responsibilities, it can be an exciting and scary time when your child/ward starts university. We will do all we can to ensure that they have an easy transition into University and independent living.

Please be aware that we class your child/ward as an adult and therefore, due to data protection, we cannot discuss anything about them with you unless we gain their permission first. We cannot discuss any specific details such as their room, flat or postal address, neither can we confirm that they are even a student here. Therefore, if you do have any queries or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us; however, please take into consideration that we are limited as to what we can discuss with you. 

For more information, please visit our data protection page.

Key Terms Explained

Below is a list of key terms used frequently in the accommodation application process, before, during and after your child/ward becomes a student:

• Conditional offer – your child/ward has a place at the University providing they meet the outlined requirements (often exam results).
• Unconditional offer – your child/ward has a place at the University regardless of any outstanding results.
• Firm choice – the preferred University your child/ward wishes to attend (1st choice).
• Insurance choice – your child/ward’s back up choice of University if they don’t get into their firm choice (2nd choice).
• Clearing –if your child/ward doesn’t have any offers for University after results day, they can still apply through clearing; UCAS will list universities and courses which still have places they can apply for. 
• Accommodation Portal – the Accommodation Portal is an online service to apply for and secure accommodation at Aberystwyth University.
• Accommodation Offer – an offer of accommodation will be sent via email to your child/ward which will need to be accepted or declined by a certain deadline date.
• Accommodation Occupation Contract  – once you accept your accommodation offer you will be required to complete the Accommodation Occupation Contract  by a given deadline date. This includes; agreeing to the terms and conditions of your Accommodation Occupation Contract , payment of the required acceptance fee, which is equivalent of 7 days rent (differs depending on hall), setting up a payment plan for accommodation fees, requesting to live with friends (this is an optional section should your child/ward know anyone else they may like to live with) and completion of our pre-arrival induction programme.
• Pre arrival induction – the pre-arrival induction is where your child/ward can choose an arrival date, produce their key release form and provide useful information about living in residences.
• Key Release Form – during completion of the pre-arrival induction programme, a Key Release Form will be produced. This needs to be provided at check-in in order for your child/ward to receive their accommodation key; it can be shown electronically or by a printed version.
• Big Welcome Weekend – this is the weekend most students arrive and move into their accommodation; for specific times, please see the key dates section.
• Orientation week – the aim of orientation week is to introduce your child/ward to university services, meet fellow students, get to know your academic department and get used to university life before teaching starts; for specific dates, please see the key dates section.

How can I see where my child/ward is staying?

The best way to see what accommodation is available for your child/ward, is to come along to an open day (for dates when these are please see the undergraduate open day website). As well as this, the University holds visiting days between January and March for students who are holding offers from Aberystwyth University. This is another opportunity for your child/ward to view accommodation options.

Please note: not all accommodation may be available to view as students will be living there and permission needs to be given to enter their flats/rooms. If visiting for an open day isn’t an option, we have information, photos and virtual tours of our accommodation on the Accommodation Options webpage.

Aberystwyth University offers a range of different accommodation types and contract lengths to suit a wide range of students. 

Students have the option of either a 39, 40 or 50 week contract. Please note: 50 week licences are primarily for postgraduate students. We also have standard rooms, en-suite rooms and self-contained studio flats. Most of our residences are self-catered. However, we do offer one catered residence (Welsh-medium students only) and one part-catered residence. Each residence does have the ‘meal-plan’ offer where students can add a package onto their Aber Card which will allow them to get 1 meal a day in any of the University’s cafes, restaurants or food shops as well as 10% discount off till prices in all university cafes and restaurants including the Arts Centre! For more information about meal packages available, please see the food and drinks packages webpage.

Applying for University Accommodation

We want to make applying for University Accommodation as simple and stress free as possible. You’ll be glad to know that we guarantee University owned or managed accommodation for first year students!* 

To qualify for a guaranteed place, applicants must ensure that their accommodation application is received by 1st September in the year of entry and that they respond to the offer of accommodation by the deadline date detailed in the Accommodation Offer. Please note that a place in University owned or managed accommodation is guaranteed, but not a specific type of room or location. 

At Aberystwyth University we invite applicants to apply for University Accommodation when they are unconditional firm (UF) or conditional firm (CF) status.  We will invite them by post and also  by email, early spring of the year of entry, so ensure they check their e-mail regularly. 

Please note: an offer of accommodation will not be sent until they have an unconditional place to study at Aberystwyth University and they have confirmed it on UCAS as their firm choice, i.e Unconditional Firm Accepted.


We can still guarantee University owned or managed accommodation providing they apply before 1st September in the year of entry and that they respond to the offer of accommodation by the deadline date detailed in the Accommodation Offer. Please note that a place is University owned or managed accommodation is guaranteed, but not a specific type of room or location. 

We will invite clearing students to apply for University Accommodation only when they have accepted the offer to study at Aberystwyth University and are unconditional firm status. We will do this by email so please ensure your child/ward checks these regularly. 

For more information, please see the clearing webpage.


What happens after applying for accommodation?

After applying for accommodation, your child/ward needs to wait until they receive an offer of accommodation. Please note: offers are only sent to students who have chosen Aberystwyth University as their firm choice and have an unconditional offer (a conditional offer will become unconditional when they’ve met their offer requirements). 

1. The Accommodation Offer will be sent by email – so keep checking this regularly. From July onwards, the Information Services Department will contact your child/ward, via their private email address, inviting them to activate their Aberystwyth University IT account. Please note: this must be done in order to accept the offer of accommodation, therefore we advise activating it as soon as invited to do so. If this has been activated before receiving your offer of accommodation, we will send the offer to their Aberystwyth University email. However, please keep checking both email addresses just in case. Please note: your child/ward will have a deadline date in which they need to accept their offer, this depends on the time of year and some may only have 24 hours.
2. Log into the accommodation portal - when your child/ward has received an offer of accommodation, they will need to accept this offer by logging back into the accommodation portal. To do this, they will need their Aberystwyth username (eg. Abc1) and their Aberystwyth password.
3. Accept the Accommodation Offer – after logging into the accommodation portal, your child/ward will need to select the relevant year of entry and then the accommodation offer button. They will then have to complete the following sections. 

a. Accommodation Occupation Contract  – when your child/ward has accepted their accommodation offer they will be required to complete the Accommodation Occupation Contract . They should select 'Accommodation Occupation Contract' and follow the guidance provided. Your child/ward will have a deadline date to do this by; this depends on the time of year and some may only have 24 hours.
bResidents’ Handbook – the Residents’ Handbook provides valuable and legal information on living in residences and your child/ward is required to read it in conjunction with their personal Contract Particulars (found in this step) and the Accommodation Occupation Contract  (found at the back of the Residents’ Handbook).
c. Catering Allowance - both catered and part-catered residences have an included Meal Offer Plan however, this section also includes information on Meal Plans available in all self-catered residences.
d. Acceptance Fee - to secure University accommodation your child/ward is required to pay the equivalent of 7 days rent, payable online by credit/debit card. To make this payment they will be directed to our secure online payment system where the card details they provide will also be used to pay the Accommodation Fees.
e. Accommodation Fees – your child/ward will need to select a payment method. Accommodation Fees can be paid by either one single payment or by a maximum of three instalments (October, January and May). Please note: the card used to pay the  Acceptance Fee will automatically be used to pay the Accommodation Fees, you will not have an opportunity to add an additional card, so if you are paying the Acceptance Fee but don’t want to pay for your child/ward’s Accommodation Fees, please be careful which card you use. For more information, or to change payment methods, please see our Accommodation Fees webpage or contact the Fees Office (01970 621583). Please note: although it may be yourself paying the accommodation fees, we still cannot divulge any information about your child/ward – please see our data protection webpage for more details.
f. Request to live with friends – your child/ward can complete an association request form to live with friends, should they want to. Please note: that a deadline date will be provided in which they need to complete this by. They will also all need to have been offered the same type of residence in order to request to live in the same flat/house and one of them must be nominated as the ‘Group Leader’ to set up and manage the association. We have sizes to suit all groups – why not compare our residences.
g. Aber Card – your child/ward is required to upload a photograph in order for their Aber Card to be produced and ready for their arrival. Their Aber Card is used for a variety of uses and it is really important that it is ready for when you arrive in order to avoid any potential delays in accessing their accommodation.
h. Induction programme (Key Release Form) – at the end of the Accommodation Occupation Contract your child/ward is required to complete our online pre-arrival Induction Programme, which will provide them with useful information on living in University accommodation. During completion of the induction they will be able to choose an arrival date and time which will then produce a 'Key Release Form'. They will need to provide a copy of their key release form (printable or electronic) and bring it with them in exchange for their room key. Your child/ward may change this date/time by logging back into the accommodation portal. After doing this, your child/ward will be taken to the Key Release Form which they will need to provide a copy of when collecting their key.
i. Accommodation Occupation Contract Completed!

4. Move in – move in on the date selected in your child/ward’s Induction Programme. Don’t worry if you’re early or late by an hour, there is no need to tell us.

For more in-depth information, please see our what happens next webpage.

Preparing for University

Before your child/ward moves to University, ensure everything is sorted for example, accommodation, student finance and bank account. Any delays in making arrangements with student finance or a bank account may result in your child/ward not getting paid on time or at all. 

Ensure they have basic skills like cooking, or using a washing machine. If your child/ward has little confidence cooking, we have catered and part-catered accommodation available as well as a meal plan available in all of our halls – please see our Accommodation Options for further details. 

If your child/ward has never lived away from home, they may be confused and unsure of what they need to bring. They must remember that storage space is limited and they shouldn’t bring too much! For information on what to bring and what to leave at home, please see our pre-arrivals page and even print off our handy pre-arrival checklist!

If your child/ward doesn’t want to bring heavy kitchen ware and bedding with them, please see our Uni Kit out webpage where they can find information about pre-ordering items to get them delivered in time for their arrival.

Moving in

Make sure you have time off work, if applicable, to bring your child/ward to university. They can change their arrival time and date (they can do this by logging into the accommodation portal and navigating to the induction programme) however, please be aware that they cannot arrive earlier than the Contract start day unless they have been confirmed as attending an approved event or academic commitment. You should also be aware that if your child/ward is arriving later, then they need to contact the Accommodation Office to let us know as we will only hold their room until the Tuesday after the Big Welcome Weekend unless asked to hold it for longer. However, we do encourage first years to move in on the Friday or Saturday of the Big Welcome Weekend so they can take part in all the activities put on by the Students Union. 

Shortly after moving in, your child/ward will be sent an e-mail inviting them to complete an online inventory. This is an opportunity for them to tell us if any items are missing or if anything is marked and/or damaged. They will have 7 days to complete this, failure to do so will result in the inventory automatically being completed as fine. 

For additional information on what to bring, what to leave at home, how to collect the key for accommodation and more tips about living in University Accommodation please see our Moving in webpage or our Resident’s Handbook.


Our residences can be accessed by either a key, fob or an access card (each residence varies). Locks are provided for every bedroom and flat/house door. Some larger communal areas are also controlled by a lock system which can be accessed with your child/ward’s Aber Card.

Some residences also have an additional post-box key to gain access to post whereas some residences get post delivered straight to their flat/house via a letter-box. Please note: some residences won’t have a key, fob or post-box key as they will be able to get access to everything with their Aber Card. 

We provide 24/7 security which includes foot and mobile patrols around the campus and residences. All residences also have an internal phone where they can pick it up and it will automatically connect to the 24/7 Campus Life Helpline. 

If your child/ward is locked out, they don’t need to worry, they can contact the Accommodation Office or the 24/7 Campus Life Helpline which also has a 24/7 staffed reception.

Additional Support

We understand that many students feel homesick and/or nervous when they leave home for the first time. It is key for your child/ward to know they can talk to you if they’re struggling. However, we advise to not invite them home all the time as this could make it worse; be supportive and offer them guidance and tips to help them feel more comfortable.

Below are also some additional support/help your child can contact should they need it:

  • Accommodation Office – 01970 622900 (Option 4), Our office hours are 8.30am - 5.00pm Monday - Thursday and 8.30am - 4.30pm Friday)
  • 24/7 Campus Life Helpline – 01970 622900, there is also a 24/7 staffed reception.
  • Student Support – 01970 621761 or 01970 622087,
  • Student Wellbeing – 01970 622087,
  • Nightline – 01970 622166.

Your child/ward should also be aware that if they don’t want to drink during orientation week – that’s fine and they shouldn’t feel pressured into doing so. Primarily, orientation week is there for first year students to settle into University life, making friends and getting to know their new surroundings. There are plenty of activities that they can partake in – not all of them involve drinking and there’ll be something there for everyone.

Living in Residences

On our Accommodation webpage we have a Living in Residences Section where your child/ward can access information to help them whilst living in University Accommodation such as: heating and water times, how to use appliances we provide in their flat/house, inspection dates, how to use the laundry facilities and how to register a visitor.


The living in residences section also gives your child/ward information on mail and post. It tells them their postal address and how to collect letters and parcels. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept any mail on their behalf so when sending post, you need to ensure you get the correct address.

Report a Fault:

When your child/ward moves into their new accommodation, we hope everything is at a high standard. However, whilst living with us, things may start to wear and tear. If there anything that is wrong with their residence, your child/ward needs to know how to report this. They can report any maintenance issues via our fault report form. 

Transfer Request:

We hope your child/ward will be happy where they are living. However, shortly after arrival, we allow them to apply for a transfer where they can move rooms should they feel they are unhappy where they are.

Moving Out

Your child/ward needs to ensure their room is cleaned to the standard it was when they moved in, before they leave which includes communal areas and en-suites. All inventory items (including the mattress protector) also need to be present in the room/communal areas and need to be in a good condition and not damaged. After they have left, inspections will be carried out to check the cleanliness and the inventory items. If things are deemed unclean or damage is seen, charges may apply. 

Your child/ward MUST check out when they leave regardless of whether they have a key or not. If they do have keys they must be returned but even if they have no key, they still need to come and sign out so we know they have vacated. They do not need to tell us in advance when they are moving out just come to the Accommodation Office, Y Sgubor, Fferm Penglais in office hours (8.30am-5.00pm Monday-Thursday and 8.30am-4.00pm Friday) or the Campus Reception, Penglais Campus, outside those hours. 

Unfortunately, when your child/ward has vacated, we are unable to re-direct any mail so they must ensure they change their address or sort suitable arrangements such as Royal Mail re-direction

For more information on moving out, please see our moving out webpage.

Summer Accommodation

If your child/ward is unable or does not want to return home for the summer, we do offer some spaces in our Summer Accommodation. 

For more information, please see our Summer Accommodation webpage.

Next Year Accommodation

At Aberystwyth University, we are happy to offer University owned or managed accommodation for all students whether they are in 1st, 2nd, 3rd or even 4th year of study – with no further deposit to pay!*

Traditionally, the house hunting period starts from November in preparation for the coming September, giving you plenty of time to decide where you want to live and who you want to live with.

Remember that once you have signed an accommodation contract (and paid deposits where required) it is very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to reverse the decision, so make sure you have thought everything through before deciding.

*If you are already holding a deposit with us then any remaining balance will be used to secure your place for the next academic year - however, if your deposit has fallen below the required £100 then you will be required to pay any shortfall. 

Why should your child/ward return to stay with us?

• Even if they apply, they are not tied into a contract until they confirm a place at a later date.
• All energy bills are included with high speed wired and wireless internet and personal contents insurance.
• They will get a free sports centre, platinum membership for their health and wellbeing!
• They can live with friends in flats/houses of 2-10 bedrooms and won’t be mixed with first year students.
• Locations on/near campus and in town.
• On site laundry facilities, 24/7 help and assistance including a staffed reception and learning centres available where your child/ward can go to work, relax, socialise.
• Payment plans available for accommodation fees.
• Single contract agreements – not joint or several.
• ‘Guarantors’ not required – meaning you are not liable if your child/ward doesn’t pay their rent.
• Range of contract lengths plus Summer Accommodation available.

You can compare University Accommodation prices with the Private Sector prices by looking at our comparison table

For more information, please see our Current Students webpage

Key Dates

Please refer to our Dates for your Diary section of our website

Additional Information

Please also see the Undergraduate Parent Guide for more information and guidance about your child/ward coming to University.

If you have any unanswered queries about University Accommodation please see our FAQs or contact us on 01970 622984.

For regular updates about all things accommodation, you can follow our Facebook Page.