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Allocations Policy 2024-25

Purpose Statement

To set out clearly for staff, students and others, the University’s approach to processing applications for accommodation, with a view to achieving consistency, fairness, and transparency.

This policy applies to applicants for residential accommodation that is owned or managed by one of the following:

  • The University
  • A private provider of purpose-built student accommodation by arrangement with the University (managed partnership)
  • Other private providers of purpose-built student accommodation

Who may apply for accommodation?

Anyone with a firm offer to study from the University may apply for accommodation. Once someone with a place to study on a course has made Newcastle University their ‘firm choice’ the University will inform that person how, and when, they can use the accommodation portal. Places in accommodation are subject to availability.

The University welcomes applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital/civil partnership status, pregnancy, and maternity.


Choice and availability

Applicants applying to live with us should expect to live with people from a variety of cultures, religions, and backgrounds and respect the diversity of our community.

Due to availability and demand, it is not always possible to offer applicants their preferred accommodation or gender sharing preference. If an applicant’s choices are not available, the University will try to offer a close match based on a combination of room type, preferred location, and price. 

Depending on the volume of applications we receive, it may be necessary for us to source additional accommodation in the surrounding area which may not previously have been advertised. In this event, we will notify applicants as soon as possible.


How to apply

Applications are encouraged through the Accommodation Services online portal. Applicants who are unable to use the portal may contact the Allocations Team at or by telephone at 0191 208 3333.

The application process will depend on:

  • application type (e.g. single, couple or family)
  • if the applicant is covered by the new student guarantee
  • if an applicant requires a specialist allocation
  • the date that the applicant applies

There are two ways to make an application:

Advanced Booking - will be available to undergraduate applicants who meet all the conditions of the new student guarantee. This option will allow applicants to reserve a room at the point of applying.

Advanced Booking will be available until 30 June, with up to 70% of each residence being made available to reserve. Rooms will be released in batches up until 10 June depending on demand.

If an eligible applicant chooses to use the ‘Advanced Booking’ option, they will be able to reserve their accommodation immediately. They will not be able to amend their chosen accommodation. If an applicant reserves a room but then does not obtain the grades to study at Newcastle University, their reservation will be cancelled without penalty. If an applicant reserves their room, and later decides to make a different university their ‘firm’ choice before the UCAS decision deadline, their reservation will be removed, and their application cancelled.

If an eligible applicant does not want to use ‘Advanced Booking’, they are able to submit an application which will be processed following A-Level Results Day (15 August 2024) when the remaining rooms are released for allocation.

Applicants that indicate they require an adaptation or adjustment to their accommodation, will not be able to make an ‘Advanced Booking’. This is because the University need to ensure that the room is suitable to their needs. Instead, they will be given a specialist allocation where a suitable room will be identified following the submission of an application and the assessment of supporting medical information.

Eligible applicants that require a specific wash type or location due to a disability or health condition, will be able to proceed and reserve a room via ‘Advanced Booking’. Applicants must ensure that their chosen room meets their requirements. Applicants can only request a wash type and location. If consideration for a specific floor level or flat size (for example) is required, applicants should contact the Accommodation Team for further advice. If on arrival, the reserved room is not suitable, it is very unlikely that a suitable alternative will be offered.

Submit an Application – applicants not eligible to use the ‘Advanced Booking’ option, such as postgraduate, part year or couple/family applicants, or those not covered by the new student guarantee, will submit an application.

In their application, they will register an interest in up to three accommodation options. They should consider their choices carefully, to ensure they apply for the accommodation that is most likely to suit their requirements. As accommodation options are not guaranteed, applicants will need to rank alternative preferences which will be considered if there is no availability in their chosen residences.

Applications are not processed on a first-come, first-served basis. At the time of processing, each application will be awarded a random computer-generated number and we will allocate applications in ascending numerical order.

Specialist allocations

Special procedures apply to applicants who require certain types of accommodation.

Applicants with disability or health needs - applicants who need reasonable adjustments to be made to their accommodation, or require specific facilities (ie an en suite), are invited to make their needs known at the point of application. To ensure that applicants are allocated to rooms that are best suited to their needs, Accommodation Services will ask for medical information or opinion. Applicants will not be given priority for specialist allocation over other applicants unless they inform us of their needs at the point of application. The University can only consider the applicant’s needs if they notify Accommodation Services of their requirements in good time – ideally when first applying.

The University will not discriminate against persons who need adapted accommodation or need further reasonable adjustments, nor will we discriminate against persons who need to have a carer living with them. The University is not under any obligation to make alterations to meet all applicant’s requirements – only those which are reasonable.

Medical information will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with any other students unless requested by the applicant.

Clearing applicants with disability or health needs
– due to the timeline of processing applications, we may have limited availability for Clearing applicants that require a specialist allocation. Rooms with adaptations are limited and it is important for any person applying through Clearing to contact Accommodation Services once they have received their offer to study from the University.

Care experienced/Estranged applicants applications from care experienced and estranged students will be received as outlined in ‘How to Apply. We’ll aim to allocate care experienced and estranged students to one of their preferences, where possible.

We can offer continuous accommodation contracts over the summer period for students that require this option; however, a room move may be required due to summer works. Additionally, summer storage for personal belongings and early arrival into accommodation can be arranged if required.

LGBTQA+ applicants – applicants are not expected to inform Accommodation Services of their sexual orientation or their gender identity. We aim to ensure that all University-owned and managed partnership accommodation is a safe, welcoming, and inclusive place for everyone. However, we understand that people in the LGBTQA+ community may require a priority allocation for a certain wash type, or gender sharing preference in order to feel safe and secure. If appropriate, applicants should contact us at to discuss this further. Applications will be received as outlined in ‘How to Apply.

Under 18s – applicants whose 18th birthday falls after the commencement of their tenancy will be subject to the Under 18s Policy. Applications from under 18s will be received as outlined in ‘How to Apply. Priority for accommodation organised through the University will be given to this group even where they do not meet the accommodation guarantee. Students who are under 18 will be allocated with students that are over 18. 

Applicants with a partner and/or children - there are a limited number of places available for couples without children and for families with children. Due to availability, we are unable to guarantee accommodation to this type of applicant. Where we can allocate suitable accommodation, contracts will be for one academic year only. For expediency, applications will be processed in time received order from May onwards, therefore family and couple applicants should submit their application as soon as possible. Applications will only be processed if the applicant is an unconditional firm offer holder.

Applicants that ‘submit an application’ will be processed depending on their application type and academic status. A timeline of when we expect applications to be processed can be found on our website. This is a guide to help applicants understand when they will likely hear from us with an offer of accommodation. These timings are subject to change. Applicants are responsible for monitoring their emails and actioning any offers of accommodation within the given deadline.

Open Day flats
Within our portfolio, we have flats that we use for Open Days to enable prospective students to view the accommodation. The accommodation contract for these flats may end earlier than our standard 40-week contract, although the contract will still cover the full teaching period. In addition, weekend access will be required for two Open Days in the Autumn term (September-November).

Every student that is allocated to an Open Day flat will be notified at the accommodation offer stage. If the room offer is not suitable, they are able to contact Accommodation Services for an alternative offer dependent on availability. All students that are allocated to these types of flats will be financially compensated for the inconvenience.


Applicants that have reserved a room using the ‘Advanced Booking’ method but have not signed the accommodation contract, are able to cancel their reservation by contacting Where an applicant cancels their reservation, no other offer of accommodation will be made, and their application will be cancelled.

Where an applicant has reserved a room using the ‘Advanced Booking’ method but does not obtain the grades to study at Newcastle University, their reservation will be automatically cancelled. Applicants will not be informed that their reservation has been cancelled. If an applicant re-applies to the University via Clearing, they will be processed as a new applicant and will not be able to retain the original room reservation.  

Once a student has accepted an accommodation offer, there are only limited circumstances in which the application can be cancelled. Where valid cancellations are made, the accommodation will be re-allocated according to this policy. This may occasionally mean that an applicant from a priority category is not offered one of their choices of residence, but a person applying later is offered a place in one of these residences.

Changing your accommodation offer
Once an application has been processed, and a student has been offered a room, it is not usually possible to change this unless a procedural irregularity has occurred. All offers are made within the parameters of our accommodation guarantee, namely the provision of a bedroom within our portfolio, not necessarily a bedroom of choice.

When contacting the University to discuss room allocations, applicants are reminded that all communication needs to be in line with the Student Charter. Our colleagues work hard to support our students and therefore aggressive, abusive or offensive language to our team will not be tolerated. We expect our colleagues to be treated with the courtesy, dignity, and respect they deserve. Employees of the University, whose family members plan on attending University will not be given any preferential treatment regarding room allocation.

Appendix 1. – Accommodation guarantees
Offers made under our guarantee may be in University-owned accommodation, in a managed partnership or in purpose-built accommodation managed by a private provider. The University does not guarantee to match the applicant’s preferences.

Offers of accommodation under this guarantee are time limited. The University will not guarantee accommodation unless the applicant accepts their accommodation offer within the stipulated deadline.

New student guarantee

The University guarantees to make an offer of accommodation to applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • are about to start their first year of an undergraduate or postgraduate taught degree
  • are enrolled on a programme of study for at least one full academic year
  • have applied as a single applicant
  • have applied for a full academic year’s accommodation by 30 June 2024
  • undergraduate students:
    • have made Newcastle their firm choice university by 30 June 2024
    • have met the terms of their academic offer (ie have an academic status of ‘Unconditional Firm’) by 31 August 2024
  • postgraduate students:
    • have met the terms of their academic offer (ie have an academic status of ‘Unconditional Firm’) by 30 June 2024

Clearing and insurance guarantee

The University guarantees to make an offer of accommodation to clearing and insurance applicants who meet all the following criteria:

  • are enrolled on their course for the full academic year
  • are joining us in accommodation for the full academic year
  • are in the first year of their degree programme
  • have had their place confirmed by Newcastle University following their UCAS application
  • have applied for accommodation by 19 August 2024

Appendix 2 - Non-guaranteed students
Applicants who are not eligible for the accommodation guarantee may still apply for accommodation. The University will use this policy to determine the order in which non-guaranteed applications are processed.

a) Returning students – subject to recruitment targets, a number of rooms may be reserved for returners. however, this is not guaranteed. Returners must not have any rent arrears or other serious breaches of their existing tenancy agreements. Students wishing to return can find further information and express an interest to return via the accommodation website (eligibility criteria apply).

b) Late applicants students who applied after 30 June, but otherwise met all other conditions of the guarantee, will be classed as late applicants, and will be processed after all guaranteed students and those from category a) have been made offers.

c) Semester, part-year students and distance learners applications are not processed unless there are vacant rooms still available after meeting the accommodation guarantee and after processing applications from categories a) and b).

d)Suspended students — applications from students who suspended after the first term in a previous year are not processed unless there are rooms still available after meeting the accommodation guarantee and after processing applications from categories a), b) and c).



Reviewed: January 2024
Review date: January 2025
Policy owner: Senior Management Team, Accommodation Services