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Accommodation Service

Studying at Cambridge


Find a home

At the Accommodation Service we help members of the University and certain affiliated institutions to find a property and settle into life in Cambridge. We provide access to a wide range of accommodation.

Register to find a home with us

To join the University accommodation waiting list and to view our directory of private accommodation, you will first need to tell us more about yourself and what you're looking for.

Who is eligible to apply for University Accommodation?

To qualify for University Accommodation, applicants must be a full time student or member of staff employed by the University of Cambridge, a Cambridge College or one of the following Affiliated Institutions:

•  Babraham Institute

•  British Antarctic Survey

•  Cambridge University Press and Assessment 

•  EBI – European Bioinformatics Institute (Hinxton)

•  MRC – Medical Research Council

•  Sanger Institute

•  Wellcome Trust

•  University of Cambridge Primary School


Applicants wishing to share University-owned accommodation:

Please note that, if you would like to share a University-owned property with others who are not members of your immediate family, you must seek permission from the Accommodation Service BEFORE applying or accepting a property offer.  Only members of the University are eligible to share on this basis, and each request will be considered individually. If you accept an offer of a tenancy before disclosing that you wish to share with others, the Accommodation Service reserves the right to decline permission to do so, and it is possible that this could be considered a breach of your tenancy which can be terminated.

Please also note that tenants with spouses/partners or other family members living with them are not eligible to request sharing arrangements. This option is only available for individual tenants.

Student sharers: Please note that students are not eligible to share a Keyworker property at Eddington.


Visiting Scholars and students - eligibility:

Visiting Scholars and University students applying to find a home in University-owned residential property are eligible for all sites but not for the Keyworker housing at Eddington.  There is some accommodation at Eddington which is available at market rent.  We will also assist if you wish to search the private rental sector. 


Conditions of employment or study:

Members of staff must have a contract of employment:

• at least 20 hours per week

• at least a contract length of 12 months remaining at the time an offer of a tenancy is made.


Students, in order to be eligible, must be actively registered on a current course or have the confirmed offer on a course about to commence. Students who are in the process of writing up a thesis may not be considered eligible.  Intermitting students will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, with the support of their College and supervisor.

There are specific clauses set down by planning conditions at Eddington which mean that the eligibility criteria are slightly different. More information about eligibility at Eddington is available in the Frequently Asked Questions.

How are applications prioritised?

Priority is automatically assessed by our IT system and is based on the information that you provide in your application. It is assessed against others who are also applying at the time of application and allocation.

Priority is allocated based primarily on two criteria:

A) First priority is given to people who are new to the UK and who are not familiar with the City, the availability, location and types of accommodation and the associated costs. Priority is allocated as follows:

1. Hard to fill post - Allocated only by University HR and senior officers

2. New staff/student (less than 4 months) coming from overseas

3. New staff/student(less than 4 months), coming from the UK (outside of Cambridge)

4. New staff/student (less than 4 months) with prior knowledge of Cambridge, coming from Overseas

5. New staff/student (less than 4 months) with prior knowledge of Cambridge, coming from

    the UK (outside of Cambridge)

6. New staff /student (less than 4 months) coming from the Cambridge area

7. University staff member or students who have been in Cambridge more than 4 months

8. Applicant working for an affiliated organisation


B) Within this prioritisation there is a sub-set which is related to the applicant’s status

1)  Category A -  Staff

2)  Category B -  Visiting Scholar

3)  Category C -  Students  (generally only for postgraduate students; undergraduates are supported by their College. There are some rare exceptions to this in particular circumstances)


This means that a member of staff will have a higher priority than a visiting scholar or student.

When you apply, you are given a priority status. eg: 2A would be for a member of staff originating from overseas and who is new to Cambridge (less than 4 months).

More information is located at University accommodation FAQs

Please note that University accommodation is available to rent for a maximum period of five years.  Tenancies are generally offered for 12 months, and renewable, provided that the tenant remains eligible and has complied satisfactorily with the terms of the tenancy.  The University reserves the right not to renew any tenancy at any point during the five year period.

Right to Rent

You must prove your right to stay in the UK before moving into any property. Your landlord, whether the University or in the private sector, will ask to see and take a copy of the passport, BRP, Sharecode (or other relevant documents) of all adults in your household. For more on this, and other useful information, see How to Rent.


Private properties

Privately-owned properties and rooms are advertised through the Accommodation Service.  The University accepts no responsibility or liability for the advertised details, nor for any communication and agreement arranged between the applicant/ tenant and the landlord.  Therefore, all applicants are advised to view the property for themselves, and to understand the terms and conditions of letting, before agreeing to any rental arrangement or signing any agreement.


University property waiting list

University accommodation

The University has 1102 properties available for staff and students. 700 new homes will be located on the University’s North West Cambridge Development – a new district of Cambridge. Homes are available to rent to eligible members of the University. Register your interest to find out more about properties that are available.

Read more

Find a property

Private accommodation

There are 114 properties from private landlords currently listed with the Accommodation Service. You can use this site to search for the right property for you, but you must arrange viewings and tenancies directly with the landlord.

Read more

Life in Cambridge

Life in Cambridge

We provide advice and information about living in Cambridge including where to live, how to get around, and how much you can expect to spend.

Read more
Moving to Cambridge

Advice on moving

The Accommodation Service can help new and existing University students and staff find a home and get settled into the area.

Help with moving