There are three main types of student accommodation and each has its benefits and disadvantages.
University halls of residence
This managed accommodation is a stepping stone to independent living as you experience being away from home for the first time without the complications of utility bills or landlords. The halls are managed by the university so you're likely to be covered if anything goes wrong.
Many students choose to live in halls during their first year as the close living situation means it is a great way of interacting with people and you may end up finding good friends who you later choose to live with.
Main benefit: Great way of meeting new people
Main disadvantage: Very little peace and quiet if you want to study!
Private Halls/Private University Houses
These are a comparatively new addition to the student accommodation market as a compromise between university accommodation and traditional rented houses.Your bills and maintenance are usually included as with traditional halls of residence but they differ as the private halls are laid out as shared flats and studio apartments.
You can either rent an apartment to yourself, or rent one room within a flat and allow yourself to be allocated flatmates.
Main benefit: Living in private accommodation without having to worry about bills.
Main disadvantage: The prices for these private halls are usually higher than halls or private renting.
Renting a private property can appeal to those students looking to escape the halls of residence as it enables you to decide where and who you live with. Not all universities can provide halls for first year students so some may have to go down this route from the start.
The private houses are usually located quite close to the universities but you may have to put up with difficult landlords, splitting utility bills and untidy housemates. Reach out to your university for a list of approved landlords and student friendly letting agents.
Main benefit: The capability to choose where you live and who with.
Main disadvantage: Managing and splitting utility bills.