Accommodation Advice

Accommodation Advice

Housing issues can cause a huge amount of stress which can affect your studies. This section covers all areas of housing and how we can help. 

Click on the links below for more information:

Where can I live?

Living away from home at University can be stressful and we understand that you and your family may be unaware of the legislation surrounding accomodation. 

When it comes to accomodation, you have two choices:

Council Tax & Universal Credit

All students need to know of any requirements to pay council tax or entitlement to receive Universal Credit benefits. Your own student status and circumstances, as well as the circumstance and status of any other residents in your accommodation, will dictate how much money you're liable to pay or entitled to receive.

Universal Credit

It can be quite a daunting exercise identifying the benefits you may be entitled to. The University Funding & Advice Team have compiled a comprehensive list of the benefits available to students under the new welfare system - Universal Credit. Alternatively, you can pop along to the Student Link and speak to an advisor.

As a rule, full-time students are usually not entitled to claim Universal Credit, however there are some exceptions, such as any lone parents or students with disabilities.

Part-time students are much more eligible to claim Universal Credit, the common types of credit tend to be: Income Support, Housing Benefit, and Council Tax Benefit.

Council Tax

Full-time students

All full-time students are exempt from paying council tax. However, to get exemption they must fill in a 'council tax exemption form' - available from their council - which must be stamped by the University (at the Student Link) and returned to the Council.

N.B - council tax is paid depending on the property and the people registered living in it. While full-time students are exempt from paying council tax, if accommodation is shared with non full-time students the property will be charged for Council Tax, although a discounted rate is available.

  • council tax exemption only lasts until your course end. Students will normally begin being charged council tax immediately after all classess & assessments have finished.
Part-time students

Part-time students - defined as studying less than 21 hours per week - are not exempt from paying council tax.


Sometimes, through no fault of their own, students can find themselves in a situation where they are homeless. We define someone as being homeless if they do not have a fixed abode and if they are not sleeping in a bed in a property - for example if someone is "couch surfing" with friends - we would consider that person to be homeless. 

If you find yourself in this situation, the first thing to do is not panic. You should contact either Your Union at UWS or the University for advice and assistance. If you find yourself homeless during a period of time when Your Union or the University is closed you should contact your Local Government Authority who will take care of your immediate housing needs. Shelter Scotland also has useful information which can help you. 

The stress of becoming homeless can also have an adverse affect on your studies. You should contact your University Department and if necessary complete an extenuating circumstances form

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