Accessibility statement

Local and commuting students

New undergraduates

Sign up for a Student Buddy

Register to attend Step Ahead

Each year over 300 new undergraduate students choose to live off campus, mainly at 'home' with family, a partner, friends or alone. Some students live in York and others are spread across the region and beyond. There are many advantages of not living in 'student' accommodation, including saving money and being able to fulfil family commitments.

If there's any other information you need or anything you would like to discuss please email our Local and Commuting Students contact Nicola Browne at or get involved in our Local and Commuting Students Facebook group.

Your College

Your College

There are eight undergraduate colleges at the University and all students both on and off-campus are part of a college community.

As a non-resident first year student you will be allocated to one of the following colleges, depending on your department of study:

  • Alcuin College - if you are studying in Health Sciences or at the Hull York Medical School (HYMS).

  • Goodricke College - if you are studying in a department based on Campus East.

  • James College - if you are studying at King's Manor or in one of the following departments based on Campus West: Biology, Electronic Engineering, Environment and Geography, Maths, Physics, Psychology, Sociology

  • Vanbrugh College - if you are studying in one of the following departments based on Campus West: Chemistry, Economics, Education, English, History, History of Art, Language and Linguistic Sciences, Management School, Music, Philosophy, Politics, PPE, School of Social and Political Sciences, SPSW.

You'll have access to social spaces and facilities including: microwaves, kettles and storage lockers.

Colleges also offer opportunities in Welcome Week and beyond to meet other students, take part in sports, attend well-being workshops and participate in the inter-cultural competency programme.

Adjusting to University Life

Adjusting to University Life

It will take you time to settle in and adapt to University life, don’t be too hard on yourself in the first term when you are dealing with so much change. 

Time spent travelling 

If you are travelling to and from University most days, try to make your commute as enjoyable and productive as possible by:

  • Making sure you know the quickest way to travel to University.

  • Ensuring you get the best deal on public transport costs.

  • Having public transport enquiry numbers (e.g. National Rail etc) in your mobile.

  • Making the most of your journey time, if using public transport, by using it for University reading, note taking etc.

You may find these tips for commuting students helpful. 

Student Buddying Scheme

A Student Buddy is a second or third year student who will help you settle into university life and support you through your first year here. All local and commuting students are encouraged to request a Student Buddy, you can do this before you arrive or at anytime during your first year here. Visit the Student Buddying Scheme webpage to find out more.

Accessing Support

Studying as a local or commuting student can be challenging at times and it is normal for there to be bad days as well as good days. However, if you feel like you would benefit from talking to someone, there are plenty of people you can approach for advice or a chat. This includes: 

Meeting other students

Meeting other students

 Students at the Christmas lunch for local and commuting students

The University organises events specifically for local and commuting students to give you the opportunity to meet other students in the same boat. We will email you regularly with details of these events. 

More tips for meeting other students 

Top Tips

Top Tips from Current Students

We spoke to some of these students about their experiences and here’s what they had to say:

“My top tip for local and commuting students is to join the group on Facebook for the fellow students of your department’s year group. It was good to be able to put questions to the group chat and get involved in the conversation.” - Fiona, Sociology student commuting from Ripon.

“I decided to be an off-campus student to save money and I didn't really fancy going into Halls as the typical 'student lifestyle' didn't really appeal to me. However, I've still managed to get involved in a wide range of extracurricular activities - I’ve joined the University of York Labour Club, I am currently the Off-campus representative for the Derwent JCRC and I am involved in the Student Buddying Scheme.”- Jordan, Social and Political Sciences student commuting from Wetherby

“Don’t forget to register your attendance at university otherwise you’ll find your student finance might be delayed.” - Laura, Psychology student commuting from Brighouse.

“I decided to be a non-resident student because I have been living with my wife for a few years already now so moving into halls didn't seem right for us... I have a lot of space in my house compared to people that lived in halls which is a bonus.” - Sam, Computer Science student living in Cawood, near Selby.

For more stories, top tips and useful information, join the University of York Local and Commuting Students Facebook Group.

Thank you to the students who have got involved so far.

If you’d like to feature as a case study please complete our case study expression of interest form.

Useful Information

Useful Information

  • YUSU has introduced Activities Access Grants to provide free club and society membership for first year undergraduates who are eligible for a York Bursary or Disabled Students' Allowance and who have completed a UoY Widening Participation programme prior to coming to University. If you join a sports club, society or media group this academic year, complete the Activities Access Grant Application Form to apply for up to £20 in membership fee reimbursement. Applications will be considered on a first-come-first-served basis. 

  • The York Futures Scholarship funds students to access opportunities that give them a head start in the job market. It is funded by York’s alumni and friends community through philanthropic donations.

  • For information about financial support from the university, please see York Scholarships and bursaries

  • The library has lots of useful resources and spaces for you to use. You can book library study rooms up to one month in advance for a maximum of 3 hours in one day and up to 6 hours per week. Also, there are library storage lockers and other study spaces available across campus. You may find these top tips for studying and exam success useful as well.

  • The digital interactive Campus map can help you navigate the university. There’s a variety of coffee shops & eateriesfood preparation areas and showers available across campus as well as places to pray and reflect.

  • Many staff and students choose to cycle to university and across the city. There is very limited parking on campus but travelling by bus is one of the most convenient ways to commute.

  • Some off-campus students choose to relocate to the city for their studies. There is useful information on the private housing sector webpages, in the York Student Community Guide and this Guide to York Student Areas