First year medical student accommodation, London

(23 Posts)
MedSchoolRat Sat 16-Nov-19 07:48:56

DD has applied for medicine, only London Unis.
We don't live in London.
Trying to get my head around this.
I know on a regular 39 week course, students can get first year in halls, etc.
But medical students need year-round accommodation, so what do they normally do about lodgings? Start in halls then move to private the following June, maybe? Don't most uni-accommodation contracts only run September-June?
Prices are high even in halls, eek!

Any experience or advice welcome. Thx.

OP’s posts: |
mumsneedwine Sat 16-Nov-19 07:57:16

They don't need all round in first few years. They pretty much follow the same term dates as everyone else (might be a week or two longer). So halls will be fine, although London is stupidly expensive !

MedSchoolRat Sat 16-Nov-19 08:21:53

Ah! I thought they had much longer terms from start.
So does that mean that they get long summer breaks in first few yrs, and can get PT jobs too in the summer break?
I keep looking on websites but can't actually see a breakdown of actual dates that courses are running or paused for breaks.

I've heard lecturers where i work say they still teach up to end August. I just assumed that was all year groups. I know the students are back by 23 September or so.

I'm collaborating with a tame yr3 student so will ask what her programme has been like.

OP’s posts: |
BeerMoth Sat 16-Nov-19 09:12:20

I second what mumbeedswine says- my DD is 3rd yr medic in London.
At her Uni everyone does a 6 year course as the 3rd year in s an intercalated BSc. The first 3 years are typical uni holidays (though no reading weeks in yes 1 and 2) then much shorter from 4th year onwards.
I would encourage your DD to think very carefully about London- it is a very different uni experience to my other medic child who is at Ned school outside London.
Her hall In first was utterly cr*p and cost £8500. Rentals in subsequent years are eye-watering expensive for what you get.
A very significant number of her friends are actually from London so they seem to play at living out then go back home to live for a year or pop home with washing etc whereas we are far from London so DD sometimes wishes that everyone was properly living more than 25 miles from home like she is.
Students are also more spread out in subsequent years than other unis so can be harder to keep up sports etc as more travel involved.

My other child has far lower costs and better community imho.

BeerMoth Sat 16-Nov-19 09:13:04

Jeez sorry for all the typos- rushing!

ItsReallyOnlyMe Sat 16-Nov-19 09:24:52

If she's applied to Imperial the hall fees can be quite a bit cheaper than that. There are those in South Ken that are expensive, but my DS is paying £137 a week for single en-suite in North Acton (40 min commute). He's paying less than former school friends in other universities such as Birmingham and Leicester.

MeTheCoolOne Sat 16-Nov-19 10:18:50

Term dates This shows the term dates for UCL MBBS for next year It shows holidays

I googled UCL medicine term dates.


mumsneedwine Sat 16-Nov-19 10:30:36

Definitely get lovely long summer holidays for years 1 & 2 (& some places 3). Years 4 & 5 are much more full on as in clinical all the time. Easy to find work in the holidays as people seem to like medical students - mine worked as an HCA last summer and earned quite a lot of money.
But I'd second looking outside London if money is a factor. Much much cheaper elsewhere both in and out of halls - mine now pays £75 a week rent for her house.

Needmoresleep Sat 16-Nov-19 10:30:40

Halls can vary a lot. Imperial and UCL have some very nice, central halls, and guarantee accommodation to every student, whether they live in London or not. KCL will guarantee accommodation to every student from outside London, bu some is a bit far flung, but perhaps not too far from Guys. Barts/QMUL is in east London so in an edgier area. Then there is the option of intercollegiate halls. SGUL is different. It is in a pleasant South London suburb, so not really "London" and not attached to a University in the same way.

And London is different. Some students prefer that. Londoner DD was open to staying in London, but was not offered a place. If applying again her current University would remain her first choice, but I suspect her other choices, based on the experiences of people she knows, would creep onto the list. Hard to describe but London Universities often have a specific sort of buzz, ,and London boasts any number of top medical departments, specialists, conferences, intercalation options and so on.

ProfessorLayton1 Sat 16-Nov-19 10:45:27

Dd is in one of the university of London halls and having the time of her life. London university is a different but she seems to be thriving there and is definitely the right choice for her.
She is only in her first year so can't comment on private accommodation. Her friendship group included students from SOAS, Kings, couple of medics and I think one is from LSE.
If you can afford and she is interested,I would definitely encourage her to apply to at least one London medical college.

Needmoresleep Sat 16-Nov-19 11:11:05

Sorry, word missing

"other London Universities"

DD is only applying to London for her intercalation year. She wants some of that buzz. (Though equally has enjoyed the rural placements and market town hospitals she visits on current course.)

MedSchoolRat Sat 16-Nov-19 14:51:33

Ahhhh... I stand very well educated.
Many thanks for replies.
Delighted if DD can work some summers (!!)

OP’s posts: |
runoutofnamechanges Sat 16-Nov-19 16:45:21

The short answer is it is very expensive!

It's even more expensive in years for the final 2 years when they get a reduced student loan and nhs bursary (and no long holidays so no chance to earn some money) so look at your DD's entitlement for those years to when considering costs.

If your household income is under £60k, Imperial has very generous bursaries that are automatically given to every eligible student based on the info from their student finance application (no need to apply).

Another thing to consider when choosing halls for the first year is don't forget to factor in distance/travel costs (check where the first year lectures/classes are based if there are multiple sites). If you live far out, not only will travel cost more, it's easy to end up buying a £3 sandwich on campus that would cost 30p to make because you haven't got time to go home to eat and didn't have time to make a packed lunch/made impromptu plans to study late/socialise. Also consider the late night travel options/costs/safety.

BubblesBuddy Sat 16-Nov-19 18:32:33

Why did she only apply to London med schools? Did you not consider accommodation costs before doing this? Seems a bit “eggs in one basket” approach.

Needmoresleep Sat 16-Nov-19 19:45:39

I don’t agree. London has a number of medical schools. 2 are BMAT, 3 UKCAT, of which QMUL has a reputation for liking high grades whilst SGUL tends to set a minimum bar then use other criteria to select. Applying just to London is some way from putting all your eggs in one basket.

runout raises a good point. If looking at costs there are quite a few things to consider. Some courses are five years, others, including a couple of the London ones are six, so automatically more expensive. (And student loans are only for 4 years.) For those not interested in specialisation or in intercalation, it is cheaper to look at 5 year courses, whether in London or not.

I would argue that transport is one of London’s advantages, though might depend on where clinical placements are. (Another thing to look at in detail if you are cost conscious. It might be that if there are six month placements out of London you could avoid a London rent for that period.) In her first year DD’s GP placement was in a village so she had to get up at 6.30am to get to the centre of the City to get the once an hour bus. Her eleven non medic flat mates were quite nocturnal and it was pretty inevitable that she had either been kept awake or that someone had stolen her packed lunch from the fridge, or both. Being in a city and able to pick up a sandwich from Greggs would have been great and much better than going hungry. (She ended up keeping a stock of muesli bars in her room.) I think after this experience she would also see the greater academic focus across disciplines in many London universities, with fewer students primarily there for the ‘university experience’, as an advantage.

Though not strictly necessary we ended up buying her a car for her second year. By the end of her course many will have done the same, whereas I expect not many in London will bother. The car proved invaluable during my mother’s recent, final, illness, but again had she been in London she could just have hopped on a train if faced with a family emergency.

Imperial is very good with bursaries, but UCL and others are as well. It is worth asking. Accommodation costs are shooting up in places like Bristol and I am not sure the gap in cost is as big as it was. (DD paid £90pw for her room in a grotty flat last year. This year the landlord asked for and got, £135. In contrast London rents are falling.)

MedSchoolRat Sat 16-Nov-19 19:51:01

We'll figure out the money, just not oblivious that it's a lot of money.
Some good housing tips, will see how thing work out.
Very Glad that DD can work to help pay for things.

OP’s posts: |
HostessTrolley Sat 16-Nov-19 22:25:48

Dd is at imperial and also in North Acton (hi @ItsReallyOnlyMe). Her accommodation is cheaper than we expected this year. She’s absolutely loving life. Most of the further up years at ICSM seem to live in the Hammersmith area in private rented shared houses as many of their lectures are at Charing Cross hospital - as is the medics bar.

Baytreemum Wed 20-Nov-19 19:53:47

My DD is at Barts (QMUL) where accommodation for first years is guaranteed. You can opt to live at Charterhouse Square, which is lovely, or by the Med School in Whitechapel, which is more convenient. Terms are notoriously long at Barts, but the rental for halls is quite reasonable at 148 for a single room with shared kitchen and bathrooms. I think you pay for 39 weeks or so. I don’t know about next year yet, but am looking for advice on non-eye-watering options! Oh yes, and you have to factor in travel costs, which are quite hefty unless you walk or bus it. They need a zones 1 - 2 Oyster card, but can cut the cost by buying a monthly one for complete months at med school.

fiftiesmum Tue 26-Nov-19 20:59:38

The plus points of the London medical schools is that placements are almost always reachable by frequent public transport.
The final year can be a problem as hospital placements are much further out (Harlow, Stevenage, Chelmsford) but will provide free or very cheap accommodation, plus the elective abroad so could be paying for a room and never being there

Justneedatemporaryname Sat 07-Dec-19 23:17:20

@ItsReallyOnlyMe how much does the commute cost?

ItsReallyOnlyMe Sun 08-Dec-19 10:18:06

@justneedatemporaryname a student is able to have a 30% reduction on travelcard prices. For one month this works out about £95, but this obviously only has to be paid in term time (unlike rent which is a 39 week contract). (Private renting generally is a 52 week contract). It does allow unlimited travel on the network (up to zone 2) all the time - so weekend travel for socialising etc is also included.

ItsReallyOnlyMe Sun 08-Dec-19 10:38:56

@Justneedatemporaryname Imperial do generous bursaries (up to £60k household salary) which also helps with funds. The halls are also heavily subsidised (compare UCL prices vs Imperial) - but obviously private renting is the same cost.

Justneedatemporaryname Mon 09-Dec-19 18:05:27

ItsReallyOnlyMe Thank you smile

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