Choosing where to live

This article introduces the accommodation options usually available and provides some tips for making the right choice for you.


Accommodation can be challenging to secure and expensive. You will need to think about accommodation well before you receive your Leaving Cert results or your CAO offer.


If you are reading this in late summer – don’t panic!

Visit our Late Accommodation Search page for advice.


If you are coming to UCC there are several options available:

Campus Accommodation

If you want to live in UCC Student Accommodation you need to apply early on in the year (typically in mid February). The application window usually remains open for one month. Once the application window closes all applicants are included in a random selection lottery. All applicants, regardless of when they applied or any other criteria, have the same chance of being offered a room.

If you are not selected you will be added to the waiting list for later draws.

It is not possible to apply or join the waiting list once the application window closes.

Private Accommodation

You can rent a room in a private apartment complex for students or rent a room in a private house. These are not operated by UCC and you need to be careful when sourcing private accommodation.

You can find details of private student apartment complexes here.

UCC StudentPad is an online search engine that lets you search for rooms, houses and apartments.

Living at Home

Many students decide to stay living at home – whether that is to save money or they would prefer to keep the support they have at home while they get used to being in college. It is also possible to live at home in first year and then move out in the second or subsequent years if you want to. If you choose to live at home make sure you think about your commute to college – how much it will cost and how much time it will take. Commuting can be busy and stressful for everyone – so make sure you take this into account when considering where you want to live.

How could this affect me?

As you spend a lot of time in your accommodation, it is important that you make the right choice for you. You may be sharing facilities such as kitchen and social spaces with your flatmates. Everybody has their own way of living, socialising and thresholds for cleanliness and noise levels.

During our research, autistic students have told us things they liked and didn’t like about their accommodation. These were related to the size of rooms, noise levels, distance to shops, availability of quiet spaces, the study choices and maturity of fellow tenants.

Living with other people

Living with other people can be great – but can also have its challenges. If you find yourself having an issue – try addressing the problem calmly by following these steps.


1) State the problem clearly and unemotionally (for example: ”the music that was playing until 4am last night was really loud”)

2) Explain without getting angry what the consequences were for you (for example: “It kept me up and meant I couldn't sleep”)

4) Listen to the reasons the person may have (for example: they didn't realise how loud the music was)

5) Tell the person you’re complaining to exactly what you’d like them to do about it without being rude (for example: use headphones after midnight)

6) Be clear when you need it doing (for example: weeknights or before when you have to get up early)

7) If they make a change to resolve the situation - thank them! 

Then it’s easy for the person to understand what the issue is and try to make things right. Even if something has really upset you it is best to stay calm and use the method above although it may be tempting to get angry or upset. Lots of students need to get used to living with other people and everyone makes mistakes while getting used to it.


Before signing a lease, it is important to take time to familiarise yourself with the tenancy agreement.

When searching for private accommodation you should be vigilant for bogus landlords.

Read more about avoiding accommodation scams here.

First Year Placement Service

If you received your CAO offer to study in UCC but have not secured accommodation, you can apply for our first year placement service.

This service will only be available once the first CAO offers are issued. 


What to do next?

Find out more about the options available at your university and think about your choice of accommodation carefully.

Practical tips

Make sure you are aware of your rights as a student tenant.

Decide if you want to or have to move out from home and live in student accommodation.

Make sure you think about accommodation early on – don’t wait until you get your results!

Make sure you take into account all the costs involved in your choice (bills, commuting, etc.) – not just rent.

Questions to think about

Whether you want to live in a lively place in the city centre, or if you would prefer a quieter location outside of the city?

Do you want accommodation that offers its own social calendar?

Do you need an en-suite room?

Do you want to be close to the University?

Think about how you will get to University? Will you walk, cycle, travel by public transport?

How many people you would be comfortable sharing with?

How will you fund your accommodation costs?

Additional information and links

For those starting at University College Cork, there is lots more information on our accommodation website.

About the author

This article was originally written by Kate Walker, Disability Advisor at Leeds Beckett University and adapted for use for UCC.