Student Accommodation in Ireland– A Complete Guide
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Student Accommodation in Ireland – A Complete Guide

Written by Sarah Hastings-Woodhouse

Once you’ve succeeding in finding your dream postgraduate course in Ireland, you’ll need to secure accommodation. Ireland offers plenty of choice for postgraduate students, both on and off campus. This guide covers everything you need to know about accommodation in Ireland, including how to apply, typical costs and more!

On-campus student accommodation

Most universities in Ireland provide halls of residence for students. You’ll usually share an apartment with between four and eight other students, with a private bedroom and a shared kitchen, living room and bathroom.

Places in on-campus accommodation are limited, so it’s important to get your application in early if this is your preferred option!

How much does it cost?

On-campus halls of residence tend to be one of the more expensive accommodation options for students in Ireland – though the exact cost varies between universities. University College Dublin, for example, charges an average of €1,025 per month for on-campus accommodation, compared to €600-680 at the University College Cork.

You’ll pay your rent in two instalments per year, at the start of each semester. You will generally have to pay a separate fee for utilities, though some universities will include these in your initial rent charge and deduct any above-average usage from your deposit repayment. You may also have to pay a booking fee of around €50.

Some universities provide residences specifically for postgraduate students (this may be more expensive), but you can also choose to live in standard student accommodation.

Advantages of student halls:

  • Student halls are generally the most hassle-free option for students. You’re guaranteed to have everything you need provided, including a regular maintenance service and security patrols. Many universities also provide extra facilities such as an on-site gym. Though you may be charged separately for utilities, this will probably be in the form of one all-inclusive bill.
  • Living on campus means you won’t have to worry about a time-consuming (and potentially expensive!) commute to your classes.
  • Living with fellow students is a great way to meet new people and get integrated in the student community.

Disadvantages of student halls:

  • Student halls tend to be more expensive that private rented accommodation in Ireland.
  • Places in on-campus student accommodation are limited, so you’ll need to apply early to secure one.
  • Although living in student accommodation will require less set-up and admin than renting a private house or flat, you won’t have as much flexibility when it comes to hunting down cheaper deals for your utility bills!

How to find on-campus student accommodation in Ireland

You will be able to book a place in student halls via the accommodation office at your university. You’ll make your application to them directly via an online booking form. Spaces fill up quickly, so it’s a good idea to start browsing options far in advance, and to apply as soon as possible after your university place is confirmed.

Off-campus student accommodation

There is also off-campus accommodation for students in Ireland. This may be available through independent providers, or through your university. Occasionally, you may be automatically allocated a room in an off-campus residence if you are not successful in applying for on-campus accommodation.

These residences are only open to student applicants and tend to be located near university campuses. Independent providers will often have direct links with the universities themselves. However, you should be aware that not all of them do – and that some will charge very high prices for ‘luxury’ accommodation.

Universities will often manage off-campus accommodation listings that can be accessed via the accommodation office’s website. However, universities are not directly liable for any problems that may arise with accommodation listed on their off-campus housing databases, so you should always make sure to view the property before signing a contract.

How much does it cost?

Off-campus student accommodation can be expensive, with rooms in private apartment complexes generally costing upwards of €225 per week. Some luxury accommodation may charge up to €10,000 for a 9-month contract.

Advantages of off-campus student accommodation

  • You’ll generally be provided with the same facilities and services that you would be in on-campus accommodation, such as cleaning and security.
  • Utilities will probably be charged in one all-inclusive bill, meaning you won’t have to worry about organising them individually.
  • Apartment complexes usually are available exclusively to students and are located close to the university campus.

Disadvantages of off-campus student accommodation

  • Living in off-campus accommodation can be more expensive that staying on campus.
  • Complexes are generally managed by independent providers, meaning your university will not be liable for any issues that arise.

How to find off-campus student accommodation in Ireland

Universities tend to host off-campus accommodation listings on Studentpad. You can find your university’s Studentpad profile via their website. You’ll need to log in with a university email address to browse properties.

Living with a host family

Another popular option for international students in Ireland is living with a host family. This can be a great way to get settled in a new country! You usually won’t need to contribute extra towards utility bills, and breakfasts and evening meals are often provided.

How much does it cost?

The cost of staying in a host family can vary considerably, with prices generally starting at around €17 per night, or €510 per month.

How to find a host family in Ireland

You can find a host offering an unoccupied room to students or travellers in Ireland on Homestay. Make sure you check whether the host will accept students looking to stay for the duration of their degree – some will only host guests for a certain length of time. Some exclusively host international students.

Advantages of staying with a host family

  • Living with a local family can be a great way to get settled in the community. Your hosts can introduce you to the local area and culture and help you feel more at home.
  • You generally won’t have to worry about utility bills, as these will be covered by your host.
  • Your host may provide complimentary meals (most commonly breakfast and dinner). You will generally have access to the kitchen too – though this can vary from host to host.

Disadvantages of staying with a host family:

  • Though you’ll have the opportunity to stay with a local family, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to live with other students. This may be isolating for those who want to be more involved in the student community.
  • You’ll be staying in someone else’s home, so it’s important to respect their rules and boundaries. Make sure you check the host’s house rules before applying to make sure there aren’t any that you might find too restrictive (around visitors or noise after a certain time, for example).

Private rented accommodation

Many students in Ireland choose to rent private accommodation. This could be a bedsit, flat or shared house. Most students choose to share with others to reduce costs.

If you’re renting private accommodation, you’ll usually pay rent in monthly instalments. Contracts are typically between nine and twelve months.

How much does it cost?

How much you’ll pay for rented accommodation in Ireland varies depending on location and the type of housing you choose. Rent in Dublin is generally more expensive than elsewhere in Ireland, with University College Dublin estimating that rent in the city will cost between €750-1,300 per month.

Rent may be slightly lower in other popular student cities such as Galway (€650-1,100 per month) or Cork (€600-1,000).

Advantages of renting private accommodation:

  • The overall cost of renting private accommodation (including utilities) can be cheaper than living in student housing in Ireland. You’ll also have the flexibility to search for better deals for heating, electricity, and internet.
  • Private renting is generally less competitive than living in student housing, so you should have more choice when it comes to picking the right accommodation.
  • You’ll have the freedom to choose who you share accommodation with (or if you share at all!).

Disadvantages of renting private accommodation:

  • Renting privately can be more time-consuming and complicated than staying in student accommodation. You’ll need to find your own housemates, set up utility bills and be extra careful about reading the small print of your contract.
  • There is a small risk of falling prey to scams and rental fraud when searching on the private market (but you should be able to avoid these by keeping your eyes peeled!).
  • Living a distance from campus or with people who aren’t students may make it harder to feel part of the student community.

How to find private rented accommodation in Ireland

There are a number of ways to find private rented accommodation in Ireland, including local newspapers, estate agents or through your university’s accommodation office. You can also find extensive listings on websites such as Daft and MyHome.

Top tips for finding accommodation in Ireland

Now you know what’s available for international students in Ireland, here are our top tips for securing your ideal accommodation:

  • Start your search early: It’s never too soon to start browsing your options, especially if you’re planning on living in student accommodation – on-campus places are over subscribed and fill up fast. Start applying as soon as you can after receiving a university offer.
  • Be aware of scams: Scams are becoming more common due to increased demand for housing in Ireland. If your accommodation is not provided directly by your university, it’s important to do your homework before signing a contract. The Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has some advice on what to look out for.
  • Check the length of your lease: Most private rentals offer either nine- or twelve-month leases. If you’ll only be staying for one academic year, make sure you choose the nine-month option to avoid extra charges.
  • Budget carefully: Rent in Ireland is higher than the European average. If your budget is limited, make sure you hunt around for better value options and take into account other outgoings such as the cost of commuting to campus.

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Last Updated: 27 April 2023