Our mixture of different types of accommodation, all of which is allocated via a scrupulously fair system, ensures that students of all ages and academic disciplines experience life as part of a genuinely open and egalitarian academic community.
You can learn more about the cost and amenities available at Somerville below, or read our main Accommodation page for more info about the different types of room on offer.
Allocation of rooms
First year Undergraduates are allocated a room prior to the start of the academic year, and do not need to apply for accommodation. The JCR organises a randomised room ballot to allocate rooms for all finalists and some non-finalists. Some second year students (and third years studying a four year course) choose to live out of College, sharing rented houses close to Somerville, but many students can now stay in College for the duration of their studies. For more information on undergraduate accommodation, please visit the JCR website.
For Graduate students please see the Somerville College – Allocation of graduate accommodation – Order of priority
Daily average room rates for undergraduates, including utilities and services is £26.68 for a standard room (shared facilities) and £28.34 for en-suite rooms, subject to annual review. (En-suite rooms are available to undergraduates from their second year onwards). The most common length of an undergraduate contract is 186 days, with all licences starting on a Sunday.
Graduate accommodation costs £25.49 per night for a licence of either 260 days or 352 days (depending on course).
You are required to pay the first term’s room rent in advance. Accommodation charges cover light, hot water, background heating, and cooking facilities. There is also a fixed annual surcharge to cover any additional electricity used in rooms.
All students staying in College must sign and return a licence to occupy form before the start of each academic year. When you take possession of your room, you will be given a list of contents for which you will be accountable along with a description of their condition. You will be asked to sign this and return it to the Housekeeping Manager. This is for your protection and ours; if there is any damage or unreasonable deterioration to your room or furniture at the end of your tenancy of that room, you will be charged for any necessary repairs or replacements.
Each study bedroom has the following features and facilities:
- Magnolia walls
- Coloured curtains
- Adequate, but not generous, cupboard space
- Chest of drawers
- Desk with reasonable book space
- Central lighting
- Desk lamp
- 3ft wide bed
- Mattress with mattress cover
- 2 Pillows with pillow cover
- A number of 13-amp twin sockets (local voltage is 230/240v AC)
Please note: furniture and fittings must not be removed from rooms, nor should any furniture be brought into rooms. You will need to provide your own sheets, pillowcases, duvet cover and towels. Bed linen can easily be bought in Oxford and, if necessary, the Housekeeping Manager can, given prior notice, provide it for newly arrived undergraduates from overseas for the first week. In addition to bed linen, you will need to bring towels and any kitchen utensils, crockery, and cutlery you think you might need. You do not need to bring kettles and toasters. Please see the Electrical Regulations for details of what you can bring to College with you. There is a legal requirement for all electrical equipment brought into College accommodation to be tested and certified as safe. If you bring a television or watch live TV broadcasts over the internet, it will be your responsibility to obtain a television licence at your College address. The use of Blu-Tack or similar adhesives to hang posters etc. is forbidden, as this causes damage to wall surfaces. No candles are allowed in college. Room inventory will be left in your room when you arrive and must hand back to Housekeeping during the first week of college.
Your room will be cleaned by a ‘Scout’ (cleaner) once every two weeks unless you are in an en suite room, in which case your room will be cleaned once a week for hygiene reasons. Communal areas will be cleaned daily Monday to Friday. This includes corridors, stairs, bathrooms, showers, toilets, kitchens, and pantries.
Please note that Scouts are not responsible for tidying your personal belongings, or dealing with your washing up. You will be advised in advance which day/week your room will be cleaned, and your Scout must have access on this day.
Graduates are responsible for cleaning their own rooms. Rooms are checked every eight weeks.
Bins and recycling
Your waste bin, general rubbish and recycling will be emptied each weekday, Monday to Friday, for which purpose bins must be left outside your room daily. Students are responsible for their own recycling of glass/bottles, to be taken to the glass bottle bins provided in each building.
All rooms have background heating at a minimum temperature of 21°C (70°F), when the central heating is on (1 October – 30 April).
If you have a good reason for wanting to stay in College accommodation outside the periods of your licence to occupy, you may apply for a total of 14 nights’ vacation residence each year. This total is in addition to any days outside term-time spent taking University examinations. This is the same for both UK and non-UK students. Vacation residence allowances not taken in any one year may be carried forward to the next year, in the same way that excess nights may be deducted from the following year’s allowance. Undergraduates are therefore eligible to apply for a total of 42 nights (for a three year course) or 56 nights for a four year course. You may also apply for grants which will be authorised by the Treasurer of Senior Tutor.
Vacation Residence Charges
The charge for vacation residence will be charged at the year’s nightly rate. Anyone in financial difficulty who is applying for vacation residence may also apply for a vacation residence grant. Grants are paid from limited College resources so it is not generally possible to meet all requests for support. Students who do not apply for vacation residence and do not move out at the end of term will be charged at the full commercial rate of £51.40 a night.
Vac Res before the academic year
Please complete the Vac Res formal as usual, noting that there is no guarantee that all vacation residence requests can be accommodated.
If you are a new undergraduate and are hoping to arrive in College accommodation prior to the start of Michaelmas term, it is your responsibility to request vacation residence through the Academic office not Housekeeping.
Graduate Entry Medicine students hoping to stay in College accommodation prior to the start of the Michaelmas term must contact the Housekeeping department as soon as they are able (email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +44 (0)1865 270623). Requests must be made well in advance of your planned arrival at Somerville.
While we appreciate that it is tedious to have to clear all belongings from College rooms at the end of each term, every student is required to remove all of his or her property from College at the end of term, or when vacating his or her lodgings. Belongings left in rooms no matter how small or unobtrusive will be removed by Housekeeping staff and, if kept, will be subject to a storage charge (of up to the student commercial rate of a minimum of £30 a night). The College has limited storage facilities, and storage priority is given to overseas students. Students who wish to take advantage of this limited facility should make contact with the Lodge during term to ascertain availability, and the terms and conditions that apply. Alternatively, commercial storage facilities are available in and near Oxford. Companies include:
While there are no guest rooms specifically for use by JCR members, it may on occasion be possible to hire an undergraduate room that is not occupied. Please contact the Bursary for information (email email@example.com).