Student playing jenga in halls

Living in University halls

How to move in and live in halls of residence safely

All our halls of residence are open as normal, with all the necessary safety measures in place to keep you safe.

Among the safety measures are sanitiser stations, all our reception areas are going contactless, and welfare support from our Residence Life Team – so if you've got any concerns about your safety, you'll have someone to talk to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Haven’t arranged your accommodation yet? See our halls of residence pages for your options, costs and how to apply.

Rent reductions in University-owned halls

We have offered an 80% rent reduction to any students unable to use their University-owned halls which will be backdated to 4 January 2021 and continue until the Government advice changes and we are able to resume face-to-face teaching more widely. University-owned halls include:

  • Bateson Hall
  • Harry Law Hall
  • Rees Hall

Other accommodation providers

Unfortunately, the University has no control over contracts between students and private accommodation providers, including other halls of residence and single rooms in private houses. 

However, we are working with the Students’ Union to lobby private accommodation providers to provide similar support to students, and we’re aware many halls of residence have offered a 50% rent reduction. Please contact your landlord about rent reductions.

Moving in

To allow for social distancing when you move in, you'll be invited to book a moving-in slot , so that the entrances to halls don’t get overcrowded. (But don’t worry – this slot is flexible if you get delayed.) If you need to change your slot after you book it, contact the Student Housing Team by email at

Safety measures when moving in

Contactless reception

When you arrive at your halls, you’ll be greeted by our contactless reception team. The reception will have a sanitiser station at the entrance and you’ll be asked to respect social distancing, along with our staff members helping to settle you in. Once you’re registered at reception, you’ll get your keys/access cards and anything else you need.

Entering halls

For your safety, you should wear a face covering when you’re moving in. 

When you arrive, you will find sanitiser stations at the entrance to all our halls and you should bring your own face covering to wear on arrival and around the building.

Please follow government travel advice if you're travelling to the city with friends and family. When you arrive, we ask that only one family member or friend enters your halls with you at any one time.


As always, your room will be deep-cleaned before you arrive.

Cleaners will sanitise communal areas and all fixtures and fittings, such as door handles. You’ll also find University staff members on-hand, who can direct you to your room and help promote social distancing.

Travelling with symptoms

Please don’t travel to Portsmouth or move into your halls if you – or anyone you’re travelling with – has symptoms of COVID-19. If you or someone you live with has symptoms you need to follow the NHS’s stay at home and self-isolation advice in line with government guidance.

Arriving from overseas

According to current government guidelines on entering the UK, you may need to stay in your halls and self-quarantine for the first 14 days you're in the UK. 

All our halls have the support of our Residence Life Team who can provide you with support. All rooms have free WiFi to keep you connected online.

Female student working in halls

Ongoing safety measures in halls

Our safety measures won’t end on the day you move in. As a resident in our halls, we’ll provide you with:

  • Regular deep-cleaning of your communal areas such as kitchens, shared bathrooms, hallways
  • Cleaning materials and cleaning guidance, so you can wipe down communal fixtures between deep-cleans
  • Sanitiser stations in key spots around buildings
  • Contactless post-collection
  • Limits on the number of people who can use lifts
  • Reduced use of shared common rooms and lounge areas in line with government guidance, until it's safe to do so

Your ‘household’

If you move into self-catered halls, everyone you share a kitchen with becomes your ‘household’. If you’re in catered halls and you don’t have a separate flat, students in your neighbouring rooms become your ‘household’.

To reduce infection in your shared ‘household’, regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and water or hand sanitiser. Also cover any coughs or sneezes with a tissue or your elbow, and wash your hands immediately after. 

COVID-19 symptoms in your ‘household’

If you or someone else in your household develops symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus, you need to follow Government guidelines for households.

If you need to self isolate, you'll get support from our Residence Life Team who can provide you with support. All our rooms have free WiFi included to keep you connected online.

Perks of living in halls

Perks include: 

  • Shorter contracts available for Teaching Block 1 if you go on exchange in Teaching Block 2 (your contract can be extended if you don't go)
  • Free broadband and WiFi
  • All bills included in the cost of your room – gas, electricity, heating, water and basic insurance
  • Every room has a bed, desk, drawers and plenty of sockets for your laptop, phone and other devices
  • The majority of our rooms are en-suite, with private shower, sink and toilet
  • We have accessible rooms for students who need them, approved by AccessAble (formerly known as DisabledGo)
  • All our rooms are singles, and they're yours for the entire academic year – even over the Easter and Christmas holidays
  • Our Residence Life Team provides pastoral care 24 hours a day, every day
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