As many of you are starting to make concrete plans for the beginning of your postgraduate journey at King’s, this month’s blog theme is accommodation. This can be one of the greatest worries when starting a new course, in possibly a different city, country or even continent!
We will provide you with information on areas to live around the IoPPN, types of accommodation and how to go about searching for where to live. This blog features a collection of testimonies from current IoPPN postgraduate students who live in King’s accommodation, house shares, live with partners, live independently, and commute. We will also provide you with useful links to housing websites.
So relax, fear not, we are here to help you find the perfect place to live!
Where’s a good place to live?
The IoPPN is located in Denmark Hill which is an area within the South London borough of Southwark. Nearby areas that IoPPN students tend to live in include Camberwell, Peckham, Herne Hill, Dulwich, Crystal Palace, Oval and Stockwell. However, this list is not exhaustive, and there is nothing stopping students from living north of the river or in King’s accommodation that is closer to other campuses. These areas are simply suggestions from our own experiences and the people we know studying at the IoPPN.
How do I find someone to live with?
Based on last year, it is likely that accommodation applications will open for you in April. You must apply by June and you can expect to be sent a conditional accommodation offer by July/August. It is important to note that accommodation is not guaranteed and you can only highlight your preferences regarding features such as cost and en-suite facilities, however, you cannot choose your halls of residence. I would imagine that you will receive information about this nearer the time, but if you would like more information now then have a look at the King’s website to see all the frequently asked questions.
As more offers are made people begin to post on the IoPPN Facebook group to find a house with other IoPPN students, this is a good way to meet new people and sort accommodation. When I (Sarah) was moving to London and looking for a place to live I didn’t mind who I lived with so just found a house share that had a spare room. Alternative options include, posting on your own social media accounts to see if any of your friends are looking to rent somewhere in London, living with family or friends from different universities or colleagues from work.
So what do postgraduate students say about the type of accommodation they have chosen?
- King’s Owned Accommodation
“I currently live in the Champion Hill Residence at Denmark Hill. This student accommodation offers a variety of great facilities such as music rooms, study areas, a fitness gym and social spaces. I feel very safe living here and the walk to campus is only 10-15 minutes!” – Emma
“So I live in Champion Hill which is right next to campus. It’s one of the newest halls, and it’s amazing. Everyone is from a different country, and I have met so many interesting friends here. The facilities are all new, and I enjoy having an almost built in friend group just from living here. It is quite expensive, but I didn’t want to go out of my way and find independent housing. Overall it’s been great!” – Joe
“Champion Hill residence is an ideal place for students in Denmark Hill Campus. It’s 15mins walking. The facilities are very new. we have a small garden and a small gym. A big Sainsbury is 5mins walking distance. It’s very quiet and peaceful. And it’s also very nice to have the less crowded building (called the WEC) near us to study! I love Champion Hill.” – Chloe
“Moonraker Point (Unite Student Accommodation) is great as it’s located in the centre of Zone One right behind the Tate Modern! There is access to the tube and it’s a super nice area with lots of pubs, theatres, restaurants, bars etc. Also, it’s walking distance to Waterloo Bridge and Borough Market/London Bridge! Cons: bad internet connection, sometimes cold showers and pretty high rents!” – Teresa
- House shares
“I am lucky enough to live a brisk 8-minute walk from our beautiful IOPPN in Camberwell. I live in quaint terraced house share with 6 other people, who I knew previously from my hometown. Camberwell is a lovely area, extremely diverse in its culture with lots of yummy places to eat. It has a great library recently refurbished right on Camberwell Green. I am also only a stone’s throw away from the luscious Burgess park; great for a Spring picnic or a cycle ride perhaps? I couldn’t think of anywhere better to live during my MSc at King’s.” – Zoe
“I would say that it is true that you don’t know people until you live with them. I live in a house share and it is difficult if you don’t get on with someone and you are sharing a house with them because you are stuck in close proximity all the time! Saying that, it is definitely cheaper to be in shared housing and it can be really enjoyable if you’re with your friends.” – Amy
- Living on your own or with a partner
“I live in a Victorian conversion flat in Crystal Palace. Crystal Palace is a great hub with everything you could need on your doorstep and central only a 20 minute overground ride away. The commute to the IoPPN is super quick, only 15 minutes on the train and 30 minutes on the overground making it easy to get to university even when there are tube strikes.” – Brittany
“I live in a flat with my partner, near Stockwell station. I walk around 30 minutes in the morning to get to the IoPPN, but also have the option of taking the bus if the weather is miserable! I am very happy about my accommodation, it’s nice and practical, and I don’t mind walking in the morning as it gives me the chance to spot interesting shops and get some fresh air” – Alice
“Commuting from Cambridge to the IoPPN has its ups and downs, admittedly the near-on two-hour commute in is a bit of a drag. I mean, It’s not exactly fun waking up at 5:30am to get into university, but when it’s done for a course that you love, from a city you love, and you get home to your friends after a long day, it makes it worth it! My main advice for anyone planning on commuting is to buy tickets in advance to save money, and invest in a good pair of headphones!” – Abbi
“I live with my parents in Surrey and commute in to Denmark Hill. Commuting does mean that you have to make the most of your time while you are at university because you can’t just ‘pop’ in – So you need to be organized and think ahead. In some ways it is great because you experience the big city but then go back to home comforts, countryside and fresh air! But it does mean that you miss out on some more social activities and feels like an effort to come in to university sometimes. Usually there are other people in your situation, and if you can share the journey with someone else it makes the journey more fun.” – Tamsin
Finally, we have some useful links for you
Hopefully we have given you some insight about your housing options when you start your postgraduate degree. One things for sure, you have an exciting year ahead of you. Make sure you take time to think about what you want from your accommodation because it can really make all the difference to your postgraduate experience.
Remember, if you have any specific questions which we have not covered then please get in touch via the Q&A sessions on your offer holders Facebook Page, with Tamsin on Monday at 11am and Sarah on Wednesday at 8pm.
Good luck house hunting!
Sarah and Tamsin