Offer guarantee and accommodation policy

How we make our offer decisions

This section explains what our offer guarantee means for you and whether you're covered by it, and how we decide which room we offer to you. The page also contains the full text of our accommodation policy.

Our offer guarantee

In short: every new undergraduate or General Course student at LSE is guaranteed an offer of a place. 

New undergraduate and General Course students

You are guaranteed an offer of accommodation, as long as you apply by the deadline. You can apply if you hold LSE as an insurance choice, but we won't process your application until LSE is your firm choice. For full details, see 4. Allocations.

New graduate students

We cannot guarantee we will make you an offer of accommodation, as applications can exceed spaces, but you will have a higher priority than continuing students. We encourage applications from new graduate students, and some of our halls are entirely graduate. For full details, see 4. Allocations.

Continuing current students

A small number of rooms in LSE halls is allocated to second and third year students, but we'll invite continuing students to apply to urbanest halls. Rooms for continuing students in LSE halls are usually for former hall committee members or current Peer Supporters. For full details, see 4. Allocations.

How quickly will we respond to your application?

It can take up to 28 days until we contact you. If you apply for accommodation before you've accepted your place to study at LSE, it will be 28 days from when you accept your place to study at LSE. We make offers in batches every few weeks. In each batch, we process all applications that we've received up to that point.

How do we decide which room we'll offer to you? 

We make offers in batches every few weeks. In each batch, we process all applications that we've received up to that point. First, we check your preferences. Then we match them against the rooms that are still available and which you are eligible for. If your first choice is available, we'll offer it to you. If not, we'll offer you your second choice and so on. If we don't have enough rooms of a certain type, we use a lottery system to allocate places fairly. So the earlier your apply, the higher your chances of getting an offer in your preferred room type.

The exceptions: Lilian Knowles House and urbanest halls are offered on a first come, first served basis. That means we process applications in order of receipt. If urbanest is your first preference, you may also receive an offer faster than for other halls. As long as rooms are available, you should receive an automatic offer within a few minutes of submitting your application. Once the urbanest room availability runs low, the process will no longer be automatic and we offer the last remaining spaces as part of the batch system (but still in order of receipt). 

Read the full text of our accommodation policy

1. Introduction

This policy outlines the way in which we allocate accommodation for London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) applicants and students. The purpose of our policy statement is to clarify our commitments to LSE students and to define our operational process toward achieving these goals.

2. Definition

In this document, the following meaning is ascribed to the terms applicant and student. Applicant: an individual who holds a course offer for entry to LSE in 2017/2018 Student: a registered student of LSE following a full-time course of study.

3. Objectives

Residential Services’ principal aim is to provide a first class service, within a sound financial framework which supports and enhances the learning goals of students. Residential Services’ aim is that all the Halls should be good value, safe, clean, friendly and enjoyable places to live and study. The actions we take to fulfil this goal are to:

  1. give priority to students with disabilities and to students with additional support needs in line with Disability and Wellbeing Service recommendations.
  2. process applications and provide accommodation for applicants and students of LSE.
  3. publish information on our website about each residence, prices and facilities.
  4. allocate bed spaces fairly and offer bed spaces as close to an applicant or student’s preferences as availability allows.
  5. continually improve our operational processes and systems to develop services.

4. Allocations

We allocate spaces in our residences for the following five groups:

  • Group 1 - Applicants and students with disabilities and additional support needs
  • Groups 2 and 3 – First year undergraduate applicants and General Course students (including students on an Erasmus programme for the full academic year). All first year undergraduate and General Course students are guaranteed an offer of accommodation as long as they apply by the deadline of 30 June 2017.
  • Group 4 - New graduate students New graduate students are allocated the remaining bed spaces. The deadline for graduate students is 30 July 2017.
  • Group 5 - Continuing students Continuing students are generally current Hall Committee members (elected) or Peer Supporters (selected) who play an important part in informally inducting and supporting new residents. The deadline for continuing students is 20 May 2017.

5. Equity and diversity

Residential Services are committed to the promotion of equity, diversity and inclusion in our halls of residences. To support these principles, we commit to the following protected groups and those who have declared protected characteristics on their accommodation application forms:

Applicants who have disclosed a disability

We encourage applications from students with medical requirements and we strive to provide accommodation that best meets these requirements. To further this aim, our Residential Services Manager meets with the Manager of the LSE Disability and Wellbeing Service (DWS) frequently throughout the application cycle. Together they review applications from students who have disclosed a disability. Upon receipt of completed and approved documentation, an offer of accommodation will be made that best meets the students’ requirements from the accommodation that is available at that time.
Access guides to all the School's residences are available online at: DisabledGo 

Applicants who disclose that they have significant sensory impairments; are wheelchair users; or who have other substantial mobility impairments

We commit to ensuring that applicants who are wheelchair users, or have significant sensory impairments, or other substantial mobility impairments, receive the correct advice and support throughout their application process, and are made an offer of accommodation that meets their needs. The Residential Services Manager will contact the applicant to discuss their personal requirements for accommodation, and will if possible, arrange for the applicant to visit, in advance of the start of the academic year, the potential hall and room that they may be allocated to, to ensure that the room is suitable. If any reasonable adjustments are required to the accommodation, Residential Services will liaise with Estates such that these are made in advance of the students’ arrival to the hall. Where relevant, we will allocate students’ Personal Assistants or Carers to the nearest single room in the residence to that which the student has been allocated to, for the duration of the student’s stay in the hall. We will liaise with the Residential Life and Warden team to ensure that all necessary support can be put in place for the student in preparation for their stay, including the completion of a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) to facilitate the student’s safe exit of the building in an emergency.

Fee adjustment 
Applicants who have more complex disabilities and / or medical conditions (e.g. those who are wheelchair users; those who have significant sensory impairments) and require larger rooms or specific room types (eg en suite facilities) owing to their medical requirements, will have their accommodation fees reduced such that they are charged the average price of a single room in that residence. Accommodation fees cannot be reduced for students who have declared a medical condition that does not necessitate a particular adjustment to their accommodation. Decisions for conditions that are not specified above will be made on a case by case basis by RCSD in consultation with the LSE DWS Manager.

Applicants who are under 18 years

We encourage accommodation applications from all applicants who have offers to study at LSE, regardless of age groups. Applicants who are under 18 years will be allocated to single rooms as it is against UK law to accommodate a minor in the same room as an adult (eg it is against the law to allocate a student under 18 years in a twin or triple room, sharing with a student of 18 years or over). In addition, students under the age of 18 years are identified to the Warden in advance of arrival such that special provisions can be made for these students where necessary (for example, to ensure that they are not served alcohol at events managed in the hall, and to provide extra pastoral care if required).

Applicants who have disclosed their pregnancy

We encourage accommodation applications from applicants who are pregnant. Applicants who disclose their pregnancy in their accommodation application will be contacted by the Residential Services Manager to discuss their specific accommodation requirements further. Once these have been established, the Residential Services Office will either make an offer of accommodation within an LSE hall that best meets the applicant’s specified requirements, or alternatively, will liaise with a partner provider on behalf of the student. LSE work in partnership with Zebra Housing to provide a limited range of family accommodation to international students. The Residential Services Office will also liaise with the Residential Life and Warden team to ensure that support can be put in place for the student in preparation for their stay, including the completion of a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) to facilitate the student’s safe exit of the building in an emergency.

Gender identity

We are committed to ensuring an inclusive environment and balance of sexes in each of its halls of residence. The sex and, if disclosed, gender identity of an applicant are taken into account in certain circumstances. This is in order to:

a) Ensure that twin rooms are shared by students of the same sex

b) Ensure that single rooms which have a shared bathroom with the room directly adjacent, are shared by students of the same sex

c) Ensure that a flat is either single sex (if requested by the students and if possible) or has a balance of male or female students. Single sex flats cannot be guaranteed as this is dependent on the number of students requesting this allocation within the hall, and may be impacted by late cancellations or changes.

d) Ensure that allocations to Rosebery Avenue are divided into male or female corridors, which is necessary owing to the location of bathrooms in this hall.

Trans applicants
We are committed to encouraging Trans applicants to apply for halls of residence. If an applicant declares as Trans, and subsequently lists any particular requirements for their accommodation in their application form, these will be reviewed by the Residential Services Manager. The Residential Services Manager will make an accommodation offer that best meets the declared requirements of the student, within the accommodation available at the time of application.

In the instance that a student’s circumstances change within an academic year such that they move within one of the above groups (i.e. students with a disability, students who are pregnant, students who are Trans), and they disclose this to the School, the Residential Services Manager will arrange a meeting with the student to understand their accommodation requirements. The Residential Services Manager will liaise with the Disability and Wellbeing Service and subject to availability, make an offer of accommodation that best meets the student’s needs.

The following characteristics do not impact upon the allocation of accommodation and will not be taken into consideration, in the event that an applicant chooses to disclose any of these characteristics in the free text fields in their application form:

  • Race or ethnicity
  • Marital status (The legal status of a relationship does not impact upon the allocation of couples’ accommodation, in the event that a couple were to disclose this. Couples’ accommodation is allocated in accordance with the priorities specified in section 4).
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religious beliefs
  • Age (except with respect to those aged under 18, see above)

6. Eligibility

Any applicant who is either enrolled, or due to enrol, on a full time course lasting for the duration of the forthcoming full academic session is eligible to apply for accommodation.

7. Mode of operation

We process applications and communicate decisions to applicants using a lottery system to allocate spaces. Offers of accommodation will not be made to applicants who have not yet accepted their offers to study at the School. Once applicants accept their offers of study, they will be entered into the lottery for the allocation of accommodation. Within group 4 only, (new graduate students), applicants with unconditional offers to study will be prioritised in the accommodation lottery ahead of applicants with conditional offers to study. This prioritisation will take place after August 1 only. All new undergraduate and General Course students are guaranteed an offer of accommodation.

There are only three residences that operate on a first come, first served basis. These are Lilian Knowles House, King’s Cross and Westminster Bridge. Applications for urbanest Westminster Bridge and urbanest King's Cross are processed in the order that they are received, for both continuing and new students (undergraduate and graduate). Lillian Knowles House also operates on a first come, first served basis but applications are restricted to new graduate students.

8. Our residences

We field applications for 18 residences.

LSE ResidencesUniversity of London Intercollegiate Halls
Bankside House College Hall
Butler’s Wharf Residence Connaught Hall
Carr-Saunders Hall International Hall
Grosvenor House Lillian Penson Hall
High Holborn Residence Nutford House
King’s Cross The Garden Halls
Lilian Knowles House  
Northumberland House  
Passfield Hall  
Rosebery Hall  
Sidney Webb House  
Westminster Bridge  


9. Waiting list

We make offers to anyone eligible who joins the waiting list as and when rooms or spaces become available. We have waiting list priorities to determine who is made an offer first. We will process all applications in a priority group before moving on to the next. In each category, those who have not been made an offer by LSE before for the academic year 2017/2018 will be made offers first:

  • First priority – applicants and students with disabilities
  • Second priority - New undergraduates and General Course students (including students who are on an Erasmus programme for the full academic year).
  • Third priority - New graduates
  • Fourth priority - Returning undergraduates
  • Fifth priority - All others

10. Pastoral support

Under the oversight of the Head of Residential Life, and/or their nominated representative, pastoral support in residences will be connected to other student support initiatives and roles at LSE.

Other residential roles include:

Hall Committee members
Returning students elected to serve in a committee position will be offered accommodation for the year following their election only. Their place in the residence is subject to the approval of the Warden and/or School Resident.

Peer Support programme
Peer Supporters are recruited in Lent Term and trained in Summer Term (presently) with 30 hours of intensive development. Their appointment to this residential role is for one year only. For 2017/2018, the Peer Support programme number is proposed to be capped at 18 returning undergraduate or graduate students.


Cancellation policy and deadlines

Looking for details on cancellations and refunds? Visit: Next steps once you've received an offer