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 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. If you have studied at LSE before (eg for an undergraduate degree or as part of the General Course), we'll regard you as a continuing student. For full details, see 4. Allocations.

Frequently asked questions about accommodation applications

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). 

Will you make me more than one accommodation offer?

No, not before the application deadline has passed. Until then, we make only one offer per eligible application. This helps us to make offers to as many students as possible. If you've declined your first offer you can join the waiting list and we may be able to make you another offer.  But only after the application deadline (for your type of application) has passed. 
Related information: Waiting list

Read the full text of our accommodation policy

1. Introduction

This document outlines the way in which we provide accommodation for London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) applicants and students.

The purpose of our policy statement is to clarify our goals and commitments to users of LSE Residential Services and to define our operational process toward toward achieving these goals.

The contents of this document will cover what our aims are and how we achieve those aims. It will cover who our service applies to and what they can expect from us.

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 2018/2019

Student: a registered student of LSE following a full-time course of study.

3. Objectives

Our goal is to provide a range of good quality university accommodation, which is safe and secure, priced appropriately which provides opportunities for learning experiences and contributes to LSE's sustainability.

The actions we take to fulfil this goal are to:

  1. give priority to students with disabilities and other students prioritised for accommodation in line with Disability and Wellbeing Service recommendations.
  2. field applications and provide accommodation for applicants and students of LSE.
  3. publish information about each residence, prices and facilities.
  4. allocate spaces fairly and offer 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 or other priority
  • Groups 2 and 3 – First year undergraduate and General Course applicants students
    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 2018.
  • Group 4 - New graduate students
    New graduate students are allocated the remaining bed spaces. The deadline for graduate students is 30 July 2018.
  • 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 18 May 2018.

5. Equity and diversity commitment

Residential and Catering Services are committed to the promotion of equity, diversity and inclusion in LSE halls of residence. To support these principles, the following commitments are made to applicants fromwithin the following protected groups or who have declared the following protected characteristics on their accommodation application forms:

Applicants who have disclosed a disability:

RCSD commit to encouraging applications from students with medical requirements and to providing accommodation that best meets these requirements.

To assist in this commitment, the Residential Services Manager will meet with the manager of the LSE Disability and Wellbeing Service (DWS) frequently throughout the application cycle to review applications from students who have disclosed a disability.

Following consultation with the DWS and upon receipt of completed and approved documentation, an offer of accommodation will be made that best meets the students’ requirements from the accommodation available at that time.

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

RCSD commit to ensuring that applicants who disclose that they are wheelchair users, or that they have severe visual or auditory impairments, or other severe mobility impairments in their accommodation application form, receive the correct advice and support throughout theirapplication 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 also 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.

The Residential Services Manager will liaise with the DWS manager and make an accommodation offer that best meets the requirements of the applicant. If any reasonable adjustments are required to the accommodation, RCSD will liaise with Estates such that these are made in advance of the students’ arrival to the hall.

RCSD will also 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.

The Residential Services Office will also 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 significant medical conditions (e.g. those who are wheelchair users; those who have severe visual impairments or are blind; those who have severe auditory impairments or are deaf) and require larger rooms or specific room types (e.g. ensuite 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:

RCSD 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 (e.g. 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:

RCSD encourages 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. In particular, 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 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.

Gender identity:

RCSD are committed to ensuring an inclusive environment and balance of genders in each of its halls of residence. The gender of an applicant is known to RCSD at the time of allocation and is 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

RCSD 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 then make an accommodation offer that best meets the declared requirements of the student, within the accommodation available at the time of application.

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 (RCSD processes all applications from couples in the same way regardless of the legal status of the relationship, if this is disclosed by the couple)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religious beliefs

6. Eligibility

Any full-time student is eligible to apply for accommodation.

7. Mode of operation

We field 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 1st 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.

Within Group 2 (new undergraduate students) applicants who hold LSE as their insurance choice will not be offered accommodation until their course place at LSE becomes firm.

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 2018/2019 will be made offers first:

  • First priority – applicants and students with disabilities
  • Second priority - new undergraduates and General Course students
  • 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.

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 2018/2019, the Peer Support programme number is proposed to be capped at 22 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