If you are counting down to A levels results day ahead of going to university for 2021/22 then this is the guide for you. Covering everything of what you need to prepare – accommodation, making your choices to moving-in – it’s all in our A levels 2021 guide.
From picking your A levels subjects a few years back, to coursework and selecting your university options, it can seem like it has been a long journey just to get to this point. But we are here to help you and this guide covers everything you need to know.
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What’s happening with A levels 2021?
GCSE, AS and A level exams will not be going ahead as planned this summer. Instead, students will receive grades determined by teachers, and will only be assessed on what they have been taught, not what they may have missed. A levels results day 2021 is set for 10th August.
What’s happening with universities for 2021/22?
Universities are planning a blend of face-to-face learning for seminars, and online learning for lectures teaching for at least the first semester of 2021/22. Many students are planning their return back to their university cities and universities are planning COVID safe freshers activities to welcome students back.
Here are three things you need to consider:
If you have picked one university option or several, it’s never too early to start looking for your student accommodation. There are three types of accommodation in university cities; university halls, private student accommodation and private renting with landlords. Here’s a quick overview of each:
- University halls – usually based on campus or close to a university. Rooms allocated by the university and in general you can’t pick which building you get, but you can make your preferences known. These are usually allocated after results day when universities have confirmed offers if conditional. You pay per term and you can use student finance. You will have a set tenancy agreement length, usually 52 weeks.
- Private student accommodation – usually based close to a university and close to public transport. Rooms can be selected at booking, and you can also book in groups (if you know others heading to the same university and you want to flat share). Range of accommodation from studio to private room with en-suite. Additional facilities on-site can include: study spaces, gym, cinema room, laundry room and 24/7 staff. You pay one cost per month which includes WiFi and you can use student finance. You can have flexible tenancy agreements ranging from a couple of months to a year.
- Private renting through landlords – usually based in the same city but further out depending on the area. You would need to find people to share with or have a group of friends to share with and you are responsible for handling bills directly with the rest of your housemates. You will have a set tenancy agreement length, usually 52 weeks.
Making Your Choices
Heading to university means making a new local community and a network of friends, course mates and potentially work friends. It’s important to consider what style of living you like. If you are sociable, like to have everything on your doorstep and want to walk to the majority of places – try a busier city with a larger city centre. If you prefer to enjoy parks, countryside or the beach, it’s worth checking out university cities that match your interests.
When it comes to accommodation, similarly the way you like to live and spend your spare time makes a difference. Some private student accommodation properties have several buildings with a larger group of residents, whereas some are smaller with only a handful. Also, the range of facilities depends on each property, so it’s worth checking out student accommodation listings to see:
- How close to the university they are
- What communal space is available for you to use
- What support is available on-site – concierge and/or 24/7 team support
- What security measures are in place for peace of mind – CCTV and door entry pads
You can search for student accommodation on www.student.com and book today using the No Place No Pay guarantee. Which means if you don’t get your place at university then you will get your refund back, but you can take advantage of greater room availability and current offers. For more information speak to a member of the team today*.
The Countdown to Moving In
September may seem a while away but it will come around fast. Ahead of moving-in week it’s worth thinking about:
- Student finance applications – if you meet the criteria, have you applied? Usually there’s a timeframe for the application to be processed and set payment dates, so it’s worth getting that organised sooner rather than later
- Bank/mobile accounts – there are student deals for bank accounts so take a look at what’s on offer to make sure you have everything sorted before heading to university. Similarly, some mobile operators provide social discounts
- Storage – organising your belongings ready for the move can be started quite early with a clear out. Charities such as British Red Cross provide charity donation bags to your doorstep which you can drop at lots of drop-off points, not just in the stores. Plus consider what can be sold as every penny counts at university
- Shopping list – it’s easy to get drawn into buying so many items for university which can more often than not double or triple up if you are living with flatmates as everyone will bring a chopping board set or set of pans. That said it’s still worth getting the basics, which include:
- Duvet & pillows – easy to try and save on these but invest in a good set as a comfy nights’ sleep is priceless
- Mattress protector and topper – quick way to feel clean and fresh when you move in, plus a mattress topper can make the mattress more comfortable to your preference as they come in a range of fillings such as feather down, memory foam or hypoallergenic fibre filling
- Homely touches – photo frames, fairy lights (battery operated) and scatter cushions/throw. May seem extra before you have moved in but each touch of personalisation makes a difference so you can get settled sooner
- Black-out blind – prefer pitch black sleeping? Don’t be woken at the crack of dawn by daylight by curtains/blinds you can’t change. Look to black-out temporary blinds made for babies as they simply stick on and can be taken off in the morning, no mess or fuss and just a dreamy nights’ sleep ahead of you
So there it is, our guide to what’s ahead with A levels 2021 and for those heading to university for 2021/22.
*T&Cs apply, for more information contact the team at Student.com