Accommodation: Undergraduates

The information on this page is intended for people who have received an offer of a place at Balliol (offer-holders) and for current students. In addition, it is important that you read the following:

Room allocation

Freshers are expected to live in College in rooms (on the Broad Street main site) which are allocated to them during termtime for their first year (students are required to move out in vacations). If you are an offer-holder, towards the end of August you will be sent a link to an Accommodation Preference Form, where you will be asked to indicate in which price bracket you prefer to be allocated, and whether you have any specific requirements. If you do not complete the form by the deadline (1 September), you will be allocated a room at the discretion of the Domestic Manager.

For second-year students who prefer not to live out, a number of rooms are available in Jowett Walk and Block A at the Master’s Field (ten minutes’ walk from Broad STreet). For third- or fourth-year students a room ballot is held for rooms at Broad STreet; in the event that Jowett Walk and Block A are oversubscribed, a ballot will also be held to determine the allocation of rooms there too. Students can apply to live at Jowett Walk and Block A either individually or with a group of friends.


Most Freshers are allocated rooms on the Broad Street main site in Staircases XVXX and XXII. These are considered to be the Freshers’ staircases. The majority of these rooms have shared bathroom facilities; however, there are a small number of en suite rooms on Staircase XXII.

The accommodation at Jowett Walk and Block A is made up of self-contained flats. The majority of rooms have en-suite bathrooms.

All bedrooms are single study-bedrooms and contain basic furniture such as a single bed, wardrobe, drawers, bedside table, desk and sink. Students will need to bring their own bedding, bedlinen and towels. If you are travelling to Oxford from a distance, you may prefer to buy these articles in Oxford on arrival.

Master’s Field Project

The Master’s Field Project, due to be completed in early 2021, will increase the number of rooms available for students and allow undergraduates to live in College accommodation for all their time at Oxford. You can see photographs of rooms in the first block to be completed here.

Offer-holders and current students should be aware that:

  • Construction work will affect the east end of Jowett Walk. Disruption and noise will be kept as low as possible, and the College has chosen a construction method designed to do just that, but we ask for the forbearance of those affected as the work proceeds and until its completion.
  • All Jowett Walk residents will receive updates on the progress of the work, as information becomes available.


The rent varies for each room between approximately £1,000 and £2,300 per term. Here is a full list of room rents for 2020/2021.

If you are at all concerned about your ability to afford the rents in College, Balliol has excellent financial support provisions and you may be eligible for support: see the Financial Support page.

Moving out in the vacations

During the vacations the College hosts conferences, and therefore you will be required to move out of your room at the end of the standard residence period (see below), and you will not be able to return until the beginning of the next residence period.

Vacating rooms, at the end of any term, entails packing up and removing all personal effects (including books, posters, refrigerators, computer and electrical appliances), and either taking them home or placing them in one of the College store rooms (see below).

If you have sound academic reasons for staying up for extra days into the vacation, we are usually able to make arrangements to accommodate you in another bedroom, possibly in a College building not used by conferences. However, note that College services are restricted during the vacations, and Hall is not open to Junior Members. Vacation residence application forms are circulated to all students by the Domestic Manager once per term; vacation study grants may be available.

The Normal Residency Periods for Undergraduates in 2020/2021 are:

Michaelmas Term

Freshers: 5 October 2020 to 5 December 2020


Returners: 6 October 2020 to 6 December 2020

Hilary Term

All students: 10 January 2021 to 20 March 2021

Trinity Term

All students: 18 April 2021 to 26 June 2021

Freshers can arrive any time after 10.00am on 5 October. In subsequent terms, returning students should not arrive until after 2.00pm and should always vacate by 10.00am.

Vacation store rooms

There are two vacation store rooms in the basement of Staircase XIII. One is for use by overseas students and the other is for storing student fridges. The Overseas Reps are in charge of these and they should be contacted to request permission to store items in either room. The keys can be signed out from the Lodge. Please note that there is only limited storeroom space - for this reason luggage cannot usually be accepted in advance of the start of term. The College accepts no liability for items left in store or for luggage sent in advance and suggests that it should be insured.

Kitchen equipment

Although there is no self-catering at Broad Street, there are small kitchenettes on the three Freshers’ Staircases, XVXX and XXII. There are several small self-catering kitchenettes at Jowett Walk. No crockery or cutlery is provided by the College.

Electrical equipment

Refrigerators: with the exception of Jowett Walk, where kitchens are provided per flat, small refrigerators (i.e. 4 cubic feet/0.11 cubic metres) are permitted in College bedrooms, provided they are removed by you every vacation. Fridge-freezers are not permitted. In all cases, permission must be sought by contacting the Domestic Manager.

Microwave ovens are not permitted in College bedrooms unless there are certified medical or other special dietary reasons, in which case a letter must be sent to the Domestic Manager in advance of arrival together with a letter from your doctor. 

Televisions: Any student who wishes to use a television in their room, or who watches or records live television on any device, must have a TV licence specifically for the room, irrespective of the ownership of the television set or device. The fine imposed by the licensing authorities for not having a licence is currently £1,000. The authorities have the right to call and inspect without warning, and do so from time to time.

All electrical equipment must have the appropriate British Standard Number or Kitemark; plugs must carry the BS Number 1363, be of the safety sleeve type and be correctly fused for the appliance; flexible cables must be in good condition and not worn, perished, split, stretched or twisted. All electrical equipment must be under one year of age, or must be PAT tested by the College Electrician before use on site.


The Laundry Room for undergraduates is located on Staircase XXI in the basement. There are three large washing machines, three large tumble dryers, irons and ironing boards. The machines are funded through a small termly levy added to your battels each term. You can use them as often as you like, but you must book in advance at the JCR website’s booking system. You can book up to three slots at a time. One slot gives you access to one of the washing machines for one hour and one of the tumble dryers for the following hour. If you forget to book, you can use them between midnight and 6.00am without signing up.

Damage, alteration and repairs

The furniture and furnishings in rooms are the property of the College and the occupant is responsible for any damage or losses. All posters etc. must be affixed to pin boards only. If the use of substances such as Blu-Tack, White Tack, drawing-pins or Sellotape causes damage to the walls, the costs of repair and/or redecoration will be charged to the student. All alterations and repairs require the permission of the Domestic Bursar: see the College Handbook.

Maintenance reporting

The Maintenance Department rectifies all maintenance problems. Heating, hot water breakdowns and all small or serious maintenance problems should be reported via the Balliol Maintenance Department ticketing system, or, only in emergencies if they occur out of office hours, to the Porters’ Lodge. 

If you arrival in your room you find any damage or defect, please report it to your Scout (housekeeper) or the Lodge, or contact the Domestic Manager, who will inform the Maintenance Department.   

Any questions?

If you have any further questions or would like to discuss your options, do not hesitate to contact the Domestic Manager.