living at home while studying

commuting to university

For some students, staying in our university accommodation is a popular choice, but for many others staying at home is the right option for them. Here at Beckett we have lots of students who decide to stay at home during their studies and, if that’s something you’re thinking about, here is some useful advice on how to make the most of your university experience.

Commuter Students presentation Hear from our Schools and Colleges Outreach team about what to consider if you're thinking about living at home while you're at university.

Even if you're not staying in our halls of residence, there's still plenty of ways to get involved and make friends through our clubs and societies, sports teams and through your course.

Pros, cons and quick tips for living at home

Common questions about commuting


Both of our campuses are very accessible by public transport. So whether you’ll be on the bus, the train, walking or cycling you can get to Headingley and City campus using your preferred method of transport. Locate the campus buildings you will be studying in by exploring our virtual campus tour. To plan your journey to each campus look at our getting to campus pages. You can also use our campus maps.


There are a variety of travel discounts available to you.

Travel by bus

If you are likely to use different bus companies or travel by bus and train in West Yorkshire, find out what travel passes are available.

If you are only likely to use First buses, get discounted monthly or term tickets.

Travel by train

If you are aged between 16 and 30, you are eligible for 1/3 off train fares using a railcard. Apply for a 16-25 railcard or a 26-30 railcard.
If you have a fellow student making the same journey as you, you may want to apply for a Two Together railcard.

Rail fares may be cheaper if you book in advance and directly through the operator's own website.


You can pay to hire a bike from us with an initial cost of £50 for 3 months (plus £50 deposit), which then decreases to £20 for the next 3 months, and £10 for the next 3 months if you renew. You may also want to make use of our bike workshops. For more details and prices take a look at our cycling webpage.


We encourage you to use public transport where possible. We do understand that in some circumstances you may need to drive. Students who hold a Council Blue Badge are eligible to apply for a parking permit once they have registered with our Disability Advice team. Find out more about driving to campus.

Pros of living at home

  • HOME.COOKED.MEALS – need we say any more?
  • You stay close to your family and friends
  • There is the potential to save money (although commuting costs can add up, especially if you need to get a taxi home after a night out. It’s a good idea to work out how much you will spend on your commute, versus how much it would cost to live in accommodation)
  • You can remain in a part-time job close to home if you already have one

Cons of living at home

  • School friends can move away to university, meaning that your friendship group may become smaller
  • You may feel less independent
  • You may feel a sense of FOMO having to leave events early to catch the last train or bus home
  • You will have to plan your days more carefully for commuting than those living in halls - for example, if you have several gaps in-between lectures, you need to think about how you will fill that time 

Quick tips for living at home

Social media is your best friend when it comes to finding other students. Take a look at the official 'Leeds Beckett Freshers' groups on Facebook, where future students can chat to each other before they even arrive. Why not join, and try find others who will be on your course? This will definitely relieve some of those first day nerves.

That person you’re sat next to in your introductory lecture? Talk to them! Ask them if they want to go for a coffee afterwards, and don’t be afraid to sound enthusiastic. 99 times out of 100, that person will be relieved that you’ve asked them, and just as eager to make friends as you are. If they’re living in halls, they’re likely to love having a friend who isn’t - sometimes it’s a welcome relief to talk about something other than the pile of washing up that’s mounting in the kitchen.

Freshers Week is the perfect opportunity to throw yourself into university life. Make sure that you go to as many sessions as possible, and don’t be afraid to start up a conversation with a complete stranger. Everybody is eager to make friends during the first few weeks of university, so we promise that nobody will think you’re strange for striking up a conversation out of the blue.

This is a really good way to make new friends who share your interests. We currently have 62 societies here at Leeds Beckett – including the Harry Potter society, the Geek Culture society, plus loads more exciting options for you to choose from. Sign up to as many as you have time for, and push yourself to attend as many sessions as possible. If you end up loving a society, you could aim to be the president or treasurer one day. This is a great way to feel like you ‘belong’ at a university, as well as providing some great experience to add to your CV.

If your new course friends live in halls and invite you over, try to make an effort to go. This is a great chance for you to meet more people and widen your university social circle. It’s also a good way to still get that halls experience, without having to commit to living there 24/7.

A really good idea is to always properly plan your travel in advance, so that you don’t ever miss out. If you know you want to go on a night out with your new friends and you don’t want to end the night early to take the last train home – see if you can pre-organise a lift from a family member or friend. By organising this in advance, you’ll avoid feeling disappointed that you have to leave, or feeling like you’re missing out.

If your new friends are living in halls, why not invite them over to your house every now and again? For them, a visit to your house will probably be as relaxing as a weekend in a spa. It’s calm, quiet and best of all – there’s food in the fridge! What’s not to love?

We’re assuming that if you choose to stay at home during your studies, you live somewhere relatively close to our university. Why not invite people on a day out, and show off your local knowledge? Chances are, it’s going to be all new to the people who live in halls. If you live a little further out of Leeds, why not take your friends to some cool places near you? Our suggestions for hidden gems a little outside of Leeds are: Haworth village, Goit Stock waterfalls and Ilkley Moor.

University can be challenging at times – deadlines, essays and long stints in the library are not always fun. By staying at home, you’ll have a ready-made support group on hand to talk to if you’re feeling a little stressed. Make sure you make the most of this – it’s one of the most valuable aspects of living at home.

We all know how difficult it can be to knuckle down and study sometimes when there is a lot going on around you. Make the most of the times that your house is quiet, and use this time for studying. That way, when you do come to use the library on campus with your friends, you may have already completed some of your to-do list, and you may just have a spare half hour for a quick coffee with your new friends. Win, win.

Finally, if you do live at home for some time and decide that you want to move into halls, we may be able help. Contact our Accommodation team and they would be happy to advise you:

10 ways to make your commute more exciting

A bus on Headingley campus

our top travel tips             

Leeds train station entrance over water

get social

Meet your future friends and course mates

Our Applicants Facebook group is a great way to meet other students joining us at Leeds Beckett in September. You can find your coursemates, flatmates and hear from current students about life at LBU.

Abstract image of graffiti of a blue female face surrounded by flowers on brick wall
Image of a group of students talking in front of red brick building

Student view

Hear from our students about what to expect if you decide to stay at home while you're at university and how to make the most out of your commute.

A day in the life of Molly and Katie | Student vlog Molly and Katie who study Journalism show us what a day is like for them - including their time at university, work experience and more.

Having been commuting for a few years now, I know the city of Leeds so well! Being able to live that little bit further away from university means I've explored so much.

Top travel tips for commuter students

Leeds is a city that is well prepared for your commute to university. With its well-connected public transport links, bus routes and trainlines, there are plenty of travel options available for you to choose from. We’ve put together some top tips on how you can travel to us, how you can make the most of your travel time and how you can save money doing this too.

  1. Do your research!

    Before starting with us, research the best method of transport for you. If you’re studying at our City campus, you have Leeds train station 10-15 minutes walk away and bus stops right outside our Portland building. Our Headingley campus also has great links, with Headingley train station a 15 minute walk through Beckett Park. Headingley campus is just off Otley Road, a major road link from the outskirts of Leeds into the city centre, offering a number of bus links available to you.

  2. Don't miss out on discounts

    Are you getting public transport? Take advantage of the Young Persons Rail card or the WY Metro student card where you can get up to 44% discount off your travel costs. Mature students find out if you are eligible for the new 26-30 Railcard!

  3. Download an app

    To make your journey easier, download the app of the travel company you are using (Arriva and First Group). You can buy your travel tickets through their apps and also get live disruption updates and journey planning advice.

  4. Study on the go

    If you’re using public transport, make use of the commute. You can read online journal articles or chapters from your reading lists and check through lecture notes.

  5. Use online resources

    We have great libraries at both of our campuses, but don’t forget that as a student you have access to 200,000 digital resources in our online library as well. When writing assignments, you can also access our online resources on your way to and from campus.

  6. Don't let your battery die

    Make sure you invest in a portable charger. Your phone will be the main source of music, research, library resources and much more whilst on your commute which means your battery is likely to drain a lot faster. A portable charger will help you stay connected until you get home.

  7. Jump on your bike

    Looking for a way to get to uni and stay fit at the same time? Cycling is a great option as both of our campuses are surrounded by cycle lanes making it safe and easy. No bike? No problem… our student bike hire scheme means you can hire a bike for £80 for the whole year. Already have a bike? Then take advantage of our weekly BikeFix Maintenance workshops where you can use their tools and learn basic bike maintenance techniques. You can even attend one of our monthly Dr Bike sessions where your bike can have a free health check.

  8. The journey is better with friends

    If public transport isn’t an option, and cycling isn’t really your thing, you can access both of our campuses by car. However, our great locations mean that car parking can be slim pickings. Limited pay and display car parks are available on site so arrive early to get a spot. If you don’t have another option but to drive, why not try our popular Car Share scheme.

next steps

get in touch

If you're interested in joining us or want to know more about the application process, your chosen course or what to expect when you get here, there's lots of ways to get in touch. You can call or email our Admissions team, chat to one of our amazing Student Ambassadors or stay in touch by providing us with a few contact details to get all the latest information about courses, events and student life!