Accommodation

Merton offers all students accommodation every year of their degrees they need it; it’s reasonably priced, well maintained and gives you the opportunity to live in everything from rooms upgraded last summer to the oldest Quad in Oxford. For a summary of how accommodation is allocated and practical information for current students, read on!

General

If there is anything broken in your room, you can register them on the college intranet’s maintenance desk. If your issue doesn’t fall under maintenance, get in touch with either the Domestic Bursar (Tim Lightfoot, tim.lightfoot@merton.ox.ac.uk) or the Accommodation Manager (Sally Hague, sally.hague@merton.ox.ac.uk).

For guidance on the Accomodation Agreement and other college rules, which set out what college expects from you in relation to college accommodation, and what you can expect from them, your best guide is the College Handbook.

Laundry cards are dispensed by the machine in the Pidge Room and your laundry card can be topped up here.

The annual rates for rooms this year are £3,729 (£1,243 per term) for single rooms and £3,951 (£1,317 per term) for en suites.

By default, undergraduate accommodation is on a 24-week lease, dated from the Thursday of 0th Week each term and running until the Friday of 8th Week. You can return to your room without notifying college beforehand from the Sunday of 0th Week onwards, and an extra charge for each night you stay will be added to your battels. Any other stays in college accommodation outside these times will need to be approved as a request for Vacation Residence. For a reminder of term dates, check out the University website.

First Year

As a first year, you’ll be assigned a room in either Rose Lane Quad or one of three houses directly adjacent to college on Merton Street. The Rose Lane rooms are generally smaller but more modern, while Merton Street has a more old-time Oxford feel to it. Very occasionally you may be given a room in Grove or Grove House, closer towards the main college buildings. If you have specific accommodation needs coming into first year, college will make sure they are met. The vast majority of first year rooms are single rooms with shared bathrooms, but rooms in Rose Lane 5 and Grove have en suites.

Second, Third and Fourth Year

In later years of your degree, the allocation of rooms is managed by the JCR Vice President, on the basis of a ballot. You enter the Second Year Ballot in Hilary of your first year, with groups of up to five other students. The order this ballot is drawn from a hat decides the order you get to choose your room heading into second year. This order is then flipped to make the Third Year Ballot when you choose your room for third year. If you are on a degree which is four years, you’ll enter a new Fourth Year Ballot in the second term of your third year, unless you’re on a year abroad studying Languages or are doing Classics.

Each year, if you have a particular accommodation requirements, you have the opportunity to apply to the college for an exemption from the normal ballot and a room will be assigned to you based on your needs. No student ever knows the details of any ballot exemption application you make.

The rooms you can choose span from the oldest Quad in the world, to recently renovated accommodation on Rose Lane, to town houses owned by college five minutes away from the main site on Holywell Street. The overwhelming majority of rooms in the college grounds are en suites and all but a few Holywell rooms are singles with shared bathrooms. Each house in Holywell has its own kitchen, while all rooms in college rely on the JCR Kitchen aside from those in Rose Lane 2 (which have access to the North Lodge kitchen) and Rose Lane 3 (which have access to the Rose Lane 5 kitchen).

You will usually get a chance to view the rooms themselves before choosing in Trinity and the JCR also has a full database of 360° photos of the rooms, taken in January 2020.