Merton offers all students accommodation for every year of their degree; it’s reasonably priced (some of the cheapest at Oxford) and gives you an opportunity to live in everything from newly upgraded rooms to on the oldest Quad in Oxford (if you’re lucky).
Rent costs can be found on the Merton website here. You are only entitled to use your room during term-time (Oxford’s terms are very short – 8/9 weeks), but if you have academic reasons to be staying in Oxford during the Vacation, Merton will usually accommodate you for that period too.
As a first-year, you’ll be randomly 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 slightly more old-time Oxford feel to it.
If you have specific accommodation needs coming into your first year, the 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 2 are en-suites.
There are 2 kitchens in Rose Lane Accommodation, and one for Merton Street.
Second and Third Years
With some exceptions (for Modern Linguists and Classicists, which gets very complicated), the 2nd and 3rd year housing is chosen by ballot from rooms in College (Mob, Front and St. Albans Quads), Holywell Street (5 mins walk from College) and Manor Place (~10 mins). In Second Year you enter the ballot (optionally in groups) and are randomly ordered. In Third Year that order is flipped.
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.
Each house on Holywell Street has a kitchen (or two) but there’s basically only one kitchen in College.
Again, specific accommodation needs are catered for, completely confidentially.
Fourth Year (if you have one)
If your course is four years long, there’s a separate, random ballot for fourth year, to choose between certain houses on Holywell Street.