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Postgraduate accommodation

15 October 2023

Whether you're at UC for a few weeks or a few years, check out the postgraduate accommodation options that best suit your needs while you're with us.


Halls of residence

We recognise that postgraduate study has different demands to undergraduate study.

A postgraduate living environment can help support you and others at the same level of study. 

We also understand that you can arrive at any time of year. Therefore, if you are arriving outside standard semester dates (January-June or July-December), you can apply for a Postgraduate Flexi Start, which will enable the hall to adjust the start date of your contract to align with your arrival date. 

Self-Catered - Second Year of Study and Beyond

Campus Houses - UC has 24 x 2-5 bedroom properties located on the perimeter of the UC campus.

Hayashi - Hayashi comprises 16 two-storey townhouses a short 15-minute walk to campus.  Townhouses contain 5 rooms with varous room types on offer.

Sonoda - located adjacent to Hayashi, Sonoda offers 5-bedroom apartments located in a peaceful, tranquil environment surrounded by Japanese-inspired grounds.

Ilam Student Accommodation - Ilam offers a diverse community for students or all ages and level of study.  Ilam is located a 5-minute walk to campus.

The availability of rooms will depend on the time of year you plan to arrive. 

All rooms are fully-furnished providing a shared kitchen equipped with basic essentials, and rates include power and unlimited wi-fi for UC students. 

There are several food outlets within close proximity to all sites.

An optional bed linen pack or cutlery/crockery pack is available to purchase online.

To apply, please complete an online application form. Click on 'Registration' to begin your application and select the term '2024 Postgraduate Flexi Start' indicating a preferred location.

If you require accommodation during the Summer, you can book your Summer accommodation with the hall directly. 

If you are arriving during standard semester dates or require accommodation following on from Summer, please apply for the appropriate term:

2024 Academic Year
48-week contract - 15 January 2024 to 16 December 2024.
52-week contract - 15 January 2024 to 13 January 2025.

2024 Semester 1 Only
22-week contract - 22 January to 24 June 2024.

2024 Semester 2 Only
22-week contract - 1 July to 2 December 2024.

From 1 August, students can apply as a returner for the 2025 Academic Year or 2025 Semester 1.  Applications for the academic year will be prioritised over Semester 1 applications.

Couples or families apply for a 52-week contract with the term 'Couples/Family Accommodation' and apply for a room type rather than a location.  

For any questions, please email Accommodation Services.

Renting privately

Private rental accommodation is popular with postgraduate students offering an independent lifestyle and a great way to meet new people.  

Check out market rent in Christchurch on the Tenancy Services website.  Please note that market rent does not differentiate between furnished or unfurnished or the condition of the room or property.  It will give you guidance on what you can expect to pay.  UC is located in the suburb of Ilam - other areas close to campus are Addington, Avonside, Bryndwr, Burnside, Riccarton, and Upper Riccarton.  

If moving into an empty property, you will need to budget for set-up costs:

  • Up to 4 weeks' rent as bond.
  • 1-2 weeks' rent in advance.
  • Power and internet.
  • Furniture and/or whiteware (if unfurnished).
  • Contents and liability insurance.

You also need to budget for ongoing monthly expenses such as power, internet, transport, food and personal items.

Refer to or for cost of living information.  

Do not sign a contract or agreement without viewing a property personally.

We recommend that you arrange temporary accommodation for when you first arrive in Christchurch to enable you time to find a property that you will be happy in.  

For families, we recommend arriving on your own first as temporary accommodation can be booked on campus at Sonoda whilst you find a suitable house to enable your family to join you - email  Temporary accommodation for a family can be very expensive.  

If you are new to renting in New Zealand, refer to the online Renting and You booklet published by Tenancy Services.  

Your landlord should provide you with an Insulation Statement to enable you to make an informed decision about the property you are about to rent.  

You can also view healthy home standards on the Tenancy Services website.  

Find out more about renting privately.


If you are a single student and this is your first time in New Zealand, you may prefer homestay or private board.

Homestay provides an affordable and attractive accommodation option in a New Zealand family environment.

UC has contracts with two homestay providers who manage the application and placement process for students.

If you choose homestay accommodation, you can expect to be treated as part of the family – eating, socialising and relaxing with members of the household. 

Find out more about homestay and private board.

Temporary accommodation

Temporary accommodation is usually paid for on a daily basis, for example, a hotel or hostel.

If you are only coming to UC for a short amount of time, or if you need short-term accommodation while you look for a flat, temporary accommodation could be the answer.

Find out more about temporary accommodation.

Accommodation Services

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