Students with families
*Read about the recent changes in the Student visa requirements announced by the UK Government, due to take effect from January 2024.
We welcome international students with families. However, please note that we do not offer family accommodation or support with childcare costs.
Offers to study at Sheffield Hallam University are based on academic achievements and qualifications. We do not consider any other information when making an offer. Therefore, an offer from Sheffield Hallam should not be interpreted as awareness of your personal circumstances and a commitment from the University to provide additional services related to securing family accommodation and childcare.
Please read the information below carefully before you decide to bring your family to the UK while studying.
You can bring your husband, wife, unmarried partner, and children (under 18) to the UK with you as a Student Visa dependant if one of the following applies to you:
• you are studying a postgraduate course of 9 months or more
• you are a government-sponsored student and studying a course at any level of 6 months or more
• your dependants can apply to enter the UK at the same time as you or they can apply separately later. If they do not apply at the same time as you, they should ensure that you have received your visa before they make an application themselves.
For more information, please go to GOV.UK.
Sheffield Hallam University does not provide accommodation for families and, beyond the advice published on this page, we are unable to provide additional support for international students looking for family accommodation.
The rental market for family accommodation in Sheffield is severely restricted. You should take this into consideration when deciding whether to accept an offer from Sheffield Hallam University.
Because the supply of affordable family accommodation in Sheffield is extremely limited, it can take 2-4 weeks to secure a house for your dependants. Ideally, you should arrange accommodation for your family prior to arrival in Sheffield. If this is not possible, we strongly advise you to travel on your own initially, secure family accommodation and then bring your spouse and children to the UK.
We run a special briefing session for students with families and we strongly recommend that you attend online. You can watch a recording of the special briefing presentation for January 2023 here.
Securing accommodation prior to arrival
You can contact any local letting agent and view properties on their websites. However, we do not advise you to sign any contracts before you have actually viewed the property. Aim to have a list of 3-5 suitable properties ready to view when you arrive or ask a trusted friend or a family member to view them on your behalf.
Travelling on your own, then bringing dependants
If you have been unable to secure family accommodation prior to arrival, you must travel to the UK on your own 2 - 4 weeks before the start of teaching to search for accommodation. You will need to arrange temporary accommodation for the period of house-hunting.
You must not sign long-term rental agreements if you plan to move house once your family arrives. If you do, you will be liable for the entire cost of the contract even if you move out.
You should bring your dependants to the UK only after you have found suitable accommodation.
Rent Guarantor Scheme
You will be expected to have a UK-based guarantor. Without one, you may be required to pay the full annual rent on acceptance of an offer of accommodation. You can contact Housing Hand who may be able to assist you with a guarantor for an additional fee.
House Hunting Grant for international students bringing dependent children to the UK
International students bringing children dependants face the greatest difficulties when trying to secure accommodation for your family. In recognition of this, a £400 house-hunting grant is available for international students starting their course in 2023/24 academic year who are bringing dependent children to the UK for the duration of their studies. Strict terms and conditions apply, please read before you apply online. You must be fully enrolled before you can apply.
House-hunting tips for students with families
• You should expect to pay around £800 - £900 for family accommodation in Sheffield or nearby towns.
• Family accommodation close to the campus, or to schools, is limited and is likely to be more expensive.
• You will be able to find more affordable accommodation in areas which are 20-30min bus ride away. Please use Travel South Yorkshire to check travel times and costs when considering your accommodation options.
• We have received excellent feedback from international students who chose to live in Rotherham, Doncaster, Barnsley and Chesterfield and we strongly encourage you to consider these locations.
• You must comply with the distance-from-campus requirements for international student accommodation in order to meet the conditions of your student visa.
• You must disclose all relevant details to letting agents or landlords when searching for accommodation. For example, you must tell them if children will live in the property because some properties are not suitable for younger children.
• In most cases you will be asked to pay rent upfront for at least 3 months, and in some cases up to 12 months. If you cannot do this, you will be asked to provide a UK-based guarantor. There are many companies which offer this service; make sure you check their website for the terms of service and that the landlord will accept them before applying with guarantors.
• Landlords are not likely to accept offers to pay less than the advertised rent
Childcare and children’s education
It is compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 16 to attend school. Your child will be accepted into a local state school at no charge. To apply for a school place for your child, you will need to know when you will be arriving in Sheffield and the address you will be living at. You should not apply for a place more than six weeks before you and your child will arrive. See the UK Government website for general information on school admissions.
The best way for caring for children under the age of five is for you and your spouse to organise your study and free time to ensure that you personally meet the needs of your children. Childcare for children under five is expensive and places are limited. You should expect to pay upwards of £650 per month for full time childcare for pre-school aged children. Sheffield Hallam University does not cover childcare costs.
Please ensure you make adequate provision for childcare so that you can engage fully in your studies. Sheffield Hallam University is an adult learning environment. Bringing children to lectures and seminars is not permitted.