“ Student accommodation at the University of Dundee, Scotland. „
I have just finished my second year of University and during my first year I stayed in the University of Dundee halls of Residence. My particular flat was in the Belmont Tower (the oldest and ugliest building). The one advantage of this was that living in the ugly building meant it didn't spoil my view! While the outside of the building is old, the interior was updated when the newer buildings of Belmont and Heathfield were built on campus, and so the flats are actually very nice.
There were 8 of us living in my flat, 4 boys and 4 girls. I felt this was a nice mix and was happy I hadn't been placed in a single sex flat which some of them are. It is worth noting that if you live in Heathfield or Belmont the flats only house 6 students instead of 8.There are other halls called Tay mills, which I think house between 4 and 6 students and also West Park flats and villas which are around 6 people also.
Belmont Tower, Belmont flats and Heathfield are located on the main University campus just beside the Union and the sports centre. This was really great as it meant that I had everything I could need just on my doorstep. Tay Mills is located just down the hill from campus (about a 3 minute walk) and West Park is located further along the Perth Road towards Ninewells hospital. It takes about 20-30 minutes to walk from West Park to main campus (depending on how late you are). Many medical students live at West Park as it is closer to Ninewells hospital. However, being a medical student myself I couldn't see any real advantage to that. Most students from West Park get the same bus anyway so you are only saving yourself 5 minutes of bus journey time. There are several bus routes around the main campus to choose from and the nearest bus stop to get to Ninewells for me was only about 100m away from my flat. Due to the fact my flat was on campus, it was only a 5 minute stroll into the centre of Dundee to the shops, and 5 minutes from the two main clubs in Dundee (Fat Sams and Liquid). All in all, the location of the flats on campus is great and can't be faulted for convenience.
I was surprised be the quality of the flats themselves, having heard horror stories about student accommodation before going to University. To enter my flat there were two different locked main doors. Inside the first door were the post boxes (one for each student). There was then a different locked door leading to the stairs and to the two lifts. I lived on the 7th floor, so only when I was feeling particularly energetic did I take the stairs! The lifts were nice enough and were relatively quick so there wasn't much hanging around waiting for lifts. We did have a few vandalism incidents with the lift throughout the year but this only happened a couple of times and was promptly fixed. The combination of the two locked doors did mean that the flats were quite secure. This did become a bit of a problem after a night out though as the number of keys became a bit complex!
On making it up to the 7th floor, there was the door to my flat, again locked. The one annoying thing about the door into the actual flat is that there was another door just inside it, which opened the opposite way. This created a bit of an annoyance if you were trying to carry large bags through the doors. Inside the flat was a long corridor with 8 single rooms coming off it, each with a locked door. The rooms were a good size and each one had an ensuite shower room. Included in the room was a single bed, a desk, a good sized wardrobe and a couple of cupboards. It is worth noting that bedding is not provided so you will need to bring your own duvet and pillows. The room was layed out in a strange way when I arrived so I rearranged the bed and desk to create more space. In the shower room was a toilet, sink, good sized shower and a heated towel rail. Everything was in great condition when I moved in (and when I moved out!).
At the end of the corridor there was a door into the shared kitchen area. There was a section which had two tables and 8 folding chairs for dining. There was also a cupboard for each student which had a lock on it as well as several more cupboards for sharing. As there were 8 of us in the flat there were two fridge/freezers and two ovens with 8 hob rings. This meant there was ample space for a few people to be cooking all at once. The only other kitchen appliance which was supplied was a kettle. All appliances were clean and working well when I moved in. We purchased one toaster between the flat but I did hear of flats where they ended up with 5 or 6 toasters as everyone brought one!
At the back of the flat was a door onto the fire escape stairs which also lead to the wash room where the washing machines and tumble dryer were housed. The wash room could only be entered using a code so was also quite secure. The only problem was that there were only 2 washing machines for the whole building. There were 9 flats in total, all with 8 people living in them, so 72 students sharing. This tended to become a problem at weekends when everyone panicked and did washing on a Sunday afternoon. The machines are coin operated so you need to make sure you have a good supply of change!
Sometimes noise was a bit of an issue in the flats. I couldn't hear anything from the two rooms next to me, but could hear any conversation from out in the corridor. I could also hear the girl who lived in the room above me walking around and flushing the toilet! To be honest, the noise didn't really bother me, but if you like complete silence then University halls are not for you anyway!
Sanctuary Management were the company in charge of looking after the halls and they really were strict. We had inspections twice in the year and any breakages will cost you dearly. We broke one folding chair after a party and we were charged £80 to replace it. We also had multiple visits from them when we had parties as other flats would complain of noise. Even though they were strict and they charged us a fortune for broken stuff, they were also really efficient at sorting out complaints. My shower stopped working once and within a day someone was round to fix it which I thought was great. If you lose your keys they are really quick at replacing them too.
In comparison to other halls at other Universities, Dundee is a tad more expensive. However, for your money you get a great sized room, your own toilet and shower and good quality accommodation. I have friends at several other Scottish Universities and Dundee halls are the nicest I have seen.
The best thing about moving into halls in first year was meeting lots of people. Very few of my friends from school moved up to Dundee so I had to meet a whole new group of people. Having 7 other people living in the flat meant that on my first night I had people to go out with and Fresher's week was amazing! You also get to know other people in the building and meet loads of people through them. It was nice to know there were other people around who had also just moved out of home and were in the same boat as you!
You can re-apply to move into halls in your second year and you can apply as a group so you know who you are living with. The University do some kind of discount for second year students in halls but I'm not sure exactly what it is as I wasn't interested in staying another year.
I would definitely recommend University of Dundee halls as they are great quality, mostly in a great location and filled with lovely people!
The halls at Dundee are some of the best, there's a massive new development and they are still very shiny and new. The flats house about 6 or 7 students and are all individual rooms with an ensuite bathroom. There is then a communal kitchen and lounge area. Normally these are a fair size and will fit a decent sized party.
The sound is an issue though as none of the buildings seem to have been soundproofed and so you can hear whats going on above and below you, as well as from either side. Which can be quite creepy.
Sanctuary management are also very mean, the cleaners are loud and couldn't care less, they also don't clean unless the place is already clean....? If you break one small thing you never get your deposit back which is highly unfair. The only decent thing really is that you get to meet a wonderful variety of people.
the halls at dundee university are far superior to other halls that I've visited and stayed in!
This is partly due to the completion of the new student village which was completed for the 2006/2007 intake.
When I got my accomodation brochure through the post I was really impressed and quite excited at the prospect of moving in!
I was so eager that I made my choice that same day and posted back my reply!
I got allocated my first choice accomodation which was Belmont Flats. I think these are definitely the best on campus.
All study bedrooms are en suite, with a shower.
The flats accomodate either 4 or 5 students....I was in a 5 bedroom flat with 3 girls including myself and 2 boys.
Belmont flats are located right beside the union and tennis courts. Heathfield Flats are situated just behind Belmont Flats and they are pretty much identical in layout and design. The new Seabraes flats are also finished to the same high standard.
I think Seabraes is reserved for post-grad students now.
The only halls I really didn't want to be allocated was West Park, simple because of the location, quite far up the Perth Road so it's a good half hour walk to uni! These halls would be more suitable for medicine students because of the close proximity to Ninewells Teaching Hospital.