Students with families

We are happy to offer advice to international students with children and families. This includes:

  • guidance on how to bring your family to live with you as detailed in our visas for family and friends PDF format leaflet. 
  • referring to sources of information about life in the UK including accommodation, schooling and childcare as detailed below.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) also has a great deal of information for students on moving to and living in the UK with their family. 

Canada geese on University Park


We know that finding somewhere suitable to live is a top priority for students coming to Nottingham with their families. Students can look at both university housing and private housing in their search.

The University of Nottingham, like most universities, only has limited accommodation suitable for married students or students with families. This accommodation is available to couples/families where at least one person is a full-time registered student with The University of Nottingham. Full information is available through University Houses.

Many students with families choose to live in private housing. We recommend that you prioritise Nottingham Standard properties where possible. Please take care to prepare yourself for the 'right to rent' checks that landlords are required to carry out on the immigration status of you and your family members.  

If you are not able to arrange accommodation for your family before you travel to the UK we would strongly advise you to come on your own to begin with. You can then stay somewhere short term while you search for suitable accommodation. The University does not have any temporary accommodation suitable for families and staying in hotels can prove very expensive.

Before signing a contract for private rented accommodation we would strongly advise that you have the rental contract checked by Students’ Union Advice, which is located in the Portland Building, as they will advise you about the terms and conditions of the contract and alert you to any potential difficulties. They also produce booklets and information on house hunting in the private sector.


At the University

The University has a Day Nursery on University Park Campus. The nursery, which caters for children aged four months to five years, is open from 8.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. There is also a University Play Centre and out of school term time there is a University Play Scheme. In addition, Busy Bees, a private organisation, also provides day care at the University of Nottingham close to the other university childcare provision.

The University has a small fund called the Childcare Support Scheme to offer eligible students some financial assistance towards meeting the costs of essential registered child care while they are studying.

For further information on childcare please visit the Child Care Services website.

Other facilities

Some Nottingham City primary schools have a nursery attached to them for children aged three to four and some nursery classes form their own nursery school. The demand for these is very high but your child’s name could be put on the waiting list if there is one near your home.

There are also many private nurseries, including those located in the City and Queens Medical Centre Hospitals. Please see:

Schools and schooling

To apply for a school place for your child, you will need to know when you will be arriving in Nottingham and the address you will be living at. You should not apply for a place more than six weeks before you / your child will arrive. For general information, please visit: 

The English school system is split into two parts. Children go to school from the September following their fourth birthday. The primary stage is for children between 4 or 5 and 11 years old. Reception is the first year and year six is the final primary year. Years 7 to 11 are the secondary stage for children aged between 11 and 16 years old. After the age of 16, up to the age of 18, students must stay in some form of education

The school year is organised into six half terms, each divided by a week’s holiday. At the end of each term there is usually a holiday of two weeks. The summer term is followed by a five or six-week vacation. The school year runs from September to July.

The school day is usually between 9.00am and 3.30pm with an hour break for lunch. Many children stay at school for a hot school lunch (free in reception, Year 1 and Year 2) and some children bring a packed lunch, such as sandwiches. It is your choice but you must inform the school of your decision.

The average class size is 28 – 32 children. If your child needs help with English, the school will arrange specialist support.

State education is free in the UK. All materials, such as pencils, paper, textbooks, exercise books etc., are provided by the school at no charge. Most schools have a uniform and you will be expected to provide this. You will also be asked to provide suitable clothing so that your child can participate in swimming and physical education (PE) lessons. Occasionally classes attend visits off school premises and you may be asked to make a small financial contribution towards this.

As the University is next to the city there are two councils that deal with the areas close to us. Nottingham City Council covers areas such as Dunkirk, Lenton and Wollaton. Nottinghamshire County Council covers areas such as Beeston, Bramcote, Chilwell and Sutton Bonington.

In addition to the schools run by the council there are some private schools which charge fees and there are ‘voluntary aided’ schools in Nottingham. The Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church usually run the voluntary aided schools with only limited involvement by the council. The schools manage their own place allocation so you can contact them directly to find out more.

English language classes

Our Centre for English Language Education (CELE) offers a range of English language courses and support, and is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English, including presessional English and insessional English courses for students. CELE also welcomes visiting scholars.



Visa and Immigration Team

Cherry Tree Lodge
University Park Campus
Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK

t: +44 (0)115 84 66125