What To Take To University

Remember there's no need to go out and buy every item listed here.

Often universities provide some of these things, so check what's on offer before you start shopping.

You can often team up with flat mates on things like kettles, toasters, pots and pans.

Whatever happens, there's likely to be a shops selling all these things when you get there, so if you do forget something vital it shouldn't be too difficult to replace.


  • Passport or driving licence
  • NHS number
  • National Insurance number
  • TV Licence
  • CV and references
  • Discount travel cards
  • Bank account details
  • Textbooks
  • Support notification form
  • Doctor and dentist details
  • Other university documents
  • Exam certificates
  • Room insurance


A lot of the kitchen stuff will depend if you're going self catering or not.

  • Corkscrew
  • Bottle opener
  • Mugs
  • Glasses
  • Wine glasses
  • Shot glasses
  • Knives, forks and spoons
  • Plates
  • Bowls (for cereal, soup, icecream, etc)
  • One-person casserole dish
  • Small frying or omelette pan
  • 2 saucepans (1 large, 1 small)
  • Egg cup
  • Tin opener
  • Scissors
  • Chopping knife
  • Chopping boards (preferably at least 2, one for meat and one for veg)
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Cheese grater (Ikea do a very good one that has the grater as a lid so all the cheese goes neatly into a box and you can leave it in there to store aswell)
  • Bread knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Spatula
  • Potato masher
  • Easy-to-follow recipe book
  • Store cupboard ingredients - e.g. coffee, tea, milk, sugar, eggs, margarine, cooking oil, salt and pepper, pasta, etc.
  • Coffee whitener (in case you run out of milk)
  • Sandwich bags - these are good for lots of stuff you open and need to contain
  • Plastic bowl or box with lid
  • Microwaveable bowl
  • Cling film
  • Tin foil
  • Sieve
  • Tea towels
  • Oven gloves
  • Washing-up stuff - e.g. washing-up liquid, dishcloth, scrubbing brush, etc.
  • Tray (for carrying food to your room and to stop you making a mess if you're not eating at a table)
  • Chopsticks.


  • Desk lamp (Halogen)
  • Book chair - this saves a lot of neck strain if you are making notes out of a big book
  • Notice board - useful for timetables, phone numbers, etc. Some halls may already provide one.
  • Message board with erasable marker eg. a mini white board or one of those magnetic sand ones that you can wipe.
  • Diary/planner (to keep track of assignments)
  • Ream of printing paper
  • A4 folders
  • Pens and pencils
  • Scissors
  • Sticky tape
  • Stapler
  • Hole punch
  • Sticky labels
  • Post-it notes
  • Paper clips
  • White Tac (so you don't mark the walls
  • Stamps and envelopes.


  • Sports gear
  • Bike
  • Raincoat
  • Umbrella
  • Wellies


  • Multivitamins
  • Painkillers
  • Condoms/pill
  • Basic first aid kit, including plasters, antiseptic wipes, and bandages.
  • Paracetamol
  • Cold/flu remedy (in case you are struck down by freshers' flu)
  • Pro-Plus
  • Anti-allergy pills - eg. Piriton anti-allergy tablets
  • A cold/hot pack.


  • Bath mat
  • Bath and hand towels (plus a flannel if you use one)
  • Basket for shower supplies
  • Wash bag
  • Toilet roll
  • Box of tissues
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Soap - squeasy bottled soap is probably better. If you're sharing bathrooms then it's easier to transport and wont slip onto the floor etc.
  • Shower gel
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Nail clippers
  • Deodorant
  • Cologne
  • Hair gel
  • Hair spray
  • Hairbrush
  • Comb
  • Razor
  • Shaving cream/gel.


  • Febreeze (to stop clothes/fabric getting too smelly!)
  • Laundry bag  (so your dirty clothes don't end up on the floor. And for dragging to the laundry or dumping on your parents to wash for you!)
  • Clothes horse (saves money on using tumbler driers)
  • Coat hangers
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Duster
  • Kitchen towel
  • Cif cleaning products
  • Washing powder/liquid/tablets (n case the washing powder dispenser isn't working)
  • Door wedge (an open door in Freshers' Week is much more friendly).


  • Alarm clock (maybe 2 in two different locations in your room to make sure lectures are at least attempted, even if you carry on sleeping there!)
  • Computer/laptop
  • Computer mouse for laptop (easier to use than a trackpad!)
  • USB "pen drive" - carrying projects etc between uni, internet cafe, friends comp, etc. quickly, easily and RELIABLY!
  • Printer (printing could take up to six hours on uni computers)
  • Network cable (to access the internet from the socket in your room)
  • Mini fridge (for beer and other items you don't want in the communal fridge)
  • Bedside lamp
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Stereo/Hi-fi system
  • TV (although a license fee will be costly. There will probably be a communal TV you can watch, but it's worth considering a TV-DVD/-VCR combi or seperate VCR/DVD players)
  • Camera
  • Headphones
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Multi plug adaptor/extension lead.


  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers
  • T-shirts
  • Jumpers
  • Trousers
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Shoes/trainers
  • Flip flops (for wearing in showers/communal wash areas)
  • Swimwear
  • Ball gowns/evening wear (for the Freshers' Ball)
  • Shirt and tie (for any smart-casual events).


  • Board games - these will make a fun (yet free) evening of entertainment
  • Pack of cards
  • Rugby or football (for friendly matches, made-up games, etc.)
  • Frisbee.


  • Posters
  • Photos of family and friends
  • Wall hangings
  • Rugs
  • Fairylights/disco ball/police light/lava lamp/any other kind of stylish lights
  • Cushions/beanbags (for when your mates drop by)
  • Pot plants
  • Blanket (in case it gets really cold).


  • Sheets
  • Duvet and duvet covers
  • Pillows and pillow cases
  • Mattress cover
  • Hot water bottle
  • Sleeping bag - for when friends come to stay/when you go to stay.


  • Alcohol - to make new friends with!
  • Sweets or biscuits
  • Extra storage, e.g. cardboard or plastic boxes
  • Large suitcase
  • Spare lightbulbs
  • Torch (in case of a powercut)
  • Pen knife
  • Loose change - for the bus, vending machines, etc.
  • Earplugs
  • Poster hangers
  • Safety pins
  • Small sewing kit
  • Matches
  • Fan
  • Clock

Female specific items

  • Hair bands
  • Make up
  • Jewellery box
  • Jewellery
  • Moisturiser
  • Talcum powder
  • Nail varnish
  • Hair removing cream
  • Razor
  • Shaving cream
  • Waxing strips
  • Hair dryer/straighteners
  • Tampons/sanitary towels

Male specific items

  • Shaving brush
  • Cologne
  • Hair gel

Don't bother with

  • Iron
  • Toaster
  • Sandwich maker
  • Nice kitchen stuff - it will hardly get used, and probably get stolen by your fellow students
  • Candles (serious fire hazard!).

And all things that everyone gets - so if you're in flats rather than halls, you may want to wait and see if you really need to splash out when you could just borrow your flatmate's.

Further information

For more help and advice on getting through Freshers' Week, please see: