uni shopping list essentials article
uni shopping list essentials article

Student Uni Shopping List: What To Take To University Checklist

Wondering what to bring to uni?  Here are the ultimate student essentials to add to your uni shopping list.

You’ve got the grades, got your uni halls bagged, and now it’s down to that final all-important question…What to take to university? Don’t you wish there was a uni shopping list to help you out?

If you’re moving to university halls, we’re here to help with exactly what to pack — because packing for uni doesn’t have be a chore. It’s an exciting time!

So, you can sit back and relax as we’ve put together the ultimate list of what you need for your room, kitchen, and everything else. It’s the ultimate first year uni packing list you’ll ever need (you’re welcome).

person sat on bed with laptop next to stool and bike. uni shopping list

Uni shopping list

Before you pack

This might be your first time moving away from home, but that doesn’t mean you have to pack everything but the kitchen sink. Yes, you may be wondering what to bring to university and might be overwhelmed by the impending list of things to buy. But there’s something else you need to do first.

Before thinking about what things to take to uni, it’s a good idea to know that uni rooms aren’t generally known for their excessive square footage, so taking too much stuff might leave you tripping over boxes of extra clothes and stuffed animals.

You’ve also probably got to fit it into a car boot, plus you can always stock up when you get there. Shops exist outside of your hometown, you know.

luggage next to chair. uni shopping list

What do I need for university?

One list of essentials for university isn’t enough, in fact, it’ll be easy to miss something! We’ve done the hard work for you and created several lists, broken down into items for each category so you don’t miss a thing. Consider it a university starter pack, if you will.

So if you’re wondering what to bring to uni, here are the university supplies you’ll need gathered for your first year at university.

University checklist first year

There’s a whole variety of things that you’re going to need, from ID photos to pots and pans, so we’ve split everything out to make it extra easy for you to tick through the list.

  • Important documents
  • Bedroom
  • Bathroom
  • Kitchen
  • Electricals
  • Clothing
  • Studying

Shop with our amazing home & utilities student discounts.

Documents and important items to take to uni

This is quite possibly the most important list. You can buy your bedding there, but forgetting your ID might mean you’re going home before you’ve even set foot in a lecture. We recommend getting a big folder for all those important pieces of paper you’re likely to lose.

Whings uni students need to ensure you have the right documents on them.

  • Passport/Driving licence (ID)
  • Student Finance and scholarship/bursary documents
  • Course acceptance letter
  • Contents insurance documents
  • Bank account information and debit/credit cards
  • Passport photos
  • Medical history (e.g. vaccinations and prescriptions)
  • Wallet/purse
  • Padlock
documents and forms on white background. uni shopping list

Student room essentials uni shopping list

Your uni room is where you’ll be spending the majority of your time, whether it’s napping or studying. Your uni halls will have basic furniture (a bed, desk, wardrobe, etc.) but it’s worth checking exactly what they provide, as well as the size of your bed.

  • Duvet and duvet covers
  • Pillows and covers
  • Bed sheets
  • Mattress protector
  • Laundry bag or basket
  • 1-2 storage boxes
  • Coat hangers
  • Small clothes airer
  • Photos and posters to decorate
  • Hot water bottle
  • Stuffed animals (if you have them)

While we’re on the subject, don’t forget to keep your bed sheet hygiene in check and remember how often you need to change your sheets. It’s probs more often than you’re changing now.

>> See our full list of student bedroom essentials here

Bathroom (or wet room) essentials for uni

Depending on whether you’re sharing facilities, you may want to keep your toiletries out of the bathroom when you’re not using them (otherwise you’ll come back to an empty tube of toothpaste). Here are all the things uni students need, but If your bathroom regime is pretty simple, then you can probably skip some things off this list.

  • Toilet roll — arguably the most important thing on a uni shopping list.
  • Bath towel and hand towel
  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers/flip flops
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hand soap
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Shower gel
  • Razors/hair removal
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Makeup and remover/face wash
  • Nail scissors and tweezers
  • Mini first-aid kit
  • Medication
  • Sanitary products
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Contraceptives
  • Toilet cleaner/wipes
bathroom toiletries loofa pumice stone soap toothbrush earbuds

Kitchen essentials for uni

If you’re in catered halls, you can skip all but the basics here; a couple of mugs, bowls, and spoons will probably get you by (plus, you can always borrow someone else’s). In a shared flat, you’ll have way more pans and plates than 5 people could ever possibly need.

Speaking to your flatmates before you move in is ideal (though not always possible) because you can split the list up to save money. It’s also worth waiting until you’re there to do a food shop so that you can gauge how much storage space you have.

Here are the uni kitchen essentials you’ll ever need.

  • Cutlery set
  • Plate
  • Bowl
  • Glass
  • Mug
  • Sharp knife
  • Scissors
  • Food containers
  • Bottle opener
  • Wooden spoon
  • Spatula
  • Saucepan
  • Frying pan
  • Chopping board
  • Tea towel
  • Dishcloth
  • Washing up liquid
  • Peeler
  • Cheese grater
  • Measuring jug
  • Foil
  • Bin bags
  • Flask/water bottle

>> See our full list of student kitchen essentials here

Uni electricals checklist

Whatever you do, don’t forget your laptop or phone charger (and don’t pack it right at the bottom of a bag you don’t plan on unpacking for a while either).

  • Phone and charger
  • Laptop, charger, and case — check out the best laptops under £300.
  • Ethernet cable
  • Multi-socket extension lead
  • Headphones
  • Speakers
  • Games console
  • Batteries
  • All other chargers

Shop with Student Beans for great student discounts on tech and mobile.

person studying in front of laptop

What clothing should I take to uni?

If you’re into your clothes, then this may be a bit basic for you, but the idea here is to have the clothes you need to survive that long walk to campus and the shoes you can dance all night in.

Uni clothing checklist

  • Pyjamas and dressing gown
  • Socks, tights and underwear
  • Winter coat
  • Raincoat
  • Trainers
  • Heels or smart shoes
  • Suit/black tie dress
  • T-shirts and tops
  • Shirts
  • Jeans and trousers
  • Jumpers and jackets
  • Gym kit and swimming kit
  • Gloves, hats, scarves
  • Bag/rucksack/handbag
  • Fancy dress outfits

>> See our essential list of going out outfits and night out shoes for students

Stationary essentials for uni

Uni stationery is essential because, at some point, you’ll have to put down the drink and actually do some work. When this finally happens, you’ll be happiest if you have everything that you need to study well.

Here is the ultimate uni stationery list to ensure you don’t miss a thing:

  • Pens and pencils
  • Stapler and staples
  • A4 writing pad
  • Ring binders
  • Ruler
  • Pencil case
  • Highlighters
  • Calculator (depending on your course)
  • Student planner
  • White tack
  • Textbooks
  • Printer paper
  • Calendar
  • Scissors

While the lists above might look a little overwhelming, remember that you’ve probably already got half this stuff. For anything you’re missing, check out our discounts across all student essentials to get you set up without breaking the bank.

And that’s our moving to uni checklist complete! It’s nice to see everything broken down, right!? Check out our student deals to save cash on all of the above by signing up to Student Beans.

When does uni start?

First-semester start dates vary per university. The academic year starts on the 1st of September and ends on the 31 August. The exact start dates will vary depending on which university you attend, but it will almost always be in August.

When do uni applications open for 2023?

The UCAS undergraduate application cycle for 2023 opened on 17th May 2022. This means you’re now able to apply for your undergraduate degree. Unless there’s a 15 October deadline for your course, all applications should arrive at UCAS by 18:00 (UK time) on 25 January 2023.

We really hope you enjoyed our uni packing list! Bookmark our moving to uni checklist for reference as you’re collecting your items. Once you’ve got to uni, read up on our tips for how to get the most out of freshers’ week.