The university checklist


Simply, going on holiday for a two-week stint often requires a lot of thought and consideration, especially when packing your suitcase for a short time. But if you think holiday packing is difficult task then think again, packing for university makes holiday packing seem like a walk in the park. It is a very daunting and often stressful experience, especially as for most freshers it is their first time living away from the family home.

Here at SCAN we have done our best to help by putting together a checklist of all the things you might need for your time at university to ensure that you remember everything you need as well as a few that you don’t.

Also, don’t be embarrassed about how much you are taking with you as organisation is key to a smooth transition into university life.


  • Passport or driving licence
  • Additional passport photos
  • National Insurance Number
  • NHS number
  • CV and references (if required)
  • Bank account details including a cheque book (if you have one) and paying-in book
  • Student discount card (Lancaster has its very own card, fashioned in a lovely shade of purple to make us stand out from the crowd. To register, visit the website)
  • A copy of your GCSE and A-level results
  • University registration and other university documents
  • University finance paperwork
  • Copies of insurance documents
  • TV license (not needed if you only plan on using your TV for video gaming). To get one, visit TV Licensing website
  • Travel discount cards


  • Academic diary
  • Any relevant old text books and notes
  • Calculator


  • Lined paper
  • Printing paper
  • Pens, pencils, rubber, ruler, pencil sharpener and highlighter
  • Scissors
  • Sellotape
  • Blu-tack or white-tack
  • Stapler
  • Hole puncher
  • Post-it notes and flag markers
  • Pins for sticking things into cork boards
  • A4 ring binders and level arch folder (I would say that 3 would be more than enough for your first term)
  • Envelopes and stamps


  • Desktop/laptop computer and power adapter
  • Printer
  • Alarm clock
  • Memory stick
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Extension lead
  • Three-pin plug adapter (if you are an international student)
  • Batteries
  • Camera
  • CD player
  • Television
  • DVD player
  • Digibox
  • Games consoles
  • Portable music player (MP3 player or iPod) and connectable speakers
  • Hair dryer
  • Hair straighteners/curling irons
  • Iron (perhaps a small table iron would be best suited to your new lifestyle)
  • Mini fridge (for any items you don’t want in the communal fridge)

For your room

  • Duvet and pillows
  • Duvet cover, pillow cases, sheets and blankets
  • A throw and cushions to turn your bed into a sofa (rooms in halls are not blessed with space)
  • Desk lamp
  • Poster and wall decorations (Bear in mind that during the first week of freshers, poster sales take place on campus selling a huge variety of posters for you to jazz up your white walls)
  • Photos of friends and family
  • Coat hangers
  • Door hangers (creating pegs for you to hang your coats on)
  • Laundry basket
  • Door stop
  • Sleeping bag (for when friends come to stay)
  • Fairy lights
  • Teddy bears and stuffed toys
  • Plants or flowers

For your kitchen

  • Plates × 2
  • Bowls × 2
  • Glasses × 4
  • Mugs × 2
  • Forks, knifes, spoons × 4
  • Chopsticks
  • Beer, wine and shot glasses
  • Frying pan
  • 1 small saucepan and 1 large saucepan with lids
  • Small casserole dish
  • Flat baking tray
  • Chopping board
  • Chopping knifes
  • Bread knife
  • Cork screw and bottle opener
  • Tin opener
  • Wooden spoon
  • Microwaveable bowl
  • Measuring jug
  • Cheese Grater
  • Spatula
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Sieve
  • Potato masher (only if you are partial to your mash potatoes)
  • Tea towels
  • Oven gloves
  • Tin foil
  • Cling film
  • Sandwich bags
  • Tray (for all those TV dinners)
  • Easy-to-follow recipe book
  • Washing-up stuff e.g. washing-up liquid, dish cloths, scrubbing brush and washing-up gloves
  • Toasty machine

NB: All accommodation at Lancaster University provides a toaster and a kettle.

For your bathroom

  • Bath and hand towels (possibly a flannel)
  • Bath mat
  • Toilet roll
  • Hand wash


With clothing it is a lot more difficult to create a specific checklist so it is your call whether to bring those Hawaiian beach shorts in the hope that the Lancaster weather will fail to maintain its reputation as the coldest university in the United Kingdom or to keep your wardrobe to the bare essentials. Nevertheless, here is a list of clothing that you won’t want to forget.

  • Underwear
  • Gym/sports wear
  • T-shirts
  • Jumpers
  • Coats, gloves, scarves, hats
  • Trousers
  • Dresses
  • Shorts
  • Skirts
  • Shoes (trainers, pumps, high heels, dolly shoes, boots and UGGs)
  • Flip flops (for wearing in communal showering areas)
  • Swim wear
  • Pyjamas
  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers
  • Ball gown and tux for more formal events (may not be required)
  • School tie and other fancy dress items


  • Basic first aid kit — plasters, paracetamol, antiseptic wipes
  • Condoms/contraceptive pills
  • Pro plus
  • Flu remedies
  • Anti allergy pills
  • Resolve or other hangover cures


  • Clothes horse (save money on a dryer by drying your clothes in your room)
  • Washing powder/liquid/tablets
  • Duster
  • Air freshener
  • Toilet cleaning products (only if you have an en-suite, as the cleaning of these rooms is left up to you)


  • Board games
  • Pack of cards
  • Ball — rugby, football, frisbee etc
  • CDs, DVDs and books


  • Extra storage boxes
  • Large suitcase (to put things in when going home for the weekend)
  • A spare lightbulb
  • Torch
  • Pen knife
  • Loose change (for washing and vending machines)
  • Earplugs
  • Small sewing kit and safety pins
  • Matches or lighter
  • Jewellery
  • Umbrella
  • Watch
  • Musical instrument (remember to be respectful of your flat mates when practicing)
  • Bicycle (an inexpensive way of getting around but make sure you bring a lock)

And finally… the supermarket sweep.

This serves more as a reminder of items you may need.

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Shower gel
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Dry shampoo (for those morning you snooze your alarm one too many times and are running late)
  • Nail clippers and file
  • Deodorant
  • Cologne
  • Perfume
  • Body spray
  • Hair gel/wax
  • Hair spray
  • Hairbrush
  • Comb
  • Razor
  • Shaving cream/gel
  • Lip balm
  • Moisturiser
  • Hair brush/comb
  • Hair accessories (bobbles, clips, hair bands, etc)
  • Make-up and make-up remover
  • Nail varnish and nail varnish remover
  • Cotton buds and wool
  • Tampons and sanitary towels

Basic kitchen cupboard essentials

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Butter/margarine
  • Cooking oil
  • Seasonings such as salt and pepper
  • Pasta and rice
  • Bread
  • Tins
  • Packet food
  • A selection of meat
  • Alcohol

Finally, buying stuff for university can be an expensive task, and that’s before you’ve even raided Tesco for a crate of baked beans and a couple of packs of Resolve. So why not create a university wish list at, creating a perfect vehicle to ask your friends and family to dig into their pockets and wish you farewell with a brand new cheese grater.

Also fear not, Lancaster has a wide range of shops where you will always be able to purchase any items you may have forgotten or discovered you need during your first week at university.

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