• Photo showing the on-site  hostel from the outside
    on-site residence available
  • Student studying in bedroom with en-suite facilities
    Private en-suite rooms
  • Student in Margaret Barnes residence living room relaxing
    Comfortable shared living areas


Accommodation for students in town and on-campus

Students who study at reside in either on-campus accommodation, Oban-based halls or rent from private landlords in the area, usually staying in Oban or surrounding villages such as Connel, Taynuilt or Benderloch.

2024 Student Accommodation Guide

Undergraduate students who have accepted their offer for the coming academic year will be contacted with information about accommodation in May/June and invited to apply.

Postgraduate students usually prefer to arrange their own accommodation – please refer to guidance under ‘Private Renting info’.

However, if you have any enquiries about where to stay when you are studying at , please send an email to our Accommodation Team at accommodation@sams.ac.uk who can supply further information.

Margaret Barnes Building

Living in our Margaret Barnes residence means you are surrounded by other students and can focus on making friends and learning to live independently but without the additional challenge of budgeting for utility and transport costs, and perhaps even furnishing your new accommodation.

This is a ground-floor self-catering residence for 11 students in the Margaret Barnes Building. It is a non-smoking facility and cannot accommodate pets.

Wifi is available throughout and students will have to sign a Wifi user agreement when they enrol.

Local amenities and transport

The residence is on the campus - i.e. you'll be able to sleep the longest! From here is takes approximately 10 minutes to walk into Dunbeg village, which has a local shop and post office, and from where a regular bus service takes students into Oban, which is 3.5 miles away. There is also a scenic cycle path from Dunbeg to Ganavan beach in Oban.

Private rooms

Students live in single rooms.

Rooms are equipped with: a bed, desk, chair, a sizeable built-in wardrobe, shelving, and curtains / blinds.

Each room comes with an adjoining bathroom with toilet, washbasin with mirror and bath with overhead shower.

Shared facilities

The 11 students share a living room, kitchen and laundry room.

Kitchen: Oven, fridge/freezer, sink, microwave, kettle, toaster, bin, vacuum cleaner, storage cupboard and basic supply of pots and pans, crockery, cutlery and cooking equipment.

Laundry room: fridge/freezers, washing machines, tumble dryers, ironing board, iron, sink for handwashing and cupboards for additional storage.

Living room: sofas, coffee table, dining table and chairs, TV cabinet and TV. A TV licence is included in your accommodation occupancy fees - but only for this one TV.

It is the joint responsibility of residents to keep the communal areas clean and tidy.


There is free car parking available outside as well as a covered bike rack. Bikes not to be stored inside Margaret Barnes Building.

Accommodation occupancy fees

Students sign a contract covering the whole occupancy period from induction week at the end of August/beginning of September to mid-May. Exact dates will depend on the year in which you enrol. 

Occupancy fees include all bills (heating, electricity, water, Wifi, single TV licence, use of laundry facilities). Fees can be paid annually (£4623 for the academic year 2024/25), monthly or in 3-monthly instalments in advance - details are outlined in formal accommodation offers.

Residents are also required to pay a £400 security deposit and a £100 non-refundable administration fee alongside the first instalment of their occupancy fees.

Any damage to the fittings or structure of the residence will be deducted from the deposit, as will any cleaning charges, if the accommodation is not left in an acceptably clean condition at the end of the occupancy period.

What will your address be?

Name, Room Number, Margaret Barnes Building, Scottish Association for Marine Science, , Dunbeg, Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA

What to bring

Provisions (food, toiletries, cleaning products, toilet paper) for the first few days until you manage to go shopping

Bedding for your bed (your own mattress protector, duvet, pillows, sheets, duvet and pillow covers)

Towels and tea towels

Coat hangers

Crockery, cutlery, chopping board if you wish to have your own (but you may need to store some of it in your room)

New extension lead (to adhere to Portable Appliance Testing regulations)

Headset/headphones (so you don't disturb house mates when you’re online or listening to music)

If you want to bring your own TV or watch live TV in your room, please arrange a separate TV licence - see 

What NOT to bring

Candles, incense sticks, tea lights, BBQs, heaters, chip fryers, smoking equipment, dartboards, weapons (incl replica or sports-related), electric blankets, plug-in air fresheners, inflatable cushions or furniture.

Halls of Residence in Oban town

Dunollie Halls offer self-catering accommodation for up to 22 students. The building is a converted church, full of character, located between Breadalbane Street and Dunollie Road in Oban. There are 16 single occupancy rooms and three twin-occupancy rooms. Residents share communal facilities: the large lounge/kitchen/diner, laundry and storage room. Rooms in the main church building share use of the shower rooms/wcs on their landing. Annex rooms have their own ensuite shower room/wc with a shared kitchen/communal area. Students in the Annex can access the shared laundry, bike storage and larger communal area in the main church building, next door.

Due to the unique architectural character of this building, please note that rooms vary in size and shape. Residents are responsible for their own cleaning and catering with the addition of a weekly bathroom cleaning service only for the shared shower room/toilet facilities.


> Exclusively for use by students during term time

> In Oban, close to shops, restaurants, pubs, cinema, theatre, beaches and leisure centre

> Free indoor storage room (bicycles, wetsuits, luggage)

> Heating throughout

> Maintenance available for routine repairs

> Council tax exemption for full time students

> Local bus services from Oban to Dunbeg

> National transport links from Oban include bus, rail and ferry services

Accommodation occupancy fees

Single occupancy bedroom: Single room £625 per person per month. (£5337 fee for the academic year 2024/25). 

Shared twin bedroom: Twin room £465 per person per month. (£3970 fee for the academic year 2024/25).

All residents pay a £100 non-refundable administration fee and a £400 refundable deposit. 

The occupancy period is from induction week at the end of August/beginning of September to mid-May. Exact dates will depend on the year in which you enrol. 

Please direct any enquiries to the Accommodation Team: accommodation@sams.ac.uk

maintains an if you want to find private accommodation we are aware of.

Alternatively, contact local letting agents

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Viewing private rentals

If you are unsure what to look out for when viewing accommodation, Urban Jungle have put together some really helpful advice and .

Places where short-term visitors have stayed before...


 on the seafront

 on the seafront

 on the seafront

 on the seafront for en-suite dorm and family accommodation

- opposite the railway and bus station

 - behind railway station and ferry terminal


 on the esplanade


Dunstaffnage Marina

 (bar, bistro and beds)




: for those looking for luxury


, eco-friendly 5 gold star B&B

, luxury B&B guesthouse



 luxury guest house on Loch Etive in countryside


Camp sites and chalets

 Lodges and Caravans

Each year we welcome students from all over Scotland, the UK and around world. As part of their experience here, we offer them the option to stay with a local family to get a true insight into the local culture and way of living.



If you are a local resident who is interested in hosting a student, you can find out everything you need to know over on the main student host scheme web page or you can email your enquiry to accommodation@sams.ac.uk


If you are a student who would like to learn more about the opportunities to live with a local family during your studies with us, please email accommodation@sams.ac.uk



Accommodation Team

E: accommodation@sams.ac.uk

T: +44 (0) 1631 559 427

, Dunbeg, Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA, United Kingdom