There’s nothing like that last minute goal, the nail-biting season finale or your favourite Friday night sitcom to bring students together, laughing, crying and cheering over a laptop in halls.
But just remember, whatever you’re watching live online, you’ll need to be covered by a TV Licence – no matter what device you use. Your hall's licence won’t cover you, and you may not be covered by your parents’ licence. Thankfully, it’s easy to buy your own.
First, check below to find out if you need one. Then, buy a licence so you can be sure you’re enjoying all your favourite programmes legally from the day you start uni. Please let us know if you change address.
Pay in a way that suits you.
You may even be able to get a refund during the summer holidays, so you’ll only need to pay for the TV you watch for the rest of the year.
If you are responsible for student communications, here are some useful downloads.
You need a TV Licence if...
|You watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV - online, on a TV, or on any device (even a laptop)||
This is the case whatever device you use – whether a laptop, PC, mobile phone, games console, digital box, VHS/DVD recorder or anything else. It also includes programmes you watch online at the same time as they’re being shown on TV, for example live sport. (However, if your mobile device isn’t plugged in, you’ll still be covered by your parents’ licence.)
|And you live in halls of residence||Your hall probably has a licence covering communal areas but you’ll also need to be covered for your room.|
|Or you live in a shared house||
If there’s a joint tenancy agreement for the whole house, you may only need one licence. However, you may need your own licence if your accommodation is self-contained – i.e. you have exclusive access to washing facilities or you have your own entrance to the property. If you’re not sure whether or not you need one, please contact us.
You don’t need a TV Licence if
|You don’t watch or record television programmes as they’re being shown on TV – on any device
If you don’t watch or record television programmes, or you only stream TV programmes online after they’ve been broadcast – through on-demand services like YouTube, BBC iPlayer and 4oD – you don’t need to be covered by a
|Or all of these are true||
Your parents' TV Licence will not cover you while you are away at university unless you only use a device that's powered solely by its own internal batteries. You must not plug it into the mains when using it to receive TV.
If you don’t need a TV Licence...
Please let us know. We may confirm this with a quick visit. We need to do this because, when we make contact on visits, almost a fifth of people are found to need a TV Licence.
|You don’t need a licence during the summer holidays||
Good news. If you move out of your term-time address for the summer months, you can ask us to give you back the cost of the licence for that time – which could be around £37. (As long as your licence is still valid for at least three full calendar months and you don’t need it again before it expires.)Apply for a refund.
Do I need a TV Licence in halls of residence?
Do I need a licence if I haven’t got a TV set and I watch TV on my laptop?
Do I need a TV Licence if I only watch TV online?
Does my parents’ TV Licence cover me while I’m away at university?
What happens if I move address?
How can I get in touch with you?