• Photo showing the on-site SAMS hostel from the outside
    SAMS 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


On-campus accommodation in our student residence

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

At this time, no further accommodation is available in SAMS student accommodation but please contact us if you wish to be added to the waiting list in case a room becomes available.

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

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 SAMS 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 rent - 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.


Students sign a contract covering the period from September to mid-May. Rent includes all bills (heating, electricity, water, Wifi, single TV licence, use of laundry facilities). Rent can be paid annually (£4437), 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 their first rent instalment. 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.


What will your address be?

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


What to bring

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

Bedding for your bed (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)

Cleaning products, toilet roll

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

Headset/headphones (so you don't disturb house mates if you want to listen to music)

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


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.

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

Alternatively, contact local letting agents

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 top 10 tips for viewing private student accommodation.

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


Barriemore Guesthouse on the seafront

Corriemar House B&B on the seafront

Manor House

Oban Backpackers

Oban Bay Hotel and Spa on the seafront

Oban Youth Hostel on the seafront for en-suite dorm and family accommodation

Perle Hotel - opposite the railway and bus station

Premier Inn - behind railway station and ferry terminal

Ranald Hotel

Royal Hotel 

The Scot

Wellpark House on the esplanade

Dunstaffnage Marina

The Wide Mouthed Frog (bar, bistro and beds)


Ards House

Falls of Lora Hotel

Oyster Inn

Lochnell Arms Hotel



The Isle of Eriska Hotel: for those looking for luxury


Ardtorna, eco-friendly 5 gold star B&B

Barcaldine Castle, luxury B&B guesthouse



Blarcreen luxury guest house on Loch Etive in countryside


Camp sites and chalets

Cologin Country Chalets and Lodges

North Ledaig Caravan Park

Oban Caravan and Camping Park

Roseview Camping and Caravan Park

Tralee Bay Holidays 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 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. You can also find out more about the host responsibilites over on the main homestay webpage


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



SAMS Accommodation Team

E: accommodation@sams.ac.uk

T: +44 (0) 1631 559 427

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