Police are investigating the sudden death of a female student at a University of Canterbury hall of resident last night.

The woman died at Rochester and Rutherford Hall on Ilam Rd in Christchurch.

Police said the family of the deceased had been notified and they were speaking with several people in relation to the death.

University staff are offering support to students who have been told to contact their parents to let them know they're okay.

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Rochester and Rutherford provides accommodation for 178 men and women studying at the university.

Most residents are young undergraduate students.