How Much are the Living Costs of Studying Abroad in the UK?

The United Kingdom has long been a top study choice among international students worldwide. Although the UK is known for having high living costs, British universities have still managed to attract students like a magnet and the truth is, studying in the UK doesn’t necessarily mean high costs all the time, anytime and anywhere.

Apart from London and other famous student cities in the United Kingdom, you can fairly manage with a monthly budget of 700 – 800 GBP/month.

Read below to find out more about student expenses in the UK.

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Living costs for students in the UK

Average living costs in the United Kingdom range between 550 – 1,000 GBP per month. These amounts are an approximation of accommodation, food, transportation, and additional costs. Read below for a description of amounts for each individual section.

London has the highest living costs averaging 1,100 – 2,000 GBP monthly, that may get even higher with more expensive accommodation. In smaller cities, you could easily survive with around 800 - 900 GBP/month. Check the examples of these student cities:

Accommodation costs in the UK

Student accommodation ranges from 400 – 1,000 GBP per month, or even higher, depending on the city you will live in and the type of housing you will find. Overall average housing in the UK, outside city centres averages 600 GBP/month.

Especially in the case of London, finding affordable accommodation is more difficult than other international cities worldwide. Make sure you book accommodation well in advance, before coming to study in the country to avoid having to live in a bad neighbourhood or paying too much for accommodation.

Most popular accommodation options in the UK include:

  • Halls of residence – rates range between 105 and 250 GBP/week
  • Share or rent a flat/apartment – a one-bedroom apartment is around 600 – 750 GBP/month
  • Home-stay – around 600 – 700 GBP/month (usually with half board included)

Find quality accommodation for students in the UK through Uniplaces.

Other costs related to accommodation

If you plan to rent in the United Kingdom, you’ll also have to pay for:

  • utility costs: on average, 140 GBP monthly
  • a bond and first month’s rent: this could be as much as 1,000 GBP depending on the price of your rent

student housing in UK.jpg

Food costs

Generally, average weekly grocery shopping would amount to 50 GBP/week. You may get cheaper meals as part of food plans included for students living in residence halls. Regular restaurants are usually quite expensive.

Preparing your own meals will always save you the most money; you can enjoy great discount if you do your shopping at Farmers’ Markets, usually held once or twice a week or shop for food late in the evenings when some goods get massive price reductions.

Meals in inexpensive restaurants are between 8 and 16 GBP.

Transportation costs

  • One-ticket bus fares are 2.40 GBP per journey, 4.00 GBP per day, and around 45 GBP for a student 4-week travel card.
  • You can also use the ISIC youth travel card and can get major discounts.
  • In London, Oyster cards can be used on the Tube, National Rail, Buses and Trams and they are the cheapest travel option.

Extra study materials

  • You maybe be expected to pay additional fees if you study a resource-intensive course (especially in sciences or engineering).
  • Laboratory fees are not uncommon and can come in anywhere from 100 –1,000 GBP per year.
  • For books and other learning materials, you would need to spend between 30 and 70 GBP/month.

So studying in the UK may require a good budget planning and keeping track of all your spending, but it doesn’t have to be a continuous challenge when it comes to managing your monthly allowance. Always keep an eye on the student discounts, as the social and cultural life in some British cities truly revolves around students, providing them special offers.

Search through over 600 scholarships offered in the United Kingdom!

Whether you want to save up for a renowned university in England, or you are considering a more affordable study option in other parts of the country, the investment in a UK higher education is well worth the effort!

Student visa fees

If you are starting to consider doing your studies in the UK, you should also check out the UK student visa requirements based on your nationality. The UK student visa fee is 377 EUR to which you have to add a 169 EUR health insurance fee. 

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Here are some details if you are applying for a British student visa from your country of origin:

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