The basics
THE UK: Student Finances

Tuition fees in the UK

Our tuition fee guide for international students in the UK

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With a repertoire of world-class universities and wide range of course options, studying in the UK is hugely appealing for international students. Living and tuition costs vary significantly depending on where you’re based within the UK, and can be difficult to predict based on a calculated average. But, with our breakdown of likely, rough tuition price ranges and fee examples, you should be able to get a clearer idea of what studying in the UK might cost.

Students from the EU are considered ‘home’ students, and so will pay the same rates as those from the UK. Some private sector institutions will just have one fee level paid by all students, regardless of EU status. Find out if you are an EU student now.

 

The fees below are a guide; we always recommend checking with the institution or department for the exact fee for the course you’re interested in.

 

Note: £1 = € 1.22 = US$ 1.67

 

If you’re an EU student...

Undergraduate

If you’re an EU or EAA national studying in the UK then you’ll pay the same tuition rates and local students. Costs vary hugely across institutions but the average cost for full time education in England was calculated to be around £8,600 per year.

For example, in 2013/2014 an undergraduate degree at Goldsmiths cost £9,000, but just £1,820 at the University of Aberdeen. In the 2013/2014 academic year, EU/UK students paid from £1,820-£11,960 in undergraduate tuition.

Non-UK EU students studying in Scotland are able to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to cover the entire costs of tuition. Scottish undergraduate tuition fees are just £1,820 per year. In Northern Ireland, non-UK EU students pay up to £3,575 per year.

Learn more about SAAS

Find out if you are an EAA national

 

Postgraduate

Slightly lower than that of undergraduate, the average cost of postgraduate study in the UK for 2013/2014 is calculated at around £6,000 per year. However, programmes at the higher end of the cost spectrum notably outstripped those of undergraduate.

Again, costs vary across institutions, but do so more substantially between subject areas. An MBA will generally be more expensive than other disciplines. In 2013/2014, EU students paid from £3,400-£12,735 for their postgraduate studies. The cost of an MBA varied from £8,800- £38,000 within the same year.

There are funding options available that are usually awarded by the institution, but depending on the type of postgraduate study there may be research grants you’re eligible for. All funding at postgraduate level in the UK is incredibly competitive and students are advised to research their options thoroughly and apply as early as possible.

 

If you’re not an EU student...

Undergraduate

Unfortunately, if you are a student located outside of the EU then you’ll have to pay near-full-cost tuition fees when studying in the UK. The range of scholarship and grant options for non-EU students in the UK is also more limited than for locals. Whilst fees vary substantially across areas within the UK, institutions, and whether the degree is classroom, clinical or laboratory based, on average international students can expect to pay within the following ranges per course, by subject area:

  • Humanities and Social Sciences...£9,000-£10,800
  • Sciences and Engineering...£10,200-£13,800
  • Clinical Subjects...£23,000-£26,000

For example, for a classroom-based degree at the University of Edinburgh, 2013/2014 students paid £13,300, and £17,500 for one that was laboratory-based. At Leeds Trinity University however, both types of degree were just £9,300 per year. Funding and scholarship options for non-EU students should be pursued through specific institution websites, and home institutions if applicable.

Postgraduate

As with undergraduate, non-EU students generally pay higher fees than their EU peers. Again, fees vary quite considerably between institutions and are higher for MBA students. However, the MBA programme at some institutions, such as the University of Bath, charge both local and international students £28,000.

Students of other disciplines are unlikely to be as lucky, with some courses citing a difference of as much as £10,000 between local and international fees. In the 2013/2014 academic year, students paid from £8,100- £33,069 for their postgraduate studies, across all types of study and locations in the UK.

There are funding options available for international students at postgraduate levels from institutions themselves and external funding and research bodies. Again, these are awarded competitively, and students are advised to research their options thoroughly and ensure they apply early.

If you come across a course on our site that you are interested in, you should be able to get a rough idea of how much it will cost you. You can also follow our links to get in touch with the institution directly to answer any questions you might have.

 

Once more, we always recommend you confirm the fees for a specific course with the institution or department themselves. This information is available on our site or you can contact the institution themselves through us.

 

Useful Links  

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About Author

Monica Karpinski received her BA (Media and Communications) and Diploma in Modern Languages (French) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. An art and culture aficionado, in her spare time Monica enjoys film, reading and writing about art.

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