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THE UK: Student Life - Must read

Belfast revealed as most affordable UK city for students

A recent survey has found that students in Belfast are spending the least money

Students in Belfast spend on average just £45 on rent a week


Ever wondered where the cheapest cities for students in the UK are? The latest data from NatWest shows that students in Belfast in Ireland are getting the best deal, followed by Southampton, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Manchester.


Rent and groceries

On average, students spend around £85 a week on rent, but in Belfast the average is just £45. Belfast students also spend the least on groceries, around £16, compared to the national weekly average of £24.  


Interested in studying in Ireland? Read our guide on why Northern Ireland might be the perfect match for you!


Study/life balance

At the other end of the scale, living in Oxford and Cambridge is the most expensive, with students spending over £110 on average per week on rent. Oxford and Cambridge students were also found to spend the most time studying, while also spending the most money on going out socialising - Maybe they have the study/life balance sorted!


If you like socialising, maybe Portsmouth is for you – it’s the most cost effective city for being a social butterfly.


Bristol is cheapeast for weekly transport and sports facilities

Sports and keeping fit

Meanwhile, if you’re a sporty person, maybe you should think about Bristol. Students in this south west city have the most cost effective options for sports and fitness.


The most cost-effective sports include Rugby League, cheerleading and netball – why not join these clubs at your university?

Interested in Bristol? Hear from our international student blogger, Stessy, about her first day in Bristol.



Transport costs are unsurprisingly high in London. Students spend around £18 a week getting around the capital, compared to £3 a week spent by students travelling around Bristol – another plus for studying in the south west city.


The survey also found that on average, students spend 27.5 hours a week studying, 12.5 hours a week socialising and 4.5 hours in part-time work...Now that you  know that, fancy starting your studies in the UK?

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About Author

Katie Duncan is Editor of Hotcourses Abroad and is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and University of Exeter graduate. Having worked at an English language school in the UK, as an educational consultant in Spain and as a reporter in the international education sector, she is well placed to guide you through your study abroad journey. Katie grew up in Australia, which perhaps explains her unusual reptile collection, comprising of a bearded dragon (Bill) and tortoise (Matilda).


'Study in the UK' eBook

Enjoy what you’ve read? We’ve condensed the above popular topics about studying in the UK into one handy digital book.