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cost to study in the UK
Gayathri Gopakumar

Meet Gayathri - a Content Editor at Hotcourses India- an IDP company. A once-international student herself- she loves to research & give insights into the world of global education through her writing. When she isn’t working, you'll find her playing, travelling or binge-watching just about anything.


06 May 2019 580 Book icon 4 mins Share

How much does it cost to study in the UK?

If you’re trying to figure out how much it would cost you to study in the UK, this article is a must-read for you. It gives you an insight into your overall expenses during your university life.

06 May 2019 580 Book icon 4 mins Share
cost to study in the UK

Okay. So you have decided to study in the UK. This is a great choice! Why, you ask? Well, for starters, the UK is home to three of the world’s top 10 universities (Times Higher Education Rankings 2019). It also has 19 universities with 5-stars for teaching quality (QS Ratings). Another reason Indian students are increasingly flocking towards the UK is because the UK government has announced an extension in the international students’ stay after they graduate – this offers promising career opportunities for students like you in the country.

So how much do you think you’ll have to shell out to study in the UK? And do the expenses vary much within the UK - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland? Don’t break your head much; we’ll give you a detailed breakdown of all the expenses for you, so you can plan ahead. So, stay with us till the end guys, cuz we’re gonna talk *money now!

*Please note that these are general figures and could vary based on various factors.

Tuition fees

This will be your primary expenditure. Generally, tuition fees for international students in undergraduate and postgraduate levels range between GBP 12,000 to GBP 25,000 per year. The average is GBP 15,316 per year. However, programmes in medicine or management can cost you much more.

For example, MBA in Coventry University costs GBP 16,887, while an MBA in the University of Glasgow costs GBP 27670.

Why not study in some of the most popular universities in the UK?

Living expenses

Apart from your tuition fees, you’ll need to set aside some amount for your accommodation, food, transport, utility (gas, electricity, Wi-Fi) and other miscellaneous expenses such as fitness, entertainment.

As per UK’s visa policies, a student needs to show GBP 1,265 per month in their account if studying in London and GBP 1,015 per month if studying outside London or anywhere else in the UK. This assures the UK government that you can support yourself during your stay in the UK.


There are several different accommodation options for international students across England, Scotland, Wale, and Northern Ireland. The most common are:

  • University accommodation: GBP 137 per week
  • Private accommodation (rental): GBP 126 per week
  • Private Halls of Residence: Average GBP 126 per week
  • Others (Homestay accommodation): GBP 100 – GBP 120 per week

The university accommodation cost will vary depending on where you are based in the UK and which type of accommodation option you have chosen. For example, Sheffield University offers various types, starting from shared bathrooms, which costs GBP 4,651 to en-suite rooms for GBP 5,950 and deluxe rooms for GBP 6,400 GBP for roughly a year.

On an average, it is safe to say that students spend an average of GBP 125 per week (GBP 541 per month), but a stay in London can go up to an average of GBP 161 per week. While the average student rent in Scotland is GBP 110 per week, you’ll find yourself spending GBP 143 per week in Northern Ireland and GBP 120 per week in Wales.

Undergraduate students typically stay in the accommodation provided by the university during their first year. They generally shift to private housing when they enter the second year of their education. Postgraduate students, on the other hand, stay in the university accommodation throughout their tenure since, the master’s programmes are usually only one-year-long.

What other costs would you incur?

Well, you may have several other bills to take care of apart from the big ones mentioned above. They are:

  • If not included in the rent, utility bills such as gas, electricity, and water in rented accommodation come up to GBP 40 per week. Generally, the rent covers these, especially if you take a university accommodation.
  • Broadband internet costs approximately GBP 20 every month -this amount is generally split among the tenants.
  • Mobile phone bills could come to about GBP 30 per month.

Books as well as university equipment, on an average, will cost you GBP 30 per month, depending upon the programme you choose.

What about transport?

People generally take monthly/weekly passes that allow them to travel around by bus or train. A single bus ticket costs about GBP 1.50 (cost is higher for trains and underground tubes) and you can get a monthly pass at GBP 81.50. As a student above 18 years in London, you can get an 18+ Oyster Card which will give you a 30% discount on all trains, underground tubes and buses plying within London.

Outside of London and other major university cities, you would have to spend an average of about GBP 1.50 for single bus journey and GBP 45 a month to procure a student travel card.

… And food!

Well, in London, your average food bill would come to about GBP 265 per month. Other cities in the UK could cost you anywhere between GBP 205 (Liverpool) and GBP 245 (Belfast). When you study in the UK, your food expenses will vary based on also which part of the country you reside in and of course, your diet.

If you have a meal in a pub, it would cost you GBP 10 to GBP 12, and if you were to have a meal at a fine-diner, you can expect to spend about GBP 20 to GBP 35 per person. Generally, fine dining is not a common option among students.

Fun and gym!

If you love cinema, you would spend between GBP 7 and GBP 8 on an average for a movie ticket in the UK.

If you are keen on keeping your body fit, a gym membership would typically cost you anywhere between GBP 32 and GBP 50 per month. However, many gyms offer student discounts that you can avail.

Psst.. Just so you know, a Big Mac in the UK is sold at GBP 3.19.

Don’t let these numbers scare you. Here are a few solutions:

Part-time jobs to the rescue

As an international student, you can work up to 20 hours a week while you study in the UK, with the minimum wage set at GBP 6.70 per hour if you’re aged 21 and over. Those between 18 and 20 years of age are entitled to a minimum wage of GBP 5.30 per hour.

There are several opportunities for you to work in your university’s campus – from computer centre to students’ union, and writing blog for your institution. They are a great way to boost your skills and experience – which you can use on your resume. Most universities have a career support team to help you find part time employment.

Scholarships to get you covered

As an international student, you are eligible to many international scholarships that universities offer. There are universities that set-aside scholarships for students from specific countries or continents and there are plenty that are academic-merit or sports-based.

Few of the prominent scholarships are:

Chevening Scholarships:

Students from around the world with outstanding leadership potential can avail this government-funded scholarship to study post graduate degrees in accredited UK universities.

Commonwealth Scholarships:

Students hailing from commonwealth member countries are offered UK scholarships. 

There, you now have a fair idea on the expenses you’ll have to incur during your study in the UK.

You may have several questions on your subsequent steps - shortlisting universities and application process. Check out our UK FAQ page to find your answers.

Alternatively for immediate and personalised guidance, get in touch with our expert counsellors by signing up in our ‘call back’ form. Hurry! We can’t wait to help you study in the UK!

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