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THE UK: Student Finances - Must read

Tuition fees in the UK

Our tuition fee guide for international students in the UK

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The UK is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations for international students. With a dynamic, robust and top-rated higher education sector there are a plethora of options available. From courses, degrees and programmes to the overall student experience, studying in the UK may be top of your list. There is of course the matter of affordability and the cost involved, which is always front of mind for students. Many factors are involved when it comes to calculating how much you’ll need in the bank to pursue your studies in the UK. These include location, institution, accommodation and course/degree tuition fees. Trying to work out exactly how much it’ll cost you can be confusing, tricky and at times even exasperating. However, we’ve donned our detective gear, scoured all sources and investigated, so you can get a better sense of what studying in the UK may mean for your bottom line.


Although we’ve done all we can to ensure the accuracy of the information, it’s important to note from the outset that these are guidelines and averages only. It is imperative that you verify with prospective institutions what their fee structures are and how much a particular programme/degree may cost. Fees will vary depending on what level of study you are pursuing and so that is our point of departure.




Fees for undergraduate study are extremely variable and are influenced by numerous factors. These can range from the programme you are pursuing to your country of origin. For UK and EU/EEA students there is currently a stipulated cap for undergraduate tuition fees of GBP 9,250 (USD 12,117.50) in England while in Wales this sits at GBP 9,000 (USD 11,790). If you’re studying in Scotland, you’ll find the fees to be considerably cheaper due to subsidization, but only for Scottish and EU/EAA students. EU and EAA students that enrol for studies at UK universities for autumn 2019 will still be eligible for these fees, in spite of the uncertainty pertaining to the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Average undergraduate tuition costs 


As an international student fees differ quite considerably, with the average undergraduate degree costing on average GBP 12,000 (USD 15,720) per year, with the lowest fees pegged at just over GBP 9,000 (USD 11,790). However, fees can rise to up to GBP 38,000 (USD 49,780) for certain clinical degrees like medicine. In addition to tuition fees you will also need to be able to provide evidence of your own financial position. In order to qualify for a tier four student VISA you must have at least GBP 1,015 (USD 1329) in your account for each month that you are in the UK and GBP 1,265 (USD 1657) if you plan to study in London. Don’t forget that there is also an immigration health sub-charge of GBP 300 (USD 393) per year for a stay longer than six months and GBP 150 (USD 196) for six months or less.




Postgraduate degrees and courses, do on average cost less than undergraduate equivalents. However, this is not the case for all programmes and in some cases, such as an MBA or clinical postgraduate degree you’ll pay quite a bit more than for an undergraduate qualification. Average postgraduate tuition fees for international students will set you back in the region of GBP 12,000 (USD 15,720) and can extend up to GBP 35,000 (USD 45,850) for certain courses. As an EU/EEA student you’ll likely need to find an average of GBP 12,000 (USD 15,720) for your postgraduate studies, but this can be significantly more for courses like an MBA or clinical postgraduate degree that can require up to GBP 30,000 (USD 39,300).

Average postgraduate tuition costs

In some cases, there is little variance between fees paid by EU/EAA and international students, but typically you’ll need to pay more as an international student. Remember that you can explore funding options in order to finance your studies. These include research grants, scholarships, loans and external organisation sponsorship. If you are thinking about applying for financial assistance, its best to explore and apply as early as possible to increase your chances. Further, by doing so it could be the difference between getting funding timeously to cover your tuition or deferring or delaying your application.

Cost of living

An additional factor to consider, before making your application, is the actual cost of living in the UK as a student. Inclusive of tuition fees, the average amount you would need to find is GBP 25,000 (USD 32,750), but this is extremely variable dependant on location and degree. The cost factors in elements such as travel, accommodation, food as well as possible additional expenses such as course materials.  


If you know of an institution you would like to study at and what course you are looking for, explore using our advanced search facility on the site. You’ll get up to date information on both costs and opportunities for financial assistance. Don’t forget, it’s essential for you to confirm the fees and course costs with the institution to ensure that you have all the relevant information.

Note: Exchange rate has been calculated at GBP 1 = USD 1.31. For a more detailed analysis of tuition fees in the United Kingdom have a look at the Reddin Survey of University Tuition Fees


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