UK University Student Cost of Living

UK University Student Cost of Living

How much does it cost to study in the UK and how can I support myself as a student at a UK university?

Cost of Living as a UK University Student

The UK is popular amongst students aspiring to study abroad and gain international exposure in a diverse community. The post-study work visa allows students to stay back in the UK for two years following graduation, which is why so many students worldwide choose the UK to complete their higher education. There are also scholarships and other funding options are also available.

When applying for your study visa you could be asked to prove that you have £1,023 per month (£1,334 if in London)* for up to 9 months for living expenses, so you should make sure that you have that prepared for any UK university that you chose to study at. 

Learn more about the cost of living in the UK below and if you have any questions about funding your study in the UK, arrange a free consultation with SI-UK North America today.

*Amounts are subject to change. Review the latest information on the UK Government's website.

Living Expenses in the UK for International Students

When deciding to study in the UK, it is also essential to determine which part of the UK you want to study. Parts of the UK, specifically London and the rest of the south of England, are more expensive than Manchester, Leeds, or other popular northern cities in England, with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland offering even cheaper living expenses in the UK. 

Below is the cost of living in the UK as an international student as suggested by the UK government (excluding tuition fees): 

  • £1,334 (per month) in London

  • £1,023 (per month) outside London

Scotland and Northern Ireland are some of the most affordable areas to live in the UK and students can often live comfortably on £700-800 (including accommodation but not including tuition) per month.

Cost of Student Accommodation

While studying at a UK university, you can either stay on or off campus. On-campus stay options are further segregated as living with fellow students or in a private residence.

When living in international student accommodation, be it university halls or private, your university accommodation costs will also cover the following utilities:

  • Electricity 

  • Water

  • Laundry

  • Wi-Fi

  • Gas

The average student accommodation costs in UK cities are:



Rest of UK

University Residence



Private Housing



Transportation Costs in the UK

Getting around the UK is easy, and many transport options are available to international students, some of which are discounted. It is recommended to avoid taxi travel, but coaches, and most importantly trains, have student-friendly cards which provide huge discounts.

While travelling in or around towns, it is recommended to use a travel card. Here is what you usually spend on transportation charges across popular UK cities.


Average Monthly Costs











Food Prices in the UK

Unlike many North American colleges and universities meal plans are not a common feature at UK universities, you should therefore understand that you will have to sensibly shop throughout your stay in the UK and plan your meals accordingly. Universities often offer subsidized meals on-campus, but this all adds up, so consider your student living costs before eating out every day.

As an international student, you will usually spend around £150 to £250 on food and groceries.

Student Banking Options in the UK

Transactions in the UK are generally done in Great British Pounds Sterling (and denominations of pence). Apart from notes and coins, you can also transact using debit or credit cards. All UK banks offer incentives to international students, such as mobile phone insurance or discounts at retailers, to convince you to join them, so shop around before opening your account.

Numerous banks allow international students to open a bank account in the UK. To open a bank account in the UK as an international student, you will need the following: 

  • Passport

  • Documents of confirmation from the university

  • Former and current residence address proof

  • Statements and references from your home bank

Working while studying in the UK

So how can I support myself during my UK studies? An international student in the UK is allowed to work part-time as per the conditions of their UK Student Visa, so long as they are studying for an undergraduate or masters degree at a higher education institution in the UK.

Working part-time during your studies can be an excellent way to earn a little extra spending money or improve your CV while studying in the UK.

For further information on additional financial support visit our Scholarships and Funding page.

Study in the UK

If you are interested in studying in the UK, arrange a free consultation with SI-UK North America today.

SI-UK's service is fast, reliable and efficient. My consultant improved my chances of getting into a top university.
Carla T.
International Business Economics at City University

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