Cost of studying in the UK

If you are interested in studying in the UK a key factor you need to consider will be your tuition fees and living expenses. At UKEAS we can support you to find a suitable course and university based on your budget and will ensure that you have all the information required to make an informed decision.

This article will help you understand some of the key expenses to study in the UK and we have also included some useful tips for you to help you make the most of your budget.

1. Tuition fees

As an Indian student you will need to pay the tuition fee for international students. Each university sets its own tuition fee and the cost can vary across different courses. The tuition fee will normally only cover the cost for studying on the programme and you will need to cover the cost of your books and stationery separately.

Undergraduate courses in the UK are normally three years and the tuition fee may increase each year so you need to factor this into your budget. If you wish to study at postgraduate level then most courses are one year. The tuition fee will vary across subject areas and in most cases courses within medicine, engineering and science will be higher as they will often include laboratory or clinical work, courses that are only classroom based will often be cheaper.

In most cases you do not need to pay your full tuition fee until you have registered onto your programme. Some university will require you to pay a deposit when you receive an offer to secure your place. Most university will also offer you the option to pay your tuition fee in full at the start of term or make payments through instalments during the year.

Many university will offer scholarships to help students with their tuition fee cost. Some scholarships are awarded automatically when you receive an offer as a discount on your tuition fee, for other scholarships you may need to submit an application to be considered. Please refer to our scholarship page and contact our expert counselling team for further information.

Study Level Average annual fee (in UK Pounds*)
Undergraduate bachelor’s degree £10,000 – 26,000
Postgraduate master's degree £10,000 – 30,000

*You should check the university website for the course you will be applying for the most updated tuition fee figures. Medicine degrees will often be more expensive then the above figures.

2. Accommodation

The cost for accommodation will vary depending on your location in the UK and the type of room or property you select. It is important that you select the correct type of accommodation during your studies. Most student will want to live close to the university and in a comfortable environment. You have the choice between university accommodation and private sector accommodation. Our expert counselling team can advise you on your options and help you secure a suitable place to live during your study.

Most university have accommodation for international students and its usually separated between undergraduate and postgraduate. There will normally be a variety of accommodation such as en-suite room, shared flat, dormitory or studio style apartment. The prices will vary therefore you can choose which is most suitable for your budget. There is also usually option between catered and non-catered accommodation. If you want to stay in university accommodation, then you should apply early before any deadline dates. Often you will need to have applied to the university or received an offer before you can apply for accommodation. Some of the key advantages of university accommodation for international students is that its often close to campus, you are close to other students, your accommodation fee will normally include all costs (internet, electricity, heating, water etc), and the university will manage the application process and welcome you when you arrive. However, the cost for university accommodation can be more expensive when compared to private accommodation and in some cases places will be limited especially for the most popular rooms.

Private accommodation is often cheaper and at UKEAS we work closely with Casita and who are experts. They can help you find a suitable accommodation based on your requirements and budget and will support you through the application process. Please speak with our counselling staff who will be able to introduce you to the advisers.

If you decide want to find private accommodation yourself this will often take more time and you will need to be aware of various factors. You will need to make sure that the property is in good location, it is good condition, you understand the rules and regulations for renting a private property, you have a reputable landlord, you will be responsible for all bills and utilities, you will need to sign a contract and pay a deposit. We therefore suggest you receive guidance from our counselling team on how to secure your accommodation and avoid any problems.

3. Living expenses

The UK immigration system requires international students to show that they have sufficient funds for living expenses and tuition fee as part of the student visa application. For living expenses the amount required is higher if you will be studying in London, the UKVI website provides details of the amount required.
Student visa : Money you need - GOV.UK

The cost for your tuition fee will be stated on your offer and you can also find this information on the course details page of the university website.

The location where you study will affect your budget, for example London and its surrounding areas are typically more expensive particularly for accommodation. The chart below provides general information on the type of expenses you will need to budget. There figures are only estimates you should refer to the university website where you plan to study for more accurate local expenses. The figure does not include accommodation which will probably be your biggest expense as this will vary depending on location and the type of room you select.

Expenses Cost (monthly) (in UK Pounds)
Food shopping £120 - £200
Mobile £15 - £30
TV license £12.56 (or £150.50 per year)
Water/gas/electricity £50
Transport £25-50
Social £120 - £150
Clothing £30 - £40
Books and stationery £25 - £30

You can also refer to the ‘Which’ university student budget calculator which allows you to select your university and see estimate of living expenses:
University and Student Finance

Money saving tips

There are a number of ways to save money and reduce your monthly budget:
  • National Union of Students (NUS) card – once you have enrolled onto your course you will be able to apply for an NUS card which you can use to receive discounts. Many shops, restaurants, entertainment venues and cloths stores will provide substantial discounts to students.
  • Student Bank Account – you should research before you select which bank you want to use to open your student bank account. Many banks will offer students incentives such as free rail card, gadgets or cash amount. You should also consider the services offered such as overdraft and any charges.
  • Transport – If you will be travelling by train or flying try to buy your tickets early to get cheaper prices. For bus and rail travel its possible to buy a student card or young persons rail card which will then allow you to receive discount.
  • Food – the cost of food will vary depending on where you do your shopping. There are many discount supermarkets which offer cheaper prices and buying vegetables/fruits/meats from the local market can often be cheaper. You can also purchase non-brand items to save money.
  • Clothing – wait until you have your NUS card before shopping for cloths as this will allow you to receive a discount from many outlets. Also look out for sales especially towards Christmas, new year and summer.
  • Mobile and internet - the cost for mobile phone and internet will vary depending on what package you select. Check how much data and minutes you think you will need each month and then choose the most appropriate package. Do your research as there are many mobile and internet operators you can choose from.
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