Cost of studying in the UK


Studying in the UK is generally cheaper than studying at equally ranked universities in for instance the United States. Given that degree programmes are also often shorter than those in the US, students are likely to get more value for money by pursuing a British education. 

Tuition fees do of course vary from university to university and course to course. Living costs vary from city to city, and the London study experience will be more expensive than that of for instance a small town in Wales or Scotland. Our Student Advisors would happily help you look into costs individual to you and what you are interested in studying. They can also help you make the best decision when it comes to where to apply if you are concerned with costs. Some students decide to remain in the UK over the summer holidays and should therefore expect to cover living expenses for all 12 months of the year. Other students choose to return home for summer holidays and there would typically expect to pay living expenses in the UK for approximately 9 months. 


Before purchasing anything, people usually research their options to ensure they not only get the best price, but also the best value for money. Your education should be no different. As you consider the cost of education both at home and abroad and weigh the pros and cons of studying in the UK, don't forget to factor in your return on investment. Consider this: the United Kingdom offers the best education money can buy in the English-speaking world. By studying in the United Kingdom, you get the best. Not only could you earn a world-class education, international exposure and experience, and the chance to travel, but also the opportunity to make friends from around the world, all in less time and for less money than other countries in the world. That is value for money you just can’t beat.  

Yes, maybe your local university costs less, but why live with your parents or never venture past your city's boundaries when, as a student, you could get a degree in another country, see the world, and study with other students from almost every continent?  

Most international students need to take out student loans in their home countries to pay for their studies, but we think studying in the UK is the best way to make your student loan pay you back.

With that, let's break down student living expenses:


On-campus accommodation for the first year of study is typically guaranteed to international students who apply by the accommodation deadline. University halls of residence generally cost anywhere from £85-£220 per week. Depending on the university, this price could include any or all of the following: an internet connection, gym membership, content insurance, one’s own personal bathroom, catered meals, and sometimes even a cleaning service! As you research university housing, don’t forget to double-check everything the listed price includes. Most undergraduate accommodation contracts will cover the autumn and spring terms and then students will either return to their home country for summer holidays or move into a separate flat with friends for the summer. Some accommodations do offer full-year contracts to enable international students to remain on campus through the summer, particularly if they are postgraduate students writing their dissertation. Each university tries to provide a variety of accommodation options on campus and sometimes in the city in order to help students find a solution that best fits their needs. 

Private sector accommodation, or city housing, will vary in price and quality depending on the type of accommodation you want and the area in which it is located. Note that the cost of rent does not usually include internet, electricity, gas, water etc. or any of the above-mentioned perks that are included with university housing. Additionally, because you will likely not have a British guarantor, landlords may request anywhere from 3 to 12 months' worth of rent upfront to secure a flat in their building. Though it is more difficult to arrange city housing, and Across the Pond’s official advice is to opt for university housing, living in the city can be achieved as an international student.


When it comes to the costs of books, travel, entertainment, necessities, and the other needs and wants of students, this largely depends on each student’s lifestyle and goals while abroad. 


Glad you asked! Our universities realise it is expensive to be a student so they make scholarships widely available to international students, whether they are applying to undergraduate or postgraduate programmes.

Unlike full scholarships that can be common in some countries, these scholarships do not typically cover the entire cost of tuition fees and/or living expenses. Expect scholarship help to generally range anywhere from £1000 and £5000. Naturally, scholarships on the lower end are more common and easier to come by. Larger scholarships will typically be offered in limited numbers and can be quite competitive. You will need an offer from a British university before applying to any scholarships they have available. We recommend students who need scholarship assistance to submit their university applications no later than January or February of the year they hope to attend. This timeline will give universities sufficient time to review your application and issue a decision before their scholarship deadlines have passed.


Keep in mind you will most likely need to fully fund your studies abroad through loans, personal finance, and/or scholarships before you arrive in the UK, and you will need to demonstrate that you have this funding in order to secure your student visa.  


Probably one of the best opportunities available to you while in the UK is getting some international work experience to add to your CV! As an international student in the UK, you can work up to twenty hours a week. First year students may want to wait until they have a better idea of what their workload is like and then decide how many hours they feel they can work. Each university has a Careers Centre that can assist you in looking for part-time employment.

In summary, we know financially investing in anything is an important decision not to be made lightly.  We hope these facts, as well as a bit of perspective, help you make a balanced and confident decision.

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