Cost of living

Pay your fees

When travelling to the UK to start your degree, remember to bring enough funds to cover the cost of living plus all your fees (including tuition and accommodation fees).

You will need access to funds until you have registered at the University and opened a bank account.

It can take 2 - 4 weeks to open a bank account in the UK, so bring a small amount of British pounds (GB£ sterling) for your day-to-day expenses.

Living expenses

As part of your visa application you will need to show £1,023 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses outside of London, however your actual living expenses may vary depending on your personal spending habits. We estimate that you can expect to pay up to £1,600 a month, to cover accommodation, bills, food and other living costs.

Below is a breakdown of this figure showing average costs.

When calculating your average living costs, remember that:

  • postgraduate degrees run for a period of 50 weeks.
  • non postgraduate degrees run for 37 weeks.
Average living expenses for international students
Type of expenseAverage cost per month
Travel£80 -£200

Travel costs can vary quite a bit depending on how much exploring you wish to do in your free time and whether your accommodation is within walking distance to your lectures. A weekly UNO bus ticket travelling between Luton and Hatfield costs £29. A day return train from London to Hatfield is £18.80 (costs correct July 2024). Check the commute cost before committing to an off-campus property as these can add a significant amount to your budget.
Rent£500 to £966 (depending on location and quality)

Cost for rent will vary depending on if you live on or off campus and in a shared or single room. Some properties, including living on campus, will include the utility bills in the cost of your rent, so ensure you check to see what is included to get yourself an affordable contract. See cost of campus accommodation.
If you are looking for family accommodation you will need around £1,150 – £1,450 + bills.
Utilities: heating/light

£80 if living off campus – Your share will depend on if you are splitting costs with other flatmates, the size of your accommodation and how often you have the heating on in the cooler months.

£0 if living in on-campus accommodation as they are included in the cost.

TV licence

£13.25 (£159 per year for the residence)

If you plan to watch TV in the UK, you need to ensure your residence has a TV licence. Check if you need a TV licence for your subscription services online.

Childcare£560 (based on an under 2 year old at two day sessions per week at the on campus Nursery)

Other costs

You may also need to find money to cover additional one-off expenses on arrival, or during your time in the UK, for example:

Average one-off expenses for international students
Type of expenseAverage cost
Personal Computer or laptop£1000
Warm clothing£400 to £450
Trips, holidays and social events£500

If your course includes a placement, you also need to factor in additional costs. You may need to commute further to get to your placement, or cover additional accommodation costs.


There are many resources to help you keep on top of a budget plan. Read more tips about budgeting online.