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Study UK

The UK has become one of the top destinations to study around the world with traditions of excellence dating back hundreds of years, high class institutions on every corner, and much more flexibility than many other countries.
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Costs to study in the UK

The United Kingdom (UK) is a European country with a long history and a traditional education system not only bearing the essence of "royal" but also modern and advanced. Quality comes with price, so the issues surrounding the costs of studying in the UK are also of great concern to parents and students.


This is the biggest fee that international students need to prepare when studying in the UK and it can cost up to half of your study abroad budget. Tuition fees for international students in the UK vary widely in schools and sometimes there are differences between disciplines within the same institution. On average, the tuition may cost £11.000/year. When the phrase "average" is used, it means that it can be more or less, depending on the course you choose to study.

For example, an MBA course can cost up to £55.000 (source: Reddin Survey of University Tuition Fees). In general, courses in the humanities and social sciences, whether undergraduate or master’s tuition, tend to be less expensive than clinical and experimental programs such as Medicine and Pharmacy.

Although the tuition in the UK may discourage you, most UK universities' course length is 1 year shorter in comparison with other countries like the United States, Australia (average 3 years on the bachelor degree, 1 year on the master degree). Therefore, you can save one-year tuition and living expenses from the total budget.

One more thing you should keep in mind is that tuition can be more expensive year by year (even if only a few percent) if it's a course spanning more than a year.

Accommodation: average £8.000/year

It is said that houses for rent in London are the most expensive in the UK - contributing to the significant difference between the living standard in the capital city compared to other cities. University College London (UCL) estimated the cost of accommodation for a student in the UK is £8.073 (~11.400 USD ) per academic year (9 months/39 weeks).

In the East, the cost of a single room in a shared apartment is between £435 - £750/month, while in the central east, such as Nottingham, the cost of a double room per month is £340 - £450. Meanwhile, in the Northwest of England, specifically Liverpool, single room rates are more acceptable - around £210 - £550.

In central London, a 500 pound is a considerably cheap price for a small room. One thing to be noted is that the mentioned price is the average of the highest and lowest price for a room in a shared apartment, within a radius of 5km from the city center.

Besides location, housing quality and form of accommodation also play a large part in determining costs. Most UK international students live in dormitories in the first year before moving to a shared apartment with other students. Many universities allow students to cook on campus for themselves and also have their own cafeteria, with all meals included in the rent. 

Food and drink, goods consumption: £145 - £260/month

Similar to many other European countries, food and fast-moving consumer goods prices are quite expensive. When calculating this fee, international students need to save an amount of money to buy groceries and household items. It may cost between £35 - £55 per month or more depending on spending habits.

The average restaurant meal costs around £12. If you cook on your own, you will have to spend a lot of money on ingredients at the supermarket, but this is a more economic option than going to eat out or buy ready-made food. If you choose this option, you should limit your budget to £25 - £42/week.

Of course, once you have made friends and are close enough to share a house, you can try smarter ways such as sharing with friends and buying wholesale at cheap supermarkets to take advantage of preferential rates.

Travel expenses, Internet, telephone, and other utilities: £70 - £150/month

If you are staying on campus, your room rental will most likely include gas, electricity, water and the Internet. If you rent a private house, you will have to pay these fees yourself. Therefore, many students choose to rent a house with friends to minimize costs. This can be in any amount, from £10/week on all bills, depending on different time of year.

Phone costs at least £15/month, which will vary depending on the carrier and the service plan you are using. Besides, most companies charge a £5/week base fee for a standard DSL/ Internet service line in the UK.

An expense that cannot be ignored is public transport, at around £540 - £600/year. In case the distance from home to school is not too far, you should drive a bicycle or walk in favorable weather seasons. If you travel by public transport, it costs at least £10 a week and even more if you live in London. Thus, carefully researching the distance from home to school when choosing a place to live is good advice.

Insurance: £150 - £3.000/year

As an international student studying a full-time program lasting 6 months or more, students will receive free healthcare in the UK, under the auspices of the National Health Service (NHS). However, students applying for a visa to the UK will have to pay an additional medical surcharge of £150/year (£75 if under 6 months in the NHS program).

For example, if your program is 4 years long, you will have to pay £675 (£150 per year, plus £75 for a 4-month-period until the visa expires). Besides, during your study here, you should also buy other types of insurance such as travel insurance, property insurance, housing insurance... depending on your needs and mandatory requirements to ensure safety for you and your property.

Books and study materials: £600/year

Depending on the course, you will likely spend at least £30 per month on books and other materials. Books for Finance or Business subjects are often very expensive, can be up to £40 - £50/book. According to the experience of Vietnamese students in the UK, books of other majors may be cheaper, but there are subjects you will have to buy up to 2.3 titles at a time, so it is better if you use resources in the school library or e-book. Besides, you may spend about £7 a week on expenses such as printing, pens, notebooks … 

Other expenses (Travel, entertainment, sports, etc): from £200 - £800/year

Studying abroad is not just about attending classes, going to supermarkets and coming home. You will need to make friends and participate in social activities, play sports. Therefore, besides the fees that need to be prepared, you also need to deduct a portion for entertainment, such as going to the movies (about £10), gym (about £30/month) or try a new restaurant. A night out (outside of London) on average will cost you around £30, while on some occasions, you may also have to set aside some to buy gifts for friends (for example when invited to a birthday party).

But entertainment is not always synonymous with "exorbitant" price! The UK has a lot of historical and cultural sites worth visiting (and many of them are museums and galleries that open completely free!). Therefore, once you have come to the UK, shrinking in the city is not a good idea so how about taking advantage of the holidays to visit cities and neighboring countries? Short city trips to European capital cities is a great way to discover great civilizations without paying much money. Especially when studying in the UK, you will need to apply for a Schengen visa to be able to travel to Europe so you ought to find out about this cost too! 

In conclusion, the average UK study cost is estimated to be around £22.200 per year (for total tuition and living expenses), and if you live in London, this figure will be significantly higher. However, this is just an average statistic and does not mean that all UK international students spend at this rate.

That's why information on the average cost of living for students on campus can be found on the UK university website - and there are discernible differences like this:

  • University of Liverpool - £5.500 - £7.000/year

  • Essex University - £5.700 - £7.500/year

  • The University of Manchester - £8.100/year

  • Oxford University – £9.750/year

  • University of London – approximately £210/year


The above information is about the cost of studying in the UK. If study abroad in this country is your decision, do not hesitate to contact StudyLink for more information and free advice. In addition, we will assist you in "hunting" scholarships, preparing documents for studying abroad and taking English classes to study abroad to meet the entrance requirements of the school in the UK. StudyLink is always ready to assist you!