Cost of living

Last modified: 30 April 2018

This varies, according to where in the UK you decide to study. London and other big cities are more expensive than other areas.  The institution where you choose to study will be able to advise you on more detailed local costs of living and where to shop locally. 

Many institutions also have a pre-arrival guide for international students, which contains information about the cost of living, travel and accommodation. This is usually sent to you, and is often also available on your institution's website.



Last modified: 30 April 2018

The British Council website also has advice on eating on a budget

Money saving tips

Last modified: 15 January 2018
  • Talk to other students when you arrive in the UK: they will be able to tell you the cheapest places to shop and where to get the things that you are looking for.
  • Food shopping.  Supermarket prices in the UK can vary. Some sell more basic, cheaper brands (eg Tesco, Asda, Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons) in a limited range and others are more luxury and tend to be more expensive (eg Waitrose, Marks and Spencer).  Small local shops are usually more expensive than supermarkets.  Street markets selling fruit and vegetables are often cheaper than shops.
  • Clothes shopping.  There is a great range of prices in different clothes shops.  Many students shop in charity shops and many Students' Unions have schemes for students to swap clothes - find out what's happening at your institution.
  • Daily travel. If you travel the same route regularly it is usually cheaper to buy a season ticket.  These work in different ways in different parts of the UK.  Your institution will be able to advise you on where to find out what ticket is best for you.  Students in London can save 30% on travel with a student discount card.  The Transport for London website has details.
  • Long distance travel in the UK.  You can travel cheaply by bus in the UK but journeys will take longer. Some companies offer very low prices if you book in advance.  If you are aged 16-25 you can save 30% on train journeys.  Find out more on National railcards.  Always book in advance!  Train tickets bought on the day are much more expensive.  When you book in advance there are often limitations on when you can travel - be careful to check these or you will have to pay the full fare if you are on the wrong train.  There are discounts for people buying small group tickets for trains.
  • Student Discounts.  There are many ways to save money in the UK as a student. The National Union of Students (NUS) Extra card entitles you to many discounts across the UK.  The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) gives you discounts across 130 countries.
    The Student Beans website collates current discounts and short term special offers for students.