How Much Money Do You Need to Study in the UK?


The million-pound question, isn't it? As an international student dreaming big to make it in the UK as a doctor, entrepreneur, lawyer, or any other career of your choice, planning your finances is a prerequisite to giving wings to your dreams.

Are you scared to scroll through and find out you need to spend a fortune to study in the UK? Worry not! Here, we'll discuss in detail how to effectively plan and manage your finances for studying abroad in the UK, along with some tips on how to save a few pounds while living your best life in the UK.

While it is not a cakewalk to plan your finances, some clear-cut guidelines and tips can make the whole ordeal more manageable and less distressful. Let's get started then! 

What are the major study-abroad expenses in the UK?  

It's crucial to have an idea of all the expense heads before planning your finances to get a holistic picture of the availability of funds. Here are the major expense heads you should plan out to pursue higher education in the UK.

  • Tuition fees
  • Accommodation costs
  • Cost of student visa
  • Living expenses
  • Health support and insurance
  • Transportation costs
  • Taxes, if applicable

Tuition Fees to Study in the UK 

  • Tuition fees in the UK vary depending on the course, level of study, and the university. Courses like humanities, arts, and science are less expensive than courses like medicine and engineering.
  • Postgraduate courses are likely to be more expensive, but you can benefit from work opportunities and industry-relevant internships during the course period.
  • Most universities offer scholarships and financial aid to international students to help manage study-abroad expenses in the UK.
  • Here is an estimate on bachelor's and master's courses in the UK. 
S.NO Study Program Average fee per year (in Euros*)
1 Undergraduate bachelor's degree GBP 10,000 to GBP 20,000
2Postgraduate master's degreeGBP 10,000 to GBP 20,000
3Doctoral degreeGBP 15,000 to GBP 24,000

Accommodation Costs  

Most universities offer on-campus accommodation for international students, popularly known as dorms, aka. the halls of residence. You can avail of campus facilities by opting for on-campus residence, which would be relatively cheaper than self-accommodation.

If you prefer self-accommodation through renting a house or a homestay, you need to keep in mind the following additional expenses:

  • Electricity, internet, and water bills.
  • Deposits and Council tax.
  • Community services such as waste collection, police upkeep, fire brigade, entertainment services, etc. if you are 18+.

Rentals vary from city to city, and on an average, the house rent for a one-bedroom apartment generally ranges between £550 and £650 per month.

Accommodation costs vary greatly depending on the study destination you choose. For instance, London is the most expensive city with a weekly rent of approx. £157.48 per week while Northern Ireland is the cheapest with a rent of £83.01 per week.

Universities will also guide you to find the ideal off-campus accommodation based on the location and proximity to the university. 

Cost of Student Visa 

UK Student Visa costs is yet another expense to make provision for when planning to live and study in the country. Go through the visa requirements and estimate the amount involved while planning for your study-abroad journey in the UK. The cost of applying for and obtaining a student visa is approximately £400 depending on the country you're applying from and your qualifications 

Living Expenses  

Is studying abroad expensive? Yes, but it's manageable with proper planning. Living expenses in a foreign country should be planned to a T to avoid overspending or a revenue shortfall in the future. From entertainment and leisure to travel and everyday expenses, living expenses form a major part of your stay abroad, making it indispensable to plan it efficiently.

Here is a list of expenses and estimated costs you will likely incur as an international student studying abroad. 

Expenses Approximate cost (monthly)
Bills (electric/ gas/ water) £40 - £50
Food and housekeeping£160 - £200
TV licence (mandatory with TV or watching BBC online)£12.56 (or £150.50 per year)
Mobile phone£15 - £50
Clothes and shoes£25
Leisure & sports (calculated on membership for the students' sports centre)£10 - £20
Books & stationery£21
Socialising£120
Travel & transport (based on the monthly cost of a student bus pass)£32
Childcare (if needed)£656

 Health Support and Insurance

  • The UK's National Health Service (NHS) requires international students to apply and pay for health insurance at £300 per year while applying for a visa. Once you hold a valid medical plan with the NHS, should a need for any medical treatments arise during the period of stay in the country, it would be free.
  • Most universities offer pre-arrival support to international students by helping with medical insurance choices and other medical support available during the course at the university.
  • Also, if you already have health insurance in Indonesia, confirm if that's applicable to cover your stay in the UK. 

Transport Costs  

Unless you have superpowers or free university transportation, you should make a plan to cover your travel expenses in the UK.

For short distances, public transport like trains, tubes, taxis and buses are convenient and easily affordable. Public transport across the city costs approximately £89.50 per month with a bus and tram pass. On the other hand, if you're using your personal vehicle, ensure to also account for the fuel bills, insurance, and repairs costs on your monthly expense sheet.

For long-distance travel, make use of long-distance buses and trains for a hassle-free and affordable travel experience. 

Plan Your Taxes 

International students can work up to 20 hours a week part-time in the UK during term time and can work full-time during vacations. So, if you're working while studying in the UK, you should also plan for tax and national insurance:

  • Income tax: You'll be liable to pay income tax if you earn more than £1,042 a month.
  • National insurance: Liable upon earning more than £166 a week.

Your employer usually deducts Income Tax and National Insurance from your wages through Pay As You Earn (PAYE).

Now, let's get to the part on how to save some money to manage the cost of studying abroad in the UK. 

Some effective ways to save costs to study in the UK  

As an international student studying in the UK, planning your expenses to ensure financial sufficiency is a crucial step to having a hassle-free study experience in the UK. Here are a few steps to keep in mind while planning your spending.

  • Journal your spending

Note down your spending for the week (or the month) and compare it against the estimated budget set down for the said period, to analyse your spending propensities and decide where to cut down.

Having sound financial hygiene would help a great deal in avoiding unnecessary expenses which cause a major dent in your funding and encourage cautious spending.

  • Make use of student discounts

Make use of shopping vouchers and cheap tickets in entertainment venues. Use student discounts in public transport cards, supermarket stalls, and low-price stores to save money on groceries, travel, and living expenses.

  • Student Discount Cards

An NUS (National Union of Students) card can be used in apparel stores, movie theatres and entertainment spots to help students lead an easy and affordable life in the UK.

Flea markets are yet another place to buy a wide range of things like clothing, home needs, home decor, and furniture at affordable rates which you can capitalise on. They provide an excellent opportunity to buy more while spending less.

  • Study materials

Buying books and study materials second-hand would help you save money on study material costs. You can get in touch with senior students to buy their books second-hand, or discover book stalls that sell study guides and academic books at discounted prices.

  • Transport Cards

Students have discounts across all public transportation in the UK. It is recommended that you purchase an Oyster Card or any other transport membership card such as the '16-25 railcard'. This enables you as a full-time student to save a third of your train travel expenses across the UK, through steep discounts.

  • Opt for on-campus accommodation

Opting for on-campus accommodation with electricity, water, and other miscellaneous charges like maintenance included in its rental would be a convenient choice, since you don't have to make provisions individually for these costs. 

Why Choose AECC Global Vietnam? 

AECC Global provides end-to-end education services and guides students worldwide to pursue their dreams of studying and establishing a career abroad.

At AECC Global Vietnam, we provide you with the best-in-class education counselling and professional guidance, from course selection to visa guidance and career support, enabling you to make the most of your academic journey abroad.

Get in touch right away with our academic counsellors to get expert academic advice for free. 


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