Studying in the United Kingdom can be an expensive undertaking. By being aware of all of the tuition and living expenses, and budgeting accurately, students can ensure they will have the financial means to complete their education.
The cost of studying in the UK varies by institution, the level of study, and the type of course. Science and engineering degree courses are generally more expensive than humanities, social sciences and other art courses.. According to the Reddin Survey of University Tuition Fees, international undergraduate tuition fees can range from £10,000 (~US$14,130) and to £38,000 (~US$53,700) or more for medical degrees.
In addition to tuition, students must also account for housing, food, transportation and other day-to-day living expenses. Costs are generally higher in bigger cities, and also depend on a student’s lifestyle, choice of housing, and spending habits. London, in particular, has the highest cost of living in the UK—and students need to demonstrate higher financial capacity if they’ll be studying in England. Refer to the Student Visa Financial Capacity section of this guide for more information.
Cost of accommodation varies depending on the type of accommodation a student chooses. Many students opt for living at their university’s residence halls during their first year to ease their transition into a new environment before moving into private accommodations off-campus in their following years.
On-campus housing include shared and private bedrooms, though private bedrooms are more common at UK universities. When choosing to live in residence halls, students can choose between self-catered and catered residences. Self-catered halls include a kitchen shared by 10-15 students, where students can prepare their meals. On the other hand, catered halls of residence include a dining hall with a cafeteria where students can get their meals. The cost of food is included in the rental price.
Other Living Expenses
Students need to also account for the following expenses when planning their budget:
The majority of international students in the UK pay full fees for their studies. However, there are a number of scholarships, grants, and bursaries available to assist students with the cost of their education. They are offered by the government, education providers, and a number of other public and private organizations.
Some of the major scholarships available for international students are:
- A.S. Hornby Trust Scholarship: Available to English language teachers seeking to further develop their English language skills.
- Chevening Scholarships: Offered to outstanding students enrolling in a one-year master’s degree, and demonstrating high leadership potential. The scholarships cover the full-cost of tuition, flights and accommodation.
- Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships: Available to students from other Commonwealth countries.
- Marshall Scholarships: Offered to US students pursuing postgraduate studies in the UK. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.7 on their undergraduate degree, as well as leadership and ambassadorial potential.
- Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships: Available to students from Canada, China (excluding Hong Kong), India, Japan, Pakistan and USA. Students must be pursuing postgraduate master’s studies at Scottish universities in the areas of science, technology, creative industries, healthcare and medical science.
- University-specific scholarships and bursaries: Offered by the university to qualifying international students based on academic merit, leadership potential and/or financial need. Students should check out the websites of the universities they are interested in studying at for their list of scholarships.
For more information on available scholarships, bursaries and postgraduate funding opportunities, please visit the websites for British Council and the UK Council for International Student Affairs, and Postgraduate Studentships.