What is the cost of studying in UK?
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 - 6:02 p.m. IST by Bedasree Das
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Cost of studying in UK
-With an annual cost of over USD 35,045, the United Kingdom is one of the costliest countries in the world for international students.  Of the above figure, more than $20,000 is spent on tuition fee while around $13,000 is required for sustaining an average student life. While an HSBC research suggests that the UK is the fourth most costly destination for students (taken over by Australia, Singapore and US); a survey- Value of Education- by the same organization also found UK to be the second most preferred country for quality of education among parents across the world.

Despite its strict immigration norms and dwindling numbers, UK is a major attraction for students who want to experience high quality education at the best universities in the world.  For a fact, the UK has four of the world’s top 10 universities (University of Cambridge, University College London, Imperial College London and University of Oxford) and is home to 30 of the world’s top 200 universities.

Here, we will give you a break-up of various expenses that students incur while pursuing education in the country.


Tuition fee:

According to the UK Council for International Student Affairs, tuition fee for international students in UK can range between £3,500 to about £18,000 annually. In a survey by HSBC, the tuition fee amount has been pegged at around £14,000 or over $21000. Tuition fee, however, depends on the level of study i.e., undergraduate and graduate studies.

However, the tuition fee also depends on the location of university. 

According to the Complete University Guide, the average fee for undergraduate courses is between £10,000 and £15000. For universities like Oxford, undergraduate fees can go beyond £20,000. However, the cost of clinical courses is higher as it is in other countries. Majority of the undergraduate clinical courses charge beyond £20,000 and might go upto £35000 annually.

For postgraduate courses, the fee for international students stands between £10,000 and £16,000. However, the fee can go beyond £20,000 at certain institutions like Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, University of Oxford. Again, the fee structure is different for management programmes. For overseas students, the cost of studying in UK for an MBA can be anywhere between £15,000 to over £20,000 per year.


After tuition fees, another major expense head for international students is accommodation in the UK. Below are the accommodation facilities one can explore in UK:

  1. University hall: The rent for university halls is usually between £150 to around £250 or £300 per week. The rent also depends on what kind of hall you are opting for- single or shared. Single suits are usually more expensive than double one’s.

  2. University house or flat: Many students also opt for flats at university campuses. Flats in universities may include gym, common rooms etc. Mostly, the price range of these flats is £150 to £200 per week. Again that depends on the facilities provided in the flat.

  3. Private house or flat: Private houses or flats offer a more independent lifestyle to the resident. Notice for private accommodations can usually be found at the university campus. Single rooms in private flats could be around £100 while flats could be around £140 per week.

  4. Homestay: Students studying in the UK can also opt for homestay where a student pays to live with a family in their property. Rents for homestay’s can be anywhere between £130 to £250 per week.

Living expenses:

Besides accommodation and tuition fees, there are a number of expenses that international students have to incur. According to an HSBC report, the annual cost of living in UK for international students is around 13, 680. Some of the estimated expenses can be on food, electricity bill, internet connection, transport and so on. Here’s a break-up of the expenses on some of the sundry expenses for international students:

Food: Expenses on food may average at around £50 per week. But most international students can manage at around £30 to £40 per week.

Electricity: Gas and electricity bills may cost a student around £10 to £15 per week. However, that will be the case only if electricity charges are not included in the rent charges.

Transport: Most students in UK travel by means of public transport. As a result, travel expenses do not amount to much in an international education budget. In fact, a student’s weekly expenses in transport could be around £15 to £25.


Minimum budget for international students:

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) requires international students in the UK to maintain a minimum budget in order to cover their living costs in the country. The minimum budget, however, depends on the location of the student. If the student is studying in inner London, then his/her required fixed budget has to be £1,020 per month valid upto nine months. Inner London includes areas covered by Camden, City of London, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham,  Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Westminster.

However, if the student is studying in location other than inner London he/she has to maintain a minimum of £820 in bank accounts.  

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