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How Much Do You Need To Save to Study In The UK?

Arth      May 12, 2024

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The United Kingdom continues to be a premier destination for thousands of international students every year. Known for its prestigious universities like Oxford and Cambridge, and vibrant cities such as London, Manchester, and Edinburgh, the UK offers unparalleled academic and cultural experiences. However, managing finances remains a critical challenge due to the high cost of living. This guide provides insights into budgeting effectively while enjoying your study experience in the UK in 2024.



Understanding the Cost to Study in the UK:


Studying in the UK is not just about tuition fees; it encompasses accommodation, living expenses, transportation, and more. Here’s a breakdown of the typical costs associated with studying in the UK, offering strategies to manage them without compromising on the quality of your education and life.


Accommodation Costs:


Most students initially opt for university-provided accommodation, which in 2024 ranges from £450 to £650 per month, including utilities. After the first year, many move to private rentals, where monthly costs can vary from £400 to £600 excluding bills. Utility bills in these accommodations generally add another £50 to £60 per month.


Living Expenses:


Day-to-day expenses for necessities like food, clothing, and mobile phone data typically run between £200 and £300 per month. To effectively manage these costs, students can take advantage of student discounts and budget stores widely available across UK cities.


Queen Mary University of London Housing: On-campus accommodation costs range from £160 to £250 per week, depending on the type of room and amenities. In contrast, sharing a rented flat in nearby areas can lower the cost to around £130 to £180 per week.


University of Manchester Housing: Provides traditional halls of residence that cost between £120 and £170 per week, including bills, which is generally cheaper than private rentals in the city center.



Transportation Costs:


Transportation is another significant expense, with monthly costs for a student transport pass averaging around £130 across major cities. However, many UK cities offer excellent walkability, and cycling is a feasible and eco-friendly option to reduce this expense.


Oyster Card for Students: In London, students can apply for an 18+ Student Oyster photocard, offering a 30% discount on travel cards and Bus & Tram passes, significantly reducing daily commuting costs.


Cycle-to-Work Scheme: Universities like the University of Bristol participate in this scheme, where students can buy a bike tax-free, saving around 25% to 39% on its cost, encouraging a cheaper and healthier alternative to public transport.



Scholarships in the UK:


Securing a scholarship can significantly reduce the financial burden of studying abroad. Many UK universities offer scholarships based on academic merit, sports excellence, or artistic talents. Additionally, organizations like the Chevening Scholarships offer generous funding options covering tuition, living expenses, and travel costs.


The University of Sheffield International Undergraduate Scholarship: For 2024, this scholarship offers a £2,500 reduction in tuition fees per year for eligible undergraduate students based on academic merit.

Gates Cambridge Scholarship: Targeted at postgraduate students, this prestigious scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge, including tuition fees, maintenance allowance, and additional discretionary funding for academic development.



Strategies to Reduce Expenditure:


Smart Socializing: While cities like London offer endless entertainment options, they can also be expensive. Opting for student nights, utilizing student discounts, and exploring free attractions can help keep social expenses within £100 to £150 per month.


Free Museum Entries: Cities like London, Oxford, and Glasgow offer numerous museums with free entry, such as the British Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.


Student Union Events: Universities typically host a range of subsidized or free events through their student unions, providing affordable entertainment options.


Budgeting Apps: Utilizing budgeting apps can help track expenses and set financial goals, making it easier to stick to your budget.


Monzo and Starling Bank: These digital banks offer features tailored for students, such as budgeting tools, instant spending notifications, and savings pots to help manage finances effectively.


Too Good To Go: An app that allows students to purchase surplus food from restaurants and cafes at a significantly reduced price, helping to cut down on food expenses.


Part-time Work: The UK student visa allows international students to work up to 20 hours per week during term time. This can be a practical way to supplement your income and manage daily expenses.


University Jobs: Many students find employment within their university, such as working in the university library, cafés, or administrative offices, where the pay tends to be around £9 to £12 per hour.


Retail and Hospitality: Common part-time jobs in sectors like retail and hospitality often pay the UK minimum wage for students, which is about £6.83 to £9.18 per hour depending on age, as of 2024.





The UK offers a dynamic environment that caters to students from diverse backgrounds, making it possible to study in one of the world’s best education systems without financial hardship. By understanding the costs involved and utilizing the available resources and strategies, you can make your study experience in the UK both enriching and affordable.


Further Resources

For more detailed information on scholarships, cost-effective living, and budgeting tips, prospective students should consult directly with their chosen universities or professional study abroad consultants. These resources can provide tailored advice to help navigate the financial aspects of studying in the UK effectively.


By focusing on practical budgeting strategies and available financial aid like scholarships, this article aims to empower students planning to study in the UK in 2024, ensuring they are well-prepared financially for the adventure ahead.



Content Manager

Art Bante is a passionate and dynamic content manager with a flair for creativity and a keen eye for detail. With a background in both art and digital media, Art brings a unique perspective to content creation and curation.

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