Simplified: Cost of Living in the UK

cost of living in uk
Study Abroad Expert September 12, 2023

The United Kingdom is a popular destination for international students, but it’s important to understand the cost of living in Uk before you make the move. With its prestigious universities and rich cultural heritage, it’s no wonder that so many tourists and students are drawn to this vibrant country. 

However, the cost of living in the United Kingdom can be a major concern for many international students. From accommodation to daily expenses, it’s important to understand the financial implications of living expenses in UK. 

By understanding the cost of living in advance, you can better plan and budget for your study abroad experience, ensuring that you make the most of your time in this vibrant and culturally rich country. 

So, here we provide you with all the insights that will help you plan your budget and ensure that your study abroad experience is both enriching and affordable. 

Tuition Fee in the United Kingdom

When considering the cost of living in UK per month, one significant factor to consider is tuition fees. The United Kingdom is home to some of the world’s top universities, making it a popular destination for international students. 

However, the cost of education can vary significantly depending on various factors. In general, international students pay significantly higher tuition fees than home students. 

  • For undergraduate degrees, international students typically pay around £11,400-£38,000 per year. The average cost is estimated to be around £22,200 per year.
  • For postgraduate degrees, international students typically pay around £9,000-£30,000 per year. The average cost is estimated to be around £17,109 per year.


There are a few factors that can affect the cost of tuition fees for international students. These include the university’s ranking, the course’s subject area, and the student’s nationality. 

Here is an overview of the tuition fee structures in the UK for international students: 

England: The minimum tuition fee for international students is £9,250 per year. 

Wales: The minimum tuition fee for international students is £9,000 per year. 

Scotland: International students do not pay tuition fees for undergraduate degrees. 

Northern Ireland: The minimum tuition fee for international students is £9,250 per year. 

[Please note that these costs are just an estimate, the actual cost may vary. It’s always better to consult a study abroad expert like Shuraa Education to help you navigate through the process] 

The main difference between home and international student fees is that home students are usually eligible for government funding, while international students are not. This means that home students typically pay much lower tuition fees than international students. 

The good news is that there are numerous scholarships and financial aid opportunities available to help alleviate the overall cost of studying in UK. Many universities offer scholarships specifically designed for international students, which can cover a portion of tuition fees or provide financial support for living expenses in UK. 

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Accommodation Costs 

Accommodation cost in UK can significantly impact your overall cost of living. The cost of accommodation can vary widely across the UK, with major cities generally having higher rental prices. In general, London is the most expensive city, while the cost of accommodation is lower in smaller towns and cities. 

For international students, the cost of accommodation in UK is typically around £600-£1,000 per month. This includes rent, bills, and utilities. 

There are two main types of accommodation available to students in the UK: on-campus housing and off-campus housing. 

  • On-campus housing is typically provided by the university and is located on campus. It is often the most expensive option, but it can be a convenient and safe option for students.
  • Off-campus housing is located off campus and can be rented from a private landlord or letting agent. It is often the more affordable option, but it can be more difficult to find and may not be as convenient as on-campus housing.


Here is a table of average rental prices in major cities in the UK: 

City On-campus housing Off-campus housing
London £1,200 £800
Manchester £700 £500
Birmingham £600 £400
Edinburgh £800 £600
Leeds £600 £400

Finding affordable accommodation cost in UK can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Consider options like sharing a flat with other students to split costs or seeking accommodation in less-expensive neighbourhoods, this will help you make budget-friendly cost of living in UK. 

Daily Expenses

The daily expenses in the UK vary depending on the city, lifestyle, and spending habits. However, here is a general breakdown of some of the most common expenses: 

  • Food and groceries: The average cost of food and groceries in the UK is around £200 per month. This can vary depending on your diet and eating habits. If you cook at home, you can save money on food costs.
  • Transportation: The cost of transportation in the UK also varies depending on the city and the mode of transportation. The average cost of public transportation is around £50 per month. However, if you need to drive, you will also need to factor in the cost of car insurance, petrol, and parking. 
  • Entertainment and leisure activities: The cost of entertainment and leisure activities in the UK varies depending on what you like to do. If you go out to movies or concerts, the cost will be higher. If you prefer to stay in and cook at home, the cost will be lower.


Here is a table of the average daily expenses in major cities in the UK:

City  Food  Transportation  Entertainment and leisure 
London  £30  £20  £20 
Manchester  £25  £15  £15 
Birmingham  £20  £10  £10 
Edinburgh  £25  £15  £15 
Leeds  £20  £10  £10 

In addition to the essentials mentioned above, it’s important to account for miscellaneous daily expenses that can crop up. These may include personal care items, such as toiletries and grooming products, as well as household supplies like cleaning products. 

Health-related expenses, such as medications or doctor’s visits, should also be considered when planning budget for UK monthly living cost. 

Healthcare Insurance and Expenses

The United Kingdom takes pride in its National Health Service (NHS), a publicly funded healthcare system that provides medical services to residents, including international students who are enrolled in courses lasting at least six months. 

International students who are studying for six months or more are required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of their visa application fee. The IHS is a fee that helps to fund the NHS. The cost of the IHS is £624 per year. International students may also want to consider taking out private health insurance. 

Despite the availability of the NHS and potential supplementary insurance, there are still some medical expenses you may need to manage during your time in the UK. 

Here are some tips for managing medical expenses as an international student in the UK: 

  • Take out private health insurance. 
  • Be aware of the costs of healthcare in the UK. The NHS is free for UK residents, but international students may have to pay for some services. 
  • Only go to the doctor or hospital when you really need to. There are many things that you can treat at home, such as minor colds and flu. 
  • There are several scholarships and grants available to international students to help cover the cost of healthcare.


Part-Time Work Opportunities

As an international student studying in the United Kingdom, you could engage in part-time work during your academic program. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the regulations that govern student employment in the UK.  

Generally, students on a Tier 4 (General) student visa can work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during scheduled breaks, such as summer and winter holidays. Be sure to check your specific visa conditions and consult with your institution’s international student office for the most accurate information regarding your eligibility and restrictions.  

Violating these work regulations can have serious consequences, including visa revocation, so it’s imperative to stay within the legal boundaries. 

Here are some regulations for international students working in the UK: 

  • You must have a valid student visa. 
  • You must be enrolled in a full-time course of study. 
  • You must work for an employer who is authorized to hire international students. 
  • You must pay income tax on your earnings.


There are a few different types of part-time jobs that international students can do in the UK. These include: 

On-campus jobs: These jobs are typically offered by the university and can be found through the university’s student union or careers service. 

Off-campus jobs: These jobs are found through a variety of sources, such as online job boards, newspapers, and word-of-mouth. 

Self-employment: International students can also start their own businesses. 

When looking for a part-time job, it is important to consider your skills and interests. You should also make sure that the job fits your schedule and allows you to focus on your studies. 

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Budgeting Tips for Managing the cost of Living in UK

Managing the cost of living in UK per month as an international student can be challenging, but with careful planning and budgeting, it’s entirely manageable.  

Here are some essential budgeting tips to help you make the most of your financial resources: 

1. Create a Realistic Budget

Start by listing all your expected income sources, including any scholarships, part-time work earnings, or financial support from family. Then, detail your monthly expenses, such as tuition fees, rent, groceries, transportation, and entertainment. A budget will provide a clear overview of your financial situation. 

2. Prioritize Essentials

Differentiate between essential and non-essential expenses. Prioritize items like rent, groceries, and utility bills over non-essential spending like dining out or entertainment. 

3. Avoid impulse purchases

It’s easy to overspend when you’re not careful. Make a habit of thinking about your purchases before you make them. 

4. Take advantage of student discount

There are many student discounts available, so be sure to ask about them when you’re shopping or dining out. 

5. Cook at Home

Cooking your meals at home is generally cheaper than eating out. Consider cooking with friends to share expenses and enjoy social time. 

6. Find Affordable Housing

Look for affordable housing options, whether on-campus or off-campus. Shared accommodation with other students can significantly reduce accommodation cost in UK. 

7. Part-Time Work

If your visa permits, consider taking up part-time work. Ensure it doesn’t interfere with your studies and be aware of the regulations regarding the number of hours you can work. 

8. Use public transportation

Public transportation is a more affordable way to get around than owning a car. 

9. Seek Scholarships and Grants

Continuously explore opportunities for scholarships and grants, both from your university and external sources, to help alleviate tuition and living expenses in UK. 

10 Network and Share Resources

Connect with other international students to share cost-saving tips and resources. They may have valuable insights on affordable services and hidden gems in your area. 

Shuraa Education – Your Study Abroad Solution

The cost of living in UK can be high, but it is possible to manage your finances and make your study abroad experience affordable. With careful budgeting, smart financial choices, and the support of various resources available to students, you can make your time in the UK not only academically rewarding but also financially sustainable. 

If you are an international student who is planning to study in the UK, Shuraa Education can help you every step of the way. 

Our dedicated team specializes in helping students’ study abroad, with a vast network of over 750 prestigious partnerships worldwide. We can match you with the perfect university that aligns with your educational goals and budget. 

Our student-centric approach ensures you have access to all the necessary resources to kickstart your educational journey. 

So, what are you waiting for? Reach out to us at or give us a call or WhatsApp at +91 931 999 8924. 

Let Shuraa Education be your trusted partner in achieving your academic dreams. We’re here to help you every step of the way!

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