Estimated costs of living in the UK (In & outside London)

Life in the UK
Cost of living
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UK tuition fees are frequently under the media spotlight, especially following price hikes for home students (from the UK or EU) in recent years and an increase in premium charges for international students. Overall, the cost to study in the UK depends on factors including institution, course, location, and funding opportunities, and could in fact be a lot less than the newspaper headlines suggest.

Before you start your university life, it is important to budget the living costs for your stay in the UK. As with most popular destinations, the cost of living in the United Kingdom varies depending on your lifestyle and spending habits as well as the university location. Generally, students will find that major cities like London are more expensive, whilst the provinces and countryside towns are far more reasonable. Here, we will give you an idea of the estimated monthly cost in the UK (not including your tuition fees).


According to NUS, the average cost per year to study in the UK at undergraduate level as an international student is £11,987 ($17,860). Whereas for international postgraduate students, the average fee rises to £12,390.

12 Oct - Oliver 1.jpg

Image source: Pixabay

The average annual cost of living in England (outside London) for students is £12,056 ($19,490) but if you do wish to study in London, you could expect to pay £13,521 ($20,200) for the same breakdown of goods and services. The biggest difference in the cost of living in London compared to the rest of England is in rent, which is estimated at an average of £6,340 ($9,480) per year.

Combine these fees with the average cost of living in the UK, around £12,000 ($17,850), and the total average costs to study in the UK tot up to £24,000 ($35,710) per year. Meanwhile, studying in the capital city is likely to cost a lot more.

For visa purposes, UKVI 2016 police guidance gives specific required budget for international students that undertake studies in London, which is £1,265 for each month of stay in the country, while those who study in outer London or the rest of the UK will have to show £1,015 per month in order to prove they can cover their expenses in the UK.

Below are the estimated lower and upper costs 2016-2017:

Monthly Cost (Lower range)

Monthly Cost (Upper range)













Mobile phone






Printing, stationery, photocopying, text books



*Most student accommodation includes gas and electricity costs

Source: University of Edinburgh

Estimate cost for transportation:

City centre bus/train fare

£1.60 per journey, £4.00 per day, £45 for a 4-week travel card

Taxi rate (per km)            

£ 2.75

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)           

£ 1.25

12 Oct - Oliver 2.jpg

Image source: Modern Farmer

Common supermarkets in the UK for groceries:








Marks & Spencer

Milk (1 litre)


Cheese (500g)


Eggs (dozen)


White bread


Rice (1kg)


1 packet of cigarettes (Malborough)



Eating out



£2.50 - £4.00


£1.75 - £3.00

Soft drink

£1.00 - £2.50


£3.00 - £5.00

Curry meal

£3.50 - £4.50

Fish & chips

£3.50 - £5.00

Burger & chips

£2.75 - £4.00

Pizza (1 portion)

£2.75 - £4.00


Additional costs to consider:

Depending on your lifestyle and living arrangements there may be additional costs to consider. It is important to plan for these in your budget where necessary.

Internet/TV package

£35 - £85 per month


£40 - £100 per month

Gym membership

£16 - £50 per month


£40 - £60 per day

Student cinema ticket

£7 - £10


£10 - £50

Restaurant - lunch

£10 - £15

Restaurant - dinner

£15 - £30

Beer (1 pint)

£2.75 - £4.50

Wine (1 small glass)

£2.50 - £4.00

Spirit and mixer

£2.50 - £5.00

We hope you now have a better understanding of the cost of living and studying in the UK. You can always count your personal specific budget with Student calculator to help you budget for your UK education.