International students: find out the costs of UK study: tuition fees, accommodation prices and other living costs.
Before moving to the UK and starting your studies, you need to make sure you are secure in terms of funds. There will be many outgoings that you will need to consider: university fees, living expenses and also money for your social time. We have given you some guidelines below, so you can begin to look into the kind of money you need to have saved up in order to afford studying in the UK.
One of the most confusing factors of looking into university costs is finding out about tuition fees. These differ depending on where you are from, the university in question and the type of course you are applying for.
Although the rates do vary, there are guidelines you can follow to find out how much you should expect to pay. For instance all EU students attending UK universities pay the same fees as UK students.
Universities and colleges in England can now charge students up to £9,000 a year for their courses, although this varies depending on the college or university, so be sure to find out how much your preferred universities are charging.
For "overseas" students (those not from EU countries: see UK Council for International Student Affairs [new window]) tuition fees also vary. Overseas students have to pay for the full cost of their course, and these fees can range from £4,000 to £18,000 per year.
Although things like tuition fees are very important, there are other costs you should consider at this point, and these are living costs. These can differ depending on the region you plan to live in. A recent NUS (National Union of Students) Student Income and Expenditure Survey showed that living in London costs on average over an extra £1,000 a year compared to elsewhere in the UK.
Average living costs expenditure if you're based in London totals £13,521 - which breaks down to £6,340 for rent, £1,956 for food, £396 for household goods, £65 for insurance, £2,229 for personal items, £1,538 for travel and £997 for leisure. For elsewhere in the UK it totals £12,160, with the biggest cost difference being rent.
You must also be aware that international students cannot apply for welfare allowances of any sort during their stay, and must ensure that they can cover their day-to-day expenses. If you are staying in the UK for over six months however, you do get free access to the NHS (National Health Service), which offers free health and dental care.
Powered by Brightside, the NUS offers a free to use International Student Calculator [new window], which is an interactive guide to living costs that allows you to build your own budget and be well prepared for managing your money while you study.
But don't panic if you think you could never afford to study in the UK, there is a wide support network of scholarships, bursaries, loans and grants that can offer support to help you get the funds you need. For example, there are several government-funded awards for international students including The British Council - funding your studies [new window].
In addition to government-funded awards, some private companies offer support funds for students and many universities also offer their own scholarships that international students can be eligible for.
Another thing to consider is that these days, students often consider part-time work to help them keep on top of money. International students are allowed to work part time in the UK for up to 20 hours per week, and this can help give you money to spend in your free time - and also give you less time to spend it in.