Is It Expensive To Study In The UK?

Living outside your home country enhances one’s mindset and widens the individual’s perspective regarding people and life. It is a dream of every other person to study overseas, have International exposure, and diversify their knowledge in their respective fields.

The UK is the first choice among students’ minds when deciding to study abroad because the UK provides the best studies and houses several top-rank universities. 

Moreover, it is easy to obtain scholarships in UK universities as it caters to multicultural people from different continents. In addition, the warm welcome to multi-nationalities and lucrative job opportunities offered by UK nationalities makes it a desirable place for pursuing higher studies.

Before moving out to a completely foreign nation, it is necessary to consider many factors that are crucial for a smooth living. One such factor is Expense. 

Every individual calculates their living costs before finalizing their study plans. The basic expenses that a student has to keep in mind include the university and tuition fees, house rent, food, electricity bills, and minute other living expenses.

Now, talking about the UK, it turns out that it is not the most affordable nation to go to study in. According to the various surveys conducted, the UK is in the Top 10 most expensive countries for higher studies. The students in the UK pay four times more than their European counterparts.

Before leaving for studies in the United Kingdom, a student must show funds in the bank to support himself unless he has been in the UK and carries a  valid visa for at least 12 months before the date of application. 

For example, you will need 1,334 USD per month (for up to 9 months) for courses in London. A fund of 1,023 USD per month (for up to 9 months) for courses outside of London.

Key Factors Determining High Costs Of Living In The UK 

#1 University Fees 

The exorbitant tuition fees that students pay during their two or three-year studies are extremely high compared to other countries. It’s an issue for international and domestic students. According to a 2018 article by the Independent, half of the British students consider studying abroad due to extremely high tuition fees. It is one of the major reasons British residents move out of the UK to study abroad.                                        

#2 Housing 

According to a report published by the Statista research Department, Oct 19, 2021, the average housing rent showed an inclination in most of the regions across the United Kingdom. The house rent was noted highest up to 1,583 GBP in some regions to lowest at 560 GBP. 

So, suppose you want to save on your living expenses. In that case, it is advisable to stay in accommodation provided by the university rather than living in a rented place on your own. 

 #3 Grocery and Food 

It takes up a large chunk of your budget as food is not that cheap in the UK. According to a recent survey, a meal at an ordinary restaurant costs 989 INR per person and a basic necessity like milk costs you 95 INR per liter.                                                        

#4 Study Expenses 

The students have reported excessive expenses of sheets and stationery expenses for assignments. Moreover, apart from stationery, students also have to contribute to the rent of the study trips carried out in the college. 

Surprisingly, the cost of study trips costs much higher than personal trips increasing the overall costs of the student in the UK. 

#5  Other Extra Expenses

Socializing is an important aspect of remaining sane and healthy abroad. Therefore, it’s important to maintain healthy relationships to sustain living in the UK throughout the studying period. Socializing, entertainment, insurance, healthcare, and other things involve add-on expenses.

Estimated Costs Of Living/Studying in the UK  

#1 Tuition Costs

Starting from the tuition fees, which vary for undergraduate and postgraduate and a bit higher for medical courses.

For Undergraduate program: 10-20 Lakhs. (in INR)

For Postgraduate program:  10-25  Lakhs. (in INR)

For medical courses: 25-35 Lakhs. (in INR) 

#2 Accommodation Costs  

International students spend INR 55304 on their house rents. Students can save up on this by staying in university dorms or sharing a flat with friends. 

#3  Transportation Costs

The second most money-consuming thing is the transport for the students. They tend to spend around 9099.54 INR for transportation in the UK. They should consider commuting through rails as it is the cheapest, especially if you carry a student card. Hiring a cab is expensive and can cost twice as much as rail services throughout the UK. 

 #4 Food 

Students pay a hefty amount of 20221.20 INR for groceries and eating in the UK. Students can save up the cost by buying groceries in bulk with their roommates or friends; that way, they can save up on costs.

#5 Electricity Bills

 Students pay INR 6066.36 for the internet and the electricity apart from the house rents.

#6 Stationery 

Students spend in total  INR 4044.24  to buy textbooks on their own and purchase the stationeries for the assignments in amounts given by their respective institutes.

#7 Other Miscellaneous Costs

Other miscellaneous costs include socializing, outings with friends, restaurants, theaters, etc. All these take up a chunk of a student’s budget.

[ Note: Above mentioned costs are approximately counted, the actual costs may vary ]

According to the survey from the HSBC bank on the cost of students studying abroad, 

The UK ranked 5th in the costliest countries to study in the world with annual expenses mentioned below :

Annual university costs (USD)-21,365

The annual cost of living (USD)-13,680

Annual total cost (USD)-35,045  

The rise in the cost of the studies came after the government decided to end the home fee status for EU, other European Economic Area, and Swiss nationals following Brexit. As a result, the students have to pay double the fees than the current high fees that they are already paying.

Following this decision, a survey was carried out by the study platform group study. EU asked the students if they would prefer to continue in the UK or not if the fees increased by 10%, 25%, 50%, or 100%.

At a 100% increase – 84% of students said a clear NO. 

At a 50% increase – 61% of students refused to study.   


So, it clearly states that the rise in fees is the most crucial factor affecting students not moving forward with their plans in the United Kingdom. Keeping all the above factors in mind, it’s obvious that studying in the UK is not cheap and one has to have proper finances if one wishes to move to the country.

But, surveys also show that the students decide to study in the united kingdom to pay the high fees by doing jobs and grabbing some amazing internship opportunities that UK companies provide!