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Housing & Living Costs in the UK

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University Halls and Private Residence Halls 

Most UK universities have accommodation which they rent out to students, commonly called ‘halls. First year students typically live in halls to smoothen the adjustment to campus life as they’ll be surrounded Although there is competition for housing (and it is worth applying as early as possible), some universities offer international students a guaranteed a place in student halls for their first year. Contact your university to find out the housing options they offer

Halls can be divided into ‘halls of residence’ and ‘self-catered halls’. The former option will typically resemble studio-sized rooms with communal kitchens and living and bathroom areas, with a canteen which provides three meals per day at an extra cost. The rooms in halls may be a little basic, but they offer more opportunity to socialize with other students outside of your study program. Self-catered halls are usually separate flats with fully self-catered kitchens and private living spaces/bathrooms. These are slightly more expensive but offer more privacy and calm if that’s your preference. Most university accommodations are located on campus or close to lecture theatres and other facilities, but this is variable - you can save significantly on rent by living a little further away.

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Other student accommodation options

Halls are generally reserved for first year students, so many second- and third-year students choose to move into an independently owned house or flat.

If you’re looking to rent on the private market, you can find an apartment through an estate agent or private landlord.

The cost of rent fluctuates greatly depending on the location and standard of the house/flat but sharing with roommates can ease the pressure on your budget, and many choose to live with a group of friends.

For many students this is their first taste of living on their own and it’s always an exciting experience! Check out some of these great student accommodation websites:

Uniplaces is a housing portal that offers a fresh approach to booking student accommodation online. It’s fast to book, safe to pay, and lets you browse through thousands of trusted properties in Europe’s best student cities, including London, Manchester and Nottingham. logo offers over 1 million beds in the UK and other countries around the world. Their website is free to use and offers a dedicated team of expert accommodation consultants and price match comparisons. They also have formal contractual relationships with every landlord on their site for an added layer of security for you!

Cost of Living in the United Kingdom

While tuition fees are often at the top of students’ minds when choosing their study abroad destination, there are other costs to keep in mind when figuring out the financial resources necessary to make your study abroad dreams into a reality. 

Cities in the UK can have highly varied costs of living, but we’ve compiled a list of the average prices for students’ most common expenses.

Some average living costs in the UK:


GBP £12


GBP £3.60


GBP £2.67

Cinema Ticket

GBP £10

Monthly rent

GBP £718

Monthly Transport

GBP £60

If you’re looking at higher education options in more than one city in the UK, use this handy calculator to see how costs of living compare in different locations your considering! 

Learn more about studying in the UK:


Choosing the UK as your study abroad destination means more than a top-quality education. Get an overview of what the UK and why you should study abroad there.

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Education System

There are over 3,000 institutes for international students to choose from throughout the United Kingdom. Take a minute to find out more about how the UK higher education system works.

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Student Visas

What kind of study visa do international students need to study abroad in the UK? UK student visas are awarded on a points-based system, obtained by submitted certain information and documents.

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Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for the United Kingdom vary depending on where you are from and where you are studying. Find out more about costs as well as scholarship opportunities for international students.

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Language & Culture

The UK has a long and rich history and culture. Find out more about what it offers in terms of language, culture, and more!

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Application Process

The facility for undergraduate admissions in the UK is The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). There are two rounds of applications each year. Find out more here.

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Ready to look at studying abroad in the UK? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in the UK today!

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Last update: 03 Dec 2019

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