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How much does it cost to study at a UK university?

How much does it cost to study at a UK university?

by Peter Jackson

Studying in the UK is possibly one of the biggest investments you will ever make in your career. But with so many factors to take into account, there is no exact figure for how much that investment is going to cost.

For example, your tuition fees will vary depending on your course, course length and university, while your living costs will depend on where you are hoping to study in the UK, your accommodation and your lifestyle. 

In this blog, we have looked at the three main financial elements of studying for an undergraduate degree at a UK university: tuition fees, living costs, and accommodation costs.

How much are UK university tuition fees for international students?

The UK is one of the most popular study destinations for international students, and its universities – particularly the research-intensive Russell Group universities like Newcastle University - have a world-class reputation for excellence.

According to the UK's Higher Education Statistics Agency, over 500,000 EU and international undergraduate and postgraduate students are currently studying here.

Most undergraduate degrees in the UK take just three years to complete - making them more cost-effective than longer degree programmes in other countries. Tuition fees are set by UK universities every year, and are usually payable for each year of your study. There is a rate for 'home' or UK students and a rate for international students.

Your fees cover the cost of your teaching and help pay for the university buildings, facilities and technology you will use during your degree. They also go towards other aspects of your student experience, including administration costs and student services, such as wellbeing support.

How much you pay for your tuition as an international student will depend on the degree you choose and the university you apply to.

To find out how much your fees will be, check with your chosen university – at Newcastle you can find this information on the course pages of your dream degree.

It is worth remembering that tuition fees won't cover all your academic expenses – you may still have to pay for: 

• textbooks and course materials
• printing or photocopying 
• graduate attire
• fieldwork costs (though universities, including Newcastle, offer schemes to support these costs).

How much does accommodation cost? 

After your tuition fees, your accommodation is likely to be the next biggest expense. The good news is there is plenty of choice when it comes to finding somewhere to live while you are studying at university.

You can choose from:

• University-owned accommodation
• managed partnership sites – owned by private providers, but run in partnership with a university
• private sector accommodation – independently owned and managed by private landlords

How much you pay will depend on your accommodation provider, the type of accommodation you choose and its facilities, as well as how close it is to campus. Where in the UK you are studying will also have a huge impact – expect to pay more for accommodation in London, the South East and South West of the UK

As well as the cost of your rent, you may have to pay for utilities such as gas, electricity, water and wifi. You will also need to take out contents insurance – so make sure you factor these bills in to your overall accommodation costs.

Newcastle University offers secure accommodation with bills covered in the price of most rooms, meaning you don’t have to worry about any of these additional costs. You can find out more about our accommodation here, including how we take the stress out of finding accommodation in the UK by guaranteeing a room to all our eligible first-year undergraduate students.

In fact, as an international undergraduate student, you are guaranteed a room with us for the duration of your study at Newcastle University if you want it.

What are the living costs when studying in the UK?

Living costs in the North of England are generally cheaper than in the South, with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) estimating living costs outside London to be about £1,050 per month.

Newcastle is also one of the top 10 most affordable cities in the UK according to QS Best Student Cities 2022, so you will get to spend your student budget on the things you love doing.

Shop for food at a range of competitively priced supermarkets, including international food suppliers and the city's vibrant indoor Grainger Market where you can buy local, fresh produce. Or eat out at cafes, bistros and restaurants offering food from around the world.

Free student discount apps like Unidays and Student Bean, will help you save money on socialising, technology, health and fitness and much more. You can also apply for the National Union of Students discount card, Totum, or the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), but you will have to pay an annual fee for these discount schemes.

As a student you can access discounts on public transport in the UK, too, making it cheaper to get around by bus and train. Newcastle has great transport links across the city, including a Metro light rail service, with discounted travel available.

How can I pay for a degree in the UK?

When you apply to a UK university, you must have enough money to pay for your course and support yourself while you are studying here.

As part of your application through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) you will be asked how you are going to pay for your tuition fees and you may also have to provide evidence of this as part of your application for a Student Visa – so make sure you have  arrangements in place to fund your study in the UK.

As an international student, you are not eligible for a student loan from the UK government. And since Brexit, when the UK left the European Union, students from the EU and other European Economic Area countries, as well as Swiss national students, are also no longer eligible for a UK student loan unless they have ‘settled status’.

However, other sources of funding may be available to you – for example a student loan from your own government to study abroad, industry sponsorship or financial help from your family.

To help international students realise their dream of studying abroad, UK universities do offer a range of scholarships and even international discounts to cover tuition fees. Always check if you can apply for a particular scholarship as eligibility criteria will be strict and bear in mind that the scholarship process itself is very competitive, so there is no guarantee you will be successful. Have a back-up plan, just in case.

At Newcastle, eligible international students can apply for a number of scholarships. Including:

We also offer subject scholarships and discounts for international students if they have a close family member who is already studying with us or has graduated from Newcastle University. Find out more here.

We hope you have found this blog post useful. For more information about fees and funding at Newcastle University, make sure you check out our website.