University life is an exciting time for students. However, the costs associated with living away from home can impact student’s life. Student accommodation is often one of the biggest expenses, but how much exactly are students paying for housing in the UK?
This guide will break down the typical costs of student accommodation and provide tips for saving money.
What Is Accommodation Cost In The UK?
Accommodation refers to student housing arranged by universities or private landlords. Costs cover rent and bills. Different options are available:
- University halls – Shared or en-suite rooms in campus residences. Often includes meal plans.
- Private halls – Similar to university halls but run by private companies, usually more expensive.
- Renting – Sharing a house or flat with other students. Self-catered.
- Homestay – Living with a local family, some meals included.
- Studio flats – Private, self-contained units. More expensive but very independent.
The average monthly rent for purpose-built student accommodation is £535, according to the National Student Accommodation Survey. However, this masks huge regional variations from a high of £663 in London to £415 in Northern Ireland.
Parents contribute £145/month on average towards rent, down from previous years – based on the National Student Accommodation Survey.
Recommended for reading:
- How to Apply for Student Accommodation
- What Is A Guarantor For Student Accommodation
- How to Get Out of a UK Student Accommodation Contract Early
Tenancy Agreements in the UK
Student housing contracts are called tenancy agreements. Key facts:
- Length – Usually 39-51 weeks to cover term times.
- Deposits – 4-6 weeks rent held as security, returned at the end if no damages.
- Bills – Electricity, gas, and water costs are usually separate. Internet is sometimes included.
- Regulations – Governed by landlord/tenant laws. Both parties have rights.
Reading tenancy agreements carefully before signing is essential to avoid problems. Be clear on costs and responsibilities.
Useful guide to read:
Most Expensive UK Universities for Accommodation
Certain universities have higher student accommodation costs based on location and amenities. The priciest options for 2022/23 are:
- UCL – £865/month
- Oxford – £837/month
- Imperial College London – £825/month
- Queen Mary – £775/month
- Heriot-Watt – £762/month
All are in the heart of London with good facilities but carry a premium. Competition for rooms is high.
|University||Monthly Accommodation Costs|
|Imperial College London||£825|
|King’s College London||£748|
Cheapest UK Universities for Accommodation
At the other end of the scale, these universities offer the lowest average weekly rents:
- Liverpool John Moores – £516/month
- Arts University Bournemouth – £518/month
- Plymouth Marjon – £518/month
- Bolton University – £520/month
- Highlands and Islands – £525/month
They tend to be based outside major cities, with basic accommodation options. Still comfortable but has fewer luxury extras.
Below is the table are the top 10 UK universities with the cheapest accommodation:
|University||Monthly Accommodation Costs|
|Liverpool John Moores||£516|
|Arts University Bournemouth||£518|
|Highlands and Islands||£525|
|Norwich University of the Arts||£532|
Top 10 Cities in the UK for Student Accommodation
Location is a huge factor in accommodation rental costs. This table shows the average monthly rents for popular student cities:
As expected, London is the most expensive place to study by far. Northern cities like Newcastle offer the best value for money.
Tips for Saving Money on Student Accommodation
Rising rental costs are a concern for students. Here are some money-saving tips:
- Go further out – Properties near campus cost more, consider public transport options.
- Avoid new builds – They come at a premium, and older buildings tend to be cheaper.
- Shop around – Compare different landlords, don’t take the first option.
- Be realistic – Book affordable options within your budget.
- Use student Facebook groups – Find housemates and available rooms.
- Check for deals – Some landlords offer fixed packages for multiple occupants.
- Seek financial support – Bursaries or hardship funds could assist with costs. Read more: Student Finance
With some savvy planning, it’s possible to find affordable student housing even in pricy cities. Don’t be afraid to negotiate either.
Cost of Living for Students in the UK
Accommodation is just one part of the overall cost of living for students.
Other typical expenses include:
- Groceries – £160-£200 per month on average.
- Entertainment – £150-£200 on nights out, activities, etc.
- Course supplies – Books, tech, materials. Up to £100.
- Travel costs – Buses, and trains to visit home. Around £50-£100.
- Toiletries – £20-£30 on average.
- Clothing – £50-£100 monthly.
- Mobile phone bills – £15-£35 depending on contract.
Many students also have part-time jobs to help cover costs, earning approximately £100-£200 per month.
1 in 10 students have used a food bank in the past year.
In total, living expenses can reach over £1000 per month in cities like London. Careful budgeting is essential!
Is the UK Too Expensive for Students?
The cost of studying in the UK continues to rise in 2023. A recent survey found that 41% of students view their accommodation as poor value for money.
With rent accounting for the bulk of maintenance loans, many struggle to afford basic living costs. Bills have soared by 37% adding further stress.
However, the UK still offers world-class education and living experience. With prudent saving and realistic budgeting, it is possible to enjoy student life affordably.
41% have considered dropping out due to rent or bills
Seeking student finance help where needed, being informed on full costs, and choosing economical housing options can help significantly. There are ways to reduce expenses if planned well.
While the cost of student accommodation varies widely, monthly rents generally range from £400-£600 across most UK cities. Factors like location, university, and facilities impact pricing significantly.
With the overall cost of living also rising, student budgets are under pressure.
However, being organized and shopping around for the best value options can help manage costs effectively.
The UK remains an outstanding place for higher education despite the challenges. With realistic budgets and financial support where required, the university experience need not break the bank.
Average Accommodation Cost for All UK Universities
Below in the table is the average monthly costs for student accommodation in the UK based on the Save The Student report.
|University||Monthly Accommodation Cost|
|Imperial College London||825|
|King’s College London||748|
|University of Law||675|
|Canterbury Christ Church||669|
|London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine||663|
|Royal Agricultural University||663|
|Royal Veterinary College||663|
|St George’s, University of London||663|
|Royal Central School of Speech and Drama||663|
|Rose Bruford College||663|
|University for the Creative Arts||656|
|London South Bank||617|
|University College Birmingham||608|
|University of the Arts London||581|
|West of England, Bristol||579|
|Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts||560|
|Glasgow School of Art||540|
|Medway School of Pharmacy||534|
|University College of Estate Management||534|
|Norwich University of the Arts||532|
|Highlands and Islands||525|
|Arts University Bournemouth||518|
|Liverpool John Moores||516|
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