The Cost of Studying in the UK
Updated: Apr 11
The United Kingdom has long been an attractive destination for students from all over the globe. Unfortunately, fees for international students have soared over the last couple of years and this has been daunting for most people who want to attend English universities. Being aware of the cost of studying in the UK is paramount for adequately planning and budgeting.
On this blog, we discussed the cost of studying in the UK and also the hidden costs no one told you about.
1. Tuition Fees
Tuition fees for international students at an undergraduate level usually range from £10,000 to £38,000 and even higher for medical degrees, and somewhat between £11,000 to £32,000 at a postgraduate level according to Reddin Survey of University Tuition Fees. However, while universities around the world run their undergraduate programs for a minimum of 4 years, most undergraduate programs in the UK run for three years in place of four, and one year for a master’s program, which is a silver lining to this price-laden cloud.
2. Visa Cost
If you wish to study in the UK, you need to apply for a Student visa. The Student visa has replaced the Tier 4 (General) student visa. To be eligible for a student visa, you must be 16 or over and must meet have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor, have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course, can speak, read, write and understand English and also, have consent from your parents if you’re 16 or 17. The student visa costs £348 if you’re applying from outside the UK and £475 to extend or switch to a Student visa from inside the UK.
Interestingly, you are allowed to work in the UK on a student visa, however, this is limited to 20 hours a week and more for health students.
3. Accommodation and Living Expenses
The most common accommodation options for students are University Dorms (hall of residence) and many universities provide them. These are usually equipped and offer great value for money. The approximate cost for this type of accommodation is £400 - £600 per month, inclusive of bills.
Another accommodation option is Private Dorms which are similar to halls of residence but are not owned by the university. They approximately cost between £320 - £530 per month, exclusive of bills.
Shared apartments are also common among university students, this involves one or more people sharing a room and other spaces (kitchen, bathroom, living room, etc.). The approximate rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city-centre is around £740 per month and around £610 outside the city-centre. In addition to this cost are monthly utility expenses which approximate to about £160.
Aside from all of these accommodation options, there's an interesting concept called Aupairing. A student lives with a family free of charge, exchanges cultural views and in exchange, takes on a part-time babysitting role for the family. The perks of being an Aupair include free rent, free meals, all bills and it gets better: you still get to receive weekly pocket money. Aupairing is perfectly legal. In fact, the UK government sets a minimum weekly pocket money to be paid to Aupairs at £90 per week, however, in a high-demand setting. Aupairs get up to £150 per week.
This alternative accommodation option is best for students who cannot afford to offset study costs themselves, as it affords them the opportunity to save money, experience cultural exchange and enjoy being an adopted member of a British family while getting a world-class education.
4. Health Surcharge fee
If you're applying for a student visa and would be staying in the UK for 6 months or longer, You’ll also need to pay for a healthcare surcharge as part of your application fee which costs £470 per year for the duration the visa will be granted.
5. Food, Transportation and Other Student Expense
In terms of food and groceries, a student will spend between £50 - £300 on average per month. The public transport system costs much but offers a variety of options for daily commutes and a good number of them offer discounts to students, which usually varies from city to city. For students outside. On average, a single bus journey is about £45 a month for a student travel card, however, students studying in London universities typically spend significantly higher amounts, estimated at about £140 a month.
In addition to this, entertainment costs (cinemas, concerts and theatres) which an international student is estimated to spend around £50 - £100 per month and books on average will cost £60 per month, check out other living expenses that represent additional costs incurred in the UK.
Ways to Offset Study Costs in the UK
1. Student Loans
If you’re an international student, you can apply for a loan provided to help offset the cost of living. To get details on how to get international student loans in the UK, click here.
There are scholarships widely available to international students, both for undergraduate and postgraduate programs. On our next blog, we would be sharing Scholarship opportunities for studying in the UK. However, some of these scholarships do not cover the entire living costs which are the most common scholarships but there are other ways to supplement partial tuition scholarships.
3. Working a Part-time Job
As an international student, one of the easiest ways to combat the rising costs of living in the UK is taking on part-time student jobs that allow you to conveniently combine study and work. The UK Government permits international students with a student visa to work a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time and full-time during holiday breaks. The majority of student jobs do not require technical or specific skills, so regardless of your skillset, you will always find placement opportunities, so long you do your research properly.
However, knowing the right jobs to take on and the rules governing them is pivotal to landing the perfect one that fits your schedule. This is why we have put together a list of the top 5 most favourable student jobs in the UK that can help you offset study costs and grow your network as an international student.
I hope you had a good read-through and if not enjoyed it, you at least found it useful. If you are interested in getting live updates about student jobs in the UK, kindly register your interest and be informed when we go live with student job ads in the UK. Just as well, if you are a foreigner who would like to stay updated on our recruitment service for care jobs, nursing and doctor jobs, kindly register your interest and stay informed.
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