Wondering how to manage your expenses in the UK? Here’s our list of estimates to help!
Studying abroad can be an expensive affair for students going to study in the UK. However, an efficient budget plan can help you manage your living expenses more effectively. Before you depart from India, ensure that you consider expenses like accommodation, food, health coverage and travel along with your tuition fee when calculating the estimated cost of studying in the UK.
1. Tuition fee is your prime expenditure
Your expenditure on tuition fee depends on the type of qualification and university or school you opt for. There are many high-ranking universities and colleges in the UK with their own fee structures. Further, the fee also depends on where in the UK you choose to study (there are different rules for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales), and your study level.
Most commonly humanities, education and arts courses are cheaper, while subjects such as medicine and engineering are likely to be more expensive. If you wish to study at postgraduate level, the tuition fees are typically higher and the costs vary depending on the program. As with most other countries, MBA programs are often the most expensive.
|S.No.||Study Program||Average fee (in Euros*)|
|1||Undergraduate bachelor degree||£6,000 to £9,000 per year|
|2||Postgraduate master’s degree||£10,000 to £16,000 per year|
|3||Doctoral degree||£13,000 to £29,000 per year|
*Please note that all figures are indicative
If you want to bring down your educational expenses, it is best to apply to various scholarships available for Indian students
2. Where will you live? Calculate accommodation costs
Most universities in the UK offer on-campus residence facilities called the Halls of Residence to international students. These can be self-catered or full-board. Certain campuses also provide self-catered shared houses or flats to its students. Living as a resident on-campus is a very affordable option, however you need to apply for it separately, and well ahead in time to secure a slot for yourself.
If you are unable to find such accommodation, you might have to look for a room on rent, homestay or find a local host. Your university’s accommodation office may help you out in this case too as they often have a list of accommodation options available in the nearby area.
Your checklist when looking for a place:
- Rent book
- Bill payment
- Tenancy agreement
- Council tax
- House rules, if any
The cost will vary from city to city. If you opt to rent an apartment, you will have to additionally pay for utility bills like electricity, internet, water usage and also tenant’s insurance (in some areas of housing). House rent for a one-bedroom apartment generally ranges between £550 and £650 [Indicative].
Note that anyone over the age of 18 living in the UK is required to pay for local community services such as rubbish collection, police, fire brigade, leisure services, etc. You’ll have to pay for council tax if you’ll be living anywhere apart from an on-campus accommodation or sharing a home with a family or other full-time students.
Ask for a tenancy agreement before moving and do not sign just any document without understanding it. In most cases, universities help the students in finding accommodation, both on-campus as well as off-campus.
3. Cost of your student visa
In order to study in the UK, the first step is to secure a valid study visa and that comes with its own costs (approx. £348). Find more information on visa application process and related cost here
4. Living expenses in the UK
You need to keep a little money aside for your grocery shopping, social activities and emergency situations. When living in a foreign country as a student, it is better to keep a track of your expenditures so that you do not over spend. Considering various expenses and living costs, a single student budget in the UK lands between £5,500 and £8,000 per year (indicative).
You should also consider these common expenses when creating your budget:
- Communication expenses: As a student from India, you’d be frequently calling your friends and family back home. Therefore, always keep a section of your budget for phone bills and data expenses. Look for cost-effective calling plans and student discounts in order to stay connected with your loved ones within your monthly budget.
- Books and supplies: Purchasing textbooks can get a little expensive. For instance, books for engineering, law, medicine and pharmacy can be pricey. You can manage this in your budget by opting for second hand books, buying digital versions or even securing a library membership.
- Personal expenses and incidentals: Your daily expenses will include laundry, toiletries, clothing, dining out, etc. This depends entirely on the kind of lifestyle you choose for yourself.
5. Keep safe. Consider health support and insurance
It is mandatory for all international students to get a medical insurance before the commencement of their program. Several UK universities have initiated comprehensive health insurance plans for international students, but that is applicable as long your program is ongoing and ceases upon completion.
Certain schools may not offer any insurance policies, and hence you will have to arrange for a private medical insurance (your IDP counsellor will guide you with the same). The average cost for medical insurance is approximately £150 a year (indicative). Extensive health and support services are readily available for all Indian students in the UK. Read more about it here.
6. Transportation. Know how much it will cost to move around
Unless your institution provides with a shuttle service to-and-fro from your lodging, you’ll have to rely on the available public transport.
For short distances
You can make use of regional trains, buses, taxis and tubes. It is a good idea to get monthly passes for travelling to college and back as these can be fairly cheap. When taking a taxi, make sure that it runs on meter; if it doesn’t have one, agree on the fare beforehand to avoid any misunderstanding later on. In case you plan to use a personal vehicle, you will have to include car and fuel bills, car insurance, repairs and taxes in your expense sheet.
For long distances
For travelling between different cities, you can avail any of the following options:
- Long-distance bus
7. Don’t ignore your taxes
Indian students in the UK are allowed to work 20 hours per week during academic sessions and full-time during vacations. If you choose to work along with your studies, your first £11,500 (subject to change) is tax-free; however, anything earned over this amount will be taxable.
Remember, the exchange rate variations may also affect your budgeting. We suggest you also look for a part time job while you are studying in the UK or seek scholarship in the universities you apply to. This can help lower your cost of studying abroad to a great extent.