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How cost-effective is it to study in London?

Studying in a capital city can be costly, no matter where in the world you are, and London is no different. However, living in London means you’re in the economic centre of the country, surrounded by firms and businesses you might one day work with. There’s no denying it’s expensive, but if you have your heart set on the ‘Big Smoke’ there are some cost-effective decisions you can take to make living there easier.

By Grant Longstaff. Published 5 September 2023.

Undergraduate course fees

No matter where you choose to study you’ll have to pay course fees. However, if you’re a UK student and choose to study with us you’ll find no difference in undergraduate fees. So, whether you choose to study at Bloomsbury or Moorgate – our London campuses – or our other locations, you’ll pay the same. There is funding help available, often taking the form of student finance, so take a look at our undergraduate course fees and funding pages for more information.

Postgraduate course fees

When it comes to postgraduate course fees you’ll find more variation in both course type and costs, and these can vary greatly between universities. Depending on what you’re studying and where the fees will vary. We have a more detailed blog on how much a master’s degree costs which could be useful if you’re considering this path. For other postgraduate courses, we recommend you check our course pages directly.

You can also view our fees and instalment schedules to see exactly when the course fees are due.


Living in London is more expensive with rent being one of the biggest expenditures. Often students will look at student accommodation, which can be cheaper, or share a living space with friends. If you’re an undergraduate student then you’re also able to apply for maintenance support alongside your tuition fees. The good news for undergraduate students choosing to study in London is that you can apply for a higher amount, which can go a little way to offset costs in the capital. There is a complete guide to student finance on Gov.uk.

Household bills

Of course, it isn’t just rent you need to pay. No matter where you live bills are inescapable. You’ll need to consider gas, electricity, water, and broadband. They’re often the biggies. You might find these things cost you more in the centre of London, but if you’re sharing a place then you can also share the cost of your bills.

There are other expenditures, such as your mobile phone, Netflix subscription and TV licence, but these prices are fixed no matter where you choose to study. Be savvy; if you’re living with friends share your Amazon Prime account, Disney+ details, and ask for student discount from your network provider.

Living costs

We know the cost of everything adds up, especially now during the cost of living crisis. So, it’s essential you make the most of what you have available.

The Underground is a great way to get around the city and you can get 30% off your travel with an 18+ Student Oyster photocard. It allows for discounts on buses and trams too. If you’re looking for a more flexible travel option then you could consider the Santander Cycles – which have monthly and annual subscription options and offer student discount.

If exercise is important to you then it might be time to ditch the gym subscription and opt for a more cost-effective solution. Run in a local park or find an outdoor gym – London is absolutely full of them. Also, read our guide to staying healthy on a budget which includes suggestions for workouts, self-care, and discounted recipe options.

If you like to eat well without spending a fortune then check out the Too Good to Go app. To combat food waste Too Good to Go allows you to find local restaurants and shops offering Surprise Bags. These bags contain good food that remains unsold at the end of the day for a discounted price. You can eat like royalty and help cut down on waste – what’s not to love?

Of course, there are times when eating in just won’t cut it. You’ll want to meet friends, socialise, and enjoy the city you now call home. Again, this doesn’t have to cost the earth. Consider some of our favourite, and most importantly cheap, things to do in London.

There are other ways to help save money. Make the most of student discounts available through UNiDAYS and Student Beans. You’ll find discounts on everything from food and drink to technology and fashion. Also, our list of resources to help students with the cost of living has more tips and hints on where to save and how to make your money go further.

No matter where you choose to study there’ll be fees to pay and bills to manage. It’s important to discuss your finances with family and friends so you can make an informed decision. But – if London is where you want to be – we believe with careful planning and strategic budgeting you can make it work.


Explore our London campuses and discover the range of courses available.