The Most Expensive Places to Study in the UK
Ever wonder if you are paying too much for your studies?
Studying is always expensive, in some places more so than others. It can be difficult to figure out what places cost more. Luckily, we at Market Inspector have created a solution for you.
This map shows where the UK’s most expensive places to study are located. The breakdown is based on figures provided by GoCompare’s “degree of value” table. It takes the following factors into account: tuition, housing, travel expenses, books, food, clothes, gym membership, laundry and other social expenses.
The map is sorted from most to least expensive university to study. The Schools are colour coordinated in groups of 10 to illustrate how costs are spread out. It is very clear that London is the most expensive place to go, which is not unexpected considering it is one of the most expensive cities in the world.
The map below provides a breakdown of just why the UK is considered to be one of the most expensive places to spend one’s student years, and which places cost more than others.
Studying in the UK
For most people this marks the first time away from home, and, suddenly, we are confronted by all these bills that need to be paid. Rent, electricity, insurance, and all these other expenses you never even considered. And then, of course, there are the dreaded tuition fees, the bane of every student.
And the worst part: studying in the UK is probably one of the most expensive place to do it. Not only are the cost of living one of the most expensive in Europe, the tuition fees are also among the highest in the world. These days the average student graduates with a debt of around £44,000.
Living Costs and How to Minimise Them
As mentioned previously, the way we comprised the list is based on several factors, all of which make your life more expensive. But, thankfully, there is almost always a way to save at least some money. The following are what contribute to most, if not all of your ordinary expenses.
Housing – Some universities offer dedicated housing for their students. Dormitories tend to be located close to school and sometimes even include meal plans. While this is definitely a great housing option, in some areas it may be cheaper to find a private place to rent.
Travel – whether it is your commute to school or trips back home, almost everyone has at least some travel cost. There are usually student discounts for public transportation. And when it comes to trains, booking a while in advance can save a lot of money. Depending on where you live, it may also be a smart decision to invest in a bike to cut down on your monthly travel expenses.
Social – while some may say that this is an unnecessary expense, life shouldn’t just be about your studies. It is also the best time to make friends, go out, and enjoy life. Whether it is going out for dinner or going to the movies, checking online to see if any places offer discounts during certain periods allows you to keep having fun at a fraction of the cost.
Books – yes, unfortunately, school expenses aren't done with you yet, even after you have already paid your tuition fee. To actually get any studying done you will need pens, paper, highlighters and of course books. Buying your school supplies online can really save a lot of money, especially second hand books.
Food – Groceries are where most of your expenses through the week end up going. The
best way to keep these costs low is by buying in bulk and large packages. Cooking your food in large portions can also help save a lot of time throughout the week, seeing as you will only need to heat up your food, once it has already been prepared.
Clothes – everyone needs to get dressed, and preferably in nice clothes. Second hand shopping is a great way to get great clothes on the cheap. Or if you prefer to have new clothes, shopping online can also be a good solution. And of course, most shops have discount racks where you can often find great deals.
Gym – some schools offer either free or discounted gym memberships, giving you the opportunity to exercise for very little money. Of course, you can also cut these costs completely, by working out in your room or by going outside.
Tuition Fees in the UK
Tuition fees continue to increase all over the world, and the UK is no exception. As of 2017 the tuition fees in England are being raised to £9,250, a £250 increase compared to 2016. While each school can technically set the fees at their own price point, most ultimately decide to ask for as much as is allowed.
Tuition fees in Wales are usually set at the same point as England, but they are not raising the fees for 2017-2018, and are leaving it at £9000. Scottish students are the luckiest of the bunch, with residents being able to study for free. Finally, there is Northern Ireland, with fees fixed at £3,925.
These standard tuition fees also don’t include a number of private schools, some of which charge up to triple the amount. Also note that these fees are for residents of the respective countries, and that international students are liable to pay much, much higher fees.
How to Finance your Studies
Luckily, no one expects you to pay all these costs up front and there are plenty of options when it comes to both loans and even grants.
Loans are the most common way to finance your studies. Most students get their loans through the UK government’s centralised ‘’student loans company’’ (SLC). The SLC manages loans for undergraduate students in England, and is partnered with the organisations in Wales and in Northern Ireland. Scotland has its own dedicated agency, called the ‘’Student Award Agency for Scotland’’, that assesses the applications .
Another option is to get a ‘’private’’ loan through a bank. There are different banks that offer such possibilities such as the HSBC for post graduate loans.
A new initiative started in 2016 also allows postgraduate students to apply for loans to finance master's degrees and other research courses.
Aside from the standard loans, some students are eligible to receive additional funds. These can be applicable for students with, for example, disabilities, or from low-income families.
These types of finances are presented in the form of grants, which don’t need to be repaid. Other types of grants are more result oriented and are given to exceptional students.
What is most important, is to consider all of your options and figure out what suits you best.
And don’t forget to look into all the grant options. You may be eligible for grants without realising it, and it would be a shame to miss out on ‘free money’.
Studying in London
According to some, London is the greatest city in the world . With its rich history and cultural relevance it is still one of the most popular tourist destination in the world. Which is really not that great for you, seeing as it gives everyone plenty of reason to bump up their prices to an extreme level. No chance of getting a drink on the cheap when any tourist bumbling around is willing to pay twice as much.
Of course, it is not all bad news. London is a great city with many opportunities, and the chances of being able to find a student job are very good. This will allow you to make some extra money, giving you the chance to explore the city and its nightlife in your free time. Not only that, having studied in London looks great on your CV, and many employers will see it as good experience.
So yes, we get it, studying is expensive, but at the end of the day it is definitely worth it. It is possibly the best time of your life, so enjoy it while it lasts. And there is plenty of time to worry about paying back your loans once you start working.
The Most Expensive Universities in Europe
But England isn’t the only country to ask for huge sums of money in order to get a degree, there are plenty of other European universities that have high tuition fees.
Thankfully, there are more and more regulations that fix the costs of a university degree within Europe for most school. However this doesn’t stop the more prestigious private schools from charging insane amounts of money for one of their high demand degrees.
This infographic shows some of the most expensive universities in Europe, but even on this list the UK maintains the number one spot.