fees & costs
Your level of fees will depend whether you qualify for 'home' fees or international fees.
Generally, students from the EEA will pay home fees, which are normally lower than international fees. To qualify for 'home' fees, you must fit into one of ten categories. For a full explanation of the ten categories who qualify for 'home' fees, please visit this UKCISA page.
EnglandFrom the academic year starting in 2012, universities will be able to charge up to £9,000 per year for UK and EU student on full-time undergraduate courses. Those that want to charge the maximum amount must meet conditions that will allow access to their course by students from all financial backgrounds. Welsh students studying in England will be subsidised by the Welsh government and will have to pay up to £3,465 towards their fees. For more information see the DirectGov student finance site .
WalesIn Wales, the Welsh government decided in April 2011 that, from September 2012, universities may charge up to £9,000 per year for non-Welsh UK students, but those wanting to charge over £4,000 per year must have fair access plans approved by HEFCW. Welsh and EU students will pay up to £3,465 per year. You can find further information related to Wales, see the Welsh Government tuition fees site.
Northern IrelandIn June 2011, the government of Northern Ireland decided that from 2012, universities can charge up to £9000 per year. Students from Wales will only have to pay up to £3,465 of this themselves, as the Welsh Assembly has pledged to subsidise their fees. Similarly, fees for Northern Irish students will be capped at £3465. Further information on tuition fees in Northern Ireland is available on the Northern Ireland student finance site.
ScotlandEU and Scottish students (but not those from the rest of the UK) do not have to pay any tuition fees when studying in Scotland. New proposals mean that from 2012, universities will be able to charge students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland from between £1,800 to £9,000 per year. Students from Wales will only have to pay up to £3,465 of this themselves, as the Welsh Assembly has pledged to subsidise their fees. Students from the rest of the EU and from Scotland will continue to qualify for free tuition fees. Please note that these proposals may still be subject to change.
International fees for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses are variable and are set by the university or college. They will depend on your course, level and institution. You can expect to pay anything from £4,000-25,000 a year, though some universities may charge more (or less) than this - there are no upper limits. Science and medical courses tend to be more expensive due to additional lab/equipment costs. You must contact your chosen institution for information on fees for your chosen course.
There are currently no limits to the amount of fees that can be charged to part-time students, though this may change in 2012. Check the institution's website or prospectus for fee information for specific courses. For the most up-to-date information regarding fee changes, visit DirectGov.
English Language courses
English language fees vary considerably, and can cost anything from £200-1,000 per week. The costs will depend on what is included in the course, where it is and the content. Be wary of courses that seem very cheap, as they may not be accredited and therefore may not offer a quality course.
Financial help and scholarships
There are various schemes and scholarships available for overseas students who want to study in the UK, though competition for these is often high. These may be offered by institutions or organisations.
Students from the EEA may be eligible for financial aid to help with tuition fees, and in some cases living costs.
For information about scholarships and to search for scholarships you are eligible for, visit EducationUK Scholarships.
It may also be helpful for you to use Student Cash Point: a free website that allows current and future students to search thousands of funding opportunities available in the UK for a wide range of purposes relating to study and other activities. Users can also register to receive newsletters and automatic funding alerts, informing them when funding opportunities matching their needs become available.
Here are some average costs to give you an idea of living costs:
- Buses can costs anything from 60p - £2 for a one way ticket, or you can get weekly, monthly or yearly bus tickets that will work out cheaper per journey
- Trains tend to vary greatly in price, but generally booking online and well in advance will get you the cheapest fairs. Also, a 16-25 railcard is a good investment as it will get you discounts on tickets
- The London Underground charges about £4 for a single journey. Buying a 'top up' Oyster card or travel card will work out cheaper. In other cities, metro and tram systems are likely to be cheaper than in London
- Taxis tend to be more expensive than public transport and can cost anything from a few pounds upwards, depending on the length of the journey and where you are
- Toiletries such as toothpaste, shampoo and toilet roll tend to be fairly cheap, costing around £1-3
- Food bills will depend on the amount of 'luxury' items you eat, but a basic food shop could cost around £20-25 per week
- Mobile phone contracts tend to be the cheapest option, rather than 'Pay as you go' if you are making a lot of calls - these vary hugely depending on your package, but expect to pay anything from £5 to £50. Landline and internet costs vary, but expect to pay about £20-30 a month
- If you have a television you will need to buy a TV licence. This is around £145 per year, which can be shared between housemates if you are sharing a property
- Electricity and gas will depend on how much energy you use, but an average would be around £30-50 a month for each student in a four-person house share
- Water averages around £300 per year, but this will be shared between housemates
- There are many cheap restaurants in the UK but also many expensive ones. A meal for two can cost anything from £10 to over £100
- Cinema tickets will be around £5-10
- Entrance to a club/local gig is around £5-20
- An average theatre ticket will be around £10-15, but around £25-50 in the West End (London)
- An average pint of beer or glass of wine will be from £2.50-5
Choosing a bankThere are many banks to choose from in the UK. Ask the welfare officer at your institution for recommendations and also speak to friends to find out about their experiences with different banks. Also remember to shop around, as different banks offer different incentives for opening different types of accounts.
It is a good idea to choose a bank with a branch close to where you live and find out things like whether you can withdraw cash from other banks' ATMs and whether you will have access to an overdraft. Many banks will offer an account specifically for international students.
You may not be allowed to open an account before you arrive in the UK, and when you have arrived it may take some weeks for the account to become operational.
Opening an accountWhen opening an account you will need to provide certain documents. In most cases the bank will require:
- Identification such as passport or photo ID card
- Confirmation of UK address
- Proof of address in your home country
- Student status; either a UCAS acceptance letter or a 'Letter of Introduction for UK Banking facilities' from your institution
- Credit record or letter from your bank at home
- Proof of sources of income to finance your stay