Estimated living costs 2015-16

Budgeting for living costs is an important part of planning for university life.

money in wallet

Estimated monthly costs

These are estimated lower and upper costs of living in Edinburgh. The cost of living can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle, budget and spending habits.

These costs are broken down by month. You can calculate your estimated budget based on how long you will be in Edinburgh.

These costs do not include tuition fees.

Some students may need to pay additional course costs.

Monthly Costs: Lower rangeMonthly Costs: Upper range
Rent £360£700
Mobile phone£10£50
Printing, stationery, photocopying, text books£25£50
Total per month£605£1,230

*Most University accommodation includes gas and electricity costs.

University accommodation & prices


Food costs will account for a significant part of your budget. This will vary depending on your taste and dietary needs.

Remember, even in catered halls you will need to buy lunches.

This 'Food shopping guide' is a useful tool in planning your budget for food.

Initial one-off costs

When you first begin university life there will be some one-off costs to consider. It is important to plan for these in your budget where necessary.

Temporary accommodationAround £50 per night
Deposit for accommodation£360 - £1,050 - Usually equivalent to one months’ rent. International students might need to pay more than this in the absence of a UK-based guarantor. In University accommodation you don’t pay a deposit.
Furniture If you rent an unfurnished flat you will need to provide your own furniture.
Bedding£25 - £40 - In University accommodation, bedding packs can be ordered online in advance and delivered to your room.
InsuranceIn University accommodation it is included in rent. In private accommodation, in most cases, you will need to purchase this personally. Endsleigh Insurance offers an online service.
Police Registration£34 - If you are required to register with the police on arrival in the UK it will be clearly indicated in your passport.
Internet and phone installation£35 - £50 - It is a good idea to visit a price comparison website when considering cable, mobile phone or internet tariffs.
TV Licence£145.50 - If you watch TV in your accommodation this licence is required on an annual basis. This can be paid in instalments.

Additional costs to consider

Depending on your lifestyle and living arrangements there may be additional costs to consider. It is important to plan for these in your budget where necessary.

TravellingTravel costs in Scotland/UK or overseas will vary. Try to plan for visits home by checking on rail/air fares and adding this to your budget.
Bus fares£1.50 per journey, £4.00 per day, £45 for a 4-week travel card
Internet/TV package£35 - £85 per month
Clothing£40 - £100 per month
Gym membership£16 - £50 per month
Childcare£40 - £60 per day


Further information and advice on childcare is available from the Scottish Family Information Service - a government website.

The University has a nursery called Arcadia Nursery. You can find out about the services and costs on the website.

Social costs

It is also important to include costs of your social life in your budget. Here are some guide prices.

Student cinema ticket£6 - £9
Haircut£10 - £50
Restaurant lunch£7 - £10
Restaurant dinner£12 - £20
Beer (1 pint)£2.75 - £4.50
Wine (1 small glass)£2.00 - £3.50

International student calculator

You can use this online tool to help you plan a budget before coming to the UK.

Additional support

The Advice Place can offer information and advice on budgeting, funding and money.

Related links

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