New Students

Living costs

Estimating future living costs will help you budget for your expenses during your studies

Planning expenses

The University International Applicants website has a comprehensive breakdown of estimated living costs in Edinburgh (updated for the 2017-2018 academic year).

Estimated Living Costs 2017-18 page on the University International Applicants website

The University International Student Advisory Service website has some general information about utiilty bills. 

Utilities and bills page on the University International Student Advisory Service website

Looking at tuition fees and payment methods (if applicable) will be helpful to plan your expenses. Information on tuition fees can be found in the Tuition Fees page of this New Students website. 

Tuition Fees page of the University New Students website


Bringing money for the first few weeks

If you are an international student and you don't already have a UK bank account, setting up a bank account can take some time. You may need to bring some money for the first weeks. Visa and Access (MasterCard, Eurocard) are widely accepted throughout the UK, but it is likely that you wil incur charges for using them internationally. 

If you are:

  • Living in University accommodation we recommend bringing around £1,000 (single student in University accommodation) in the form of UK Sterling traveller’s cheques and a small amount of cash. If you will be staying in catered accommodation you will likely need to bring much less as you will not need to buy as much food. 
  • Living in private, rented accommodation you may need to pay a deposit as well as rent initially, so it is important to plan for this. Some utility companies such as internet providers will also require an installation fee when you start using their service. 

Travellers' cheques are generally a safer alternative to cash, as they require your matching signature to be used, and can be replaced if lost or stolen. There is further information on ordering and collecting travellers' cheques on the UK Post Office website. 

Travellers' Cheques page of the UK Post Office website

Planning a budget

The Student's Association's The Advice Place published a guide to budgeting. 

The Advice Place Guide to Budgeting pdf

If you need further help planning your money, you can use the Brightside UniAid Student Calculator. There is a version for UK students and one for international students.

Sponsored students

If you are a sponsored student and your sponsor has given you a banker’s draft or cheque, please note that it will not be possible to obtain cash for either of these in the UK and they will have to be paid into a bank account first.


Help from the Advice Place

The Advice Place offers one to one budgeting support and advice. For more information see their website, or come in to talk to a member of The Advice Place staff either in their clinic in Potterrow in the central campus, or in King's Building House in the King's Buildings campus. 

Budgeting page on the Student's Association The Advice Place website