New Students

Bills and Utilities

When preparing a budget for starting University, it is important to understand what your expected costs will be and what you should have enough money to pay for.

Typical living costs

Fixed living costs are regular costs relating to where you are living (either in University accommodation or private accommodation), typically incurring on a monthly basis. 

Some fixed (regular payments) will include:

  • rent 
  • internet charges
  • electricity and gas contracts
  • council tax bills (students living in University accommodation are exempt from paying Council Tax)

Additional (regular payments) may include: 

  • mobile phones
  • TV licence
  • digital TV subscription
  • insurance costs

Not all of the costs outlined below will be relevant for every student and costs will vary depending on your preferences.

You should research most of these costs in advance and add them to a budget before arriving at your new home. 

The university has also created a page dedicated to advising students on how we can support you during the cost of living crisis.

Cost of living | The University of Edinburgh


Additional regular costs:

Mobile telephones

There are 2 options to take when setting up a new phone, paying by contract or paying as you go; 

Contract A fixed monthly cost including phone calls, texts and internet access. Contracts usually last between 12 and 24 months.
Pay-as-you-go Pre-pay for phone calls, texts and internet access by buying credit. There is no contract so it can be a better option if you will be in the UK for less than a year.

Mobile phone deals for students (Save the Student website)

Advice on making international calls (Save the Student website)

Contents insurance

You may want to buy contents insurance for your home to protect your belongings in case of theft or damage. 

Comparison sites such as ComparetheMarket display different deals and prices to help you select the best supplier for your situation.

Insurance deals with ComparetheMarket

TV Licence

You need to buy an annual TV licence to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, or download or watch programmes on BBC iPlayer, All4, Sky Go on any TV or mobile device.

This also applies to students who live in University of Edinburgh-owned accommodation. 

TV Licence for students (TV license website)

Digital TV

Television in the UK is digital, and includes many free channels.

Other services are available which allow you to watch more channels. You pay a monthly fee and normally agree to a 12-18 month contract. 

Check with your landlord or letting agency to make sure there are no restrictions if you want to install this type of service.

TV package deals for students (Save the Student website)