New Students

Bills and Utilities

When budgeting for university, make sure you are aware of what expenses you are likely to face and have a plan to cover these.

Typical living costs

Fixed living costs are regular costs relating to where you live, typically paid on a monthly basis. You should budget accordingly to factor in these costs. Examples include:

  • rent 
  • internet charges
  • utility bills (gas and electricity)
  • council tax bills 

How to register for a council tax exemption or discount

Additional regular payments may include: 

  • mobile phone bills
  • TV licence
  • digital TV subscriptions or streaming services
  • insurance costs

Depending on whether you are living in University managed accommodation or private accommodation, you will need to check what is included in your monthly rent, and what you will need to pay for separately.  

University WiFi

Internet access is included in the rent of most University managed accommodation. You can also access wireless internet (eduroam) for free at all University campuses:

Internet access at the University of Edinburgh

Home contents insurance

You may want to pay for contents insurance for your home to protect your belongings in case of theft or damage. Comparison sites such as ComparetheMarket will help you select the best supplier for your situation:

Student contents insurance deals (ComparetheMarket website)

TV Licence

You need a TV licence to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, or download or stream TV. This also applies to students who live in University managed accommodation. 

TV Licence for students (TV license website)

TV package deals for students (Save the Student website) 

International students

Mobile phone bills

In the UK, there are two options to take when setting up a new phone:

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)s

Support with the cost of living

The University has a dedicated web-page to help you with budgeting and with saving on essential and non-essential expenses. It also covers free and discounted products and services that might make the cost of living easier to manage.

Cost of living help