International applicants

Estimated living costs 2019-20

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

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 range Monthly Costs: Upper range
Rent £425 £795
Food £155 £270
Gas/electricity* £50 £85
Internet £20 £65
Mobile phone £10 £55
Laundry/toiletries £10 £45
Printing, stationery, photocopying, text books £25 £55
Total per month £695 £1,370

*Most University accommodation includes gas and electricity costs.

University accommodation & prices

For undergraduate students (self-catered)

For undergraduate students (catered)

For postgraduate students (self-catered)


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 accommodation Around £50 per night
Deposit for accommodation 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 In University accommodation, bedding packs can be ordered online in advance and delivered to your room - £25 - £40.
Insurance In 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 £150.50 (from April 1 2018) - If you watch TV in your accommodation this licence is required on an annual basis. This can be paid in instalments.

Endsleigh Insurance

TV licence

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.

Travelling Travel 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 £1.70 per journey, £4.00 per day, £48 for a 4-week travel card.
Internet/TV package £30 - £95 per month.
Clothing £40 - £100 per month.
Gym membership £18 - £60 per month
Childcare £45 - £60 per day

Transport for Edinburgh - Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams

Centre for Sport & Exercise memberships


Further information and advice on childcare is available from The City of Edinburgh Council.

The City of Edinburgh Council

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

Arcadia Nursery

Social costs

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

Student cinema ticket £8 - £11.60
Haircut £10 - £50
Restaurant lunch £15 - £25
Restaurant dinner £20 - £35
Beer (1 pint) £3 - £5
Wine (1 small glass) £3 - £4.50

International student calculator

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

International student calculator

Additional support

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

The Advice Place - EUSA

Related Links

Utilities and Bills