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Can I afford to study in the UK?

Consider first:

  • If you are considering studying in the UK, it is important to look at the costs from the very beginning, before you send in your application.
  • Some students may win full or partial scholarships from a variety of sources, but the majority of students have to fund all or the significant part of the costs themselves. Scholarships generally go to the best students. It is important to be realistic about your chances and work out how you can finance your studies for yourself.
  • Most UK students finance their degree courses themselves from loans and pay back money they have borrowed after graduation. They see their degree as an investment.
  • Caribbean students who are determined and plan carefully can often manage to finance themselves. You should, of course, apply for any scholarships for which you are eligible, or sometimes there are automatic awards, these are usually of lower value than scholarships that require an application.

Costs of studying at a UK university:

Your costs will be made up of your tuition fees, your living costs and your airfare and visa fees (where applicable). Tuition fees and living costs will vary from university to university and from course to course. The difference in tuition fees is particularly evident in sciences, where the best universities have more laboratory work and are outstandingly well resourced. The UK government will only issue study visas to applicants holding detailed evidence of having sufficient funding to pay for the first year of their studies and living in the UK. See UKVI website for further information: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/student-visas 

Undergraduate costs:

  • Tuition fees range from about £15850 - £30000 per year for most subjects, depending on the university. Medicine and other clinical subjects cost around £48000 - £50000 per year for the clinical years.
  • Living costs range from about £9000 - £15000 per academic year outside central London, for accommodation, food, local travel, some clothes, books, basic social life etc. but the cost of living is rising (also note that UKVI requires you to show a specified minimum amount of living costs for your visa, see the UKVI website for details or refer to UKESC)
  • You can find details of each university’s tuition and likely living costs at their websites – try the pages for international students for living costs. (Follow the links to the universities from this website or please ask UKESC if you can't find what you're looking for.) You should take the figures mentioned as a guide, because expectations and lifestyle choices vary greatly, but this amount should enable you to meet all your needs if you are reasonably careful.
  • If your course involves a 'sandwich year', you will usually be charged a lower tuition fee for that year – see university website or email UKESC for details.

Postgraduate costs:

  • MA and MSc courses last one full year, making them very cost-effective compared with the two year courses in many other countries. Tuition fees usually range from about £15250 - £28000 though some courses in the sciences or business can be higher .
  • MBA degrees, especially AMBA accredited MBAs, can cost up to £32500 or even (significantly) more. There are some good accredited MBA courses from around £17000 though.
  • PhD courses usually last 3 years. Tuition fees will be as for undergraduates in most cases, living costs per year will be as for postgraduates. Science PhDs can cost up to £25000 per year tuition, with an additional "bench fee" which can vary depending on the nature of the programme, although some science PhDs can cost significantly more.
  • Living costs range from about £12000 - £19000 per year outside central London, for accommodation, food, local travel, some clothes, books, basic social life etc. but the cost of living is rising. You should take the figures mentioned as a guide, but this amount should enable you to meet all your needs if you are reasonably careful.
  • You can find details of each university’s tuition and recommended living costs at its website – try the pages for international students. (Follow the links to the universities from this website or please ask UKESC if you can't find what you're looking for.) Remember that postgraduate taught degrees generally last 12 months.

For specific, individual advice you need to register with UKESC