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How much will it cost?

Tuition fees and living costs are the two main items you will need to take into account in estimating the total cost of your study in the UK. In addition you should consider the following:

  • Length of the course
  • Travel expenses
  • Arrival expenses
  • Books and equipment
  • Warm clothing
  • Medical care
  • Money for leisure

When planning your finances, remember living costs are likely to increase during your stay. You must also consider the current exchange rate.

Tuition fees

Higher education institutions determine their own fees to overseas students in light of their costs and what they calculate the market will bear. This means there's sometimes a significant variation in fees for courses of a similar nature. This isn't an indication of the quality of the courses, as there are a number of reasons why costs may vary. If you are a Caribbean national, or a British citizen who has not been living in the UK, tuition fees for degree courses range from 5,000 to 10,000 pounds sterling per year.

Generally speaking science courses are more expensive than courses in the arts, social sciences or business. Tuition fees for clinical (medicine, dentistry) courses are likely to be still higher.

Cost of living

The cost of living varies from one part of the UK to another. Generally it is more expensive to live in London and the south-east of England, and cheaper in the north of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Some universities provide inexpensive accommodation on campus, though you may need to share facilities with other students. You are advised to contact the institution at which you intend to study, as they will often have detailed information on the cost of living in that area. The Council's annual publication 'Studying and Living in the UK' gives useful details on living costs. To order a copy (US$10.00/JA$350) contact your local British Council office.

Saving through distance education

Many UK universities are beginning to offer certain degree courses by Distance Learning (D/L). These D/L courses are usually equivalent to the same course done full-time at the university - meaning the course-work, and examinations are the same as for full-time degree students. For more details on the opportunities, advantages and disadvantages of Distance Learning, see our pages on Distance Learning.


These resources are available at British Council offices.

British Council Information sheets:

  • Tuition fees and the cost of living
  • Learning through distance education


  • Studying and living in the UK (annual)
    Published by Northcote House for the British Council, this book gives useful information on the financial and social aspects of studying and living in the UK. It is on sale at British Council offices - cost: US$10.00/JA$350.
  • university and college prospectuses
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