How much money you will need to spend on your essential expenditures such as rent, bills, travel, books, course equipment and food will differ depending on your circumstances, preferences and available budget.

Understanding the cost of living is essential for university students. It includes expenses like accommodation, food, travel, and study materials, apart from tuition fees.

UK Visas and Immigration consider £1,023 per month a reasonable budget for an international student in Britain – our visas and immigration page covers UKVI’s financial expectations of you, but this does underline in general the importance of budgeting. 

The good news is that Leeds is more affordable than many other UK cities, but you should still carefully consider these expenses when planning your budget:

  • Tuition fees
  • University or private accommodation - If you will be bringing family with you, you should also check family accommodation costs
  • Household essentials - cooking items for private accommodation
  • Household bills such as energy, water and internet - these can be included in the rent in some halls of residence, but are less likely to be included in private accommodation
  • Groceries and cleaning supplies
  • Immigration-related expenses and travel to the UK and Leeds
  • Travel home or within Leeds - In Leeds, there are various transportation options available for getting around such as buses, trains and cycling routes
  • Childcare, if applicable
  • Study materials and course-related costs - these expenses vary based on the subject you are studying and may comprise of stationery and textbooks, photocopying and field trips
  • Mobile phone expenses
  • Campus and city activities
  • TV licence, if watching live TV or streaming BBC iPlayer - in the UK, possessing a TV licence is mandatory for any property housing a television or for individuals streaming live television via platforms such as BBC iPlayer
  • Council tax exemptions for most full-time students, but exceptions may apply

These websites will give you an idea of how much living costs are in general in the UK, but costs can increase significantly depending on the economic situation so ensure you thoroughly research and plan so you can manage your finances effectively.

Council Tax

In the UK there is a tax called ‘Council Tax’ payable to the local council of the area in which you live. Full-time students (including international students) do not usually have to pay this tax.

TV Licence

In the UK you need to pay to watch live TV or BBC iPlayer (called a TV licence). Students (including international students) usually need to pay for a TV Licence.

Find out more on the TV Licensing website.