Young Academic has discovered that as tuition fees creep towards the £9,000 mark students will pay up to £48,500 for three years of study. Accommodation will make up a large chunk of this cost at an estimated £10,800.

Continuing our commitment to sourcing only the most relevant student news and advice, we can bring you all the stats and facts you need regarding the most expensive Universities in terms of fees and living.

“Although the average rent in a private home has also risen by nearly 5%, this will still turn out dramatically cheaper than being overcharged by academic institutions”


The latest research does indeed reveal that the average UK student would have to find £45,503 over the course of a standard degree; this is a rise of 55% from the cost of current undergraduate student who pays just £31,373.

Based on some analysis of the elite group of English Russell Group Universities, accommodation, fees and living costs will cost England’s one  million full-time undergraduates a staggering £46.2bn to complete their University course.

So what can the current crop of aspiring students do to combat these costs? The answer appears to be rather simple. Stay out of University halls and rent privately.

UK students can save considerable amounts of money by renting privately in towns and cities across the country. Although the average rent in a private home has also risen by nearly 5%, this will still turn out dramatically cheaper than being overcharged by academic institutions. The average student could save nearly 10% by renting privately and living in a house share.

Jonathan Moore is a Director at a student accommodation website and has commented; “Undergraduates are already under extreme financial pressure – and this is only going to get worse as the higher fees kick in next year. Rents in the private sector have been rocketing up – but they are still some distance from matching the cost of a room in most university halls, which cover cleaners, wardens and layers of university administration.  Students are taking note. Many undergraduates move into private flats after their first year, but with the rise of the financially prudent student, it will become commonplace to avoid university accommodation altogether.  What’s more, like those living in halls, if students flat share with other students, they won’t need to pay council tax. And unlike most Uni residences, they won’t get turfed out at the end of term.

“The only way to get by more cheaply will be to live at home as many students in other countries do. But for most people wanting to attend the best universities, that’s not an option, and in any case would undermine the whole British student experience.”

The biggest savings for students looking for cheaper accommodation have been found in Sheffield and Birmingham where rent can be as much as £980 lower for the year. This is almost the same as a whole student loan instalment resulting in far more money being freed up for study and socialising.

Young Academic Student News | University Cost Tables

Russell Group University Total Cost of Degree (£)
LSE 52,319
King’s College London 52,065
Imperial College London 51,967
University College London 51,778
University of Cambridge 48,680
University of Oxford 48,607
University of Nottingham 47,695
University of Sheffield 47,492
University of Southampton 47,398
University of Bristol 47,371
University of Leeds 46,962
University of Liverpool 46,870
University of Birmingham 46,828
Newcastle University 46,809
University of Warwick 46,672
University of Manchester 46,537
Russell Group Average 48,503

Based on one year of university accommodation, and two years of private flatsharing


Table 2: Annual costs over 39 weeks: University accommodation vs. private flatshare

Russell Group University University Accommodation costs  (39 weeks) Private Rental costs (39 weeks) Saving over course of Year
University of Sheffield 3,884 2,904 981
University of Birmingham 3,584 2,722 863
University of Leeds 3,605 2,779 826
University of Bristol 3,686 2,942 743
London School of Economics & Political Science 5,267 4,626 641
University of Warwick 3,367 2,752 615
University of Manchester 3,190 2,773 417
King’s College London 5,013 4,626 387
University of Southampton 3,404 3,097 307
Imperial College London 4,915 4,626 289
University of Nottingham 3,464 3,215 249
University of Liverpool 3,167 2,952 215
University College London 4,726 4,626 100
Newcastle University 3,054 2,977 77
University of Oxford 3,593 3,607 -14
University of Cambridge 2,996 3,942 -946
Russell Group Average 3,807 3,448 359


*Based on 30 weeks of term-time for Oxford and Cambridge College accommodation, rather than 39 weeks



About Author

Charles Whitworth is the Editor of the Young Academic publications. Graduating from the University of Liverpool with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 2008, Charles learnt his trade in newsrooms such as IPC Media and Sky. He has now developed as a top sports, music and current affairs journalist and has been printed in a range of publications including The Guardian. His interests include Cricket, Football, Rugby, Music and Current Affairs. Fresh from the editorship of Student Times he now takes the reins at Young Academic - the premier student news portal. Connect with me on Google+

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