Living costs

If you are planning to become a student at Birmingham, tuition fees and living costs are the main areas to consider when allocating your finances. You will need to buy things you may have taken for granted at home (such as food and washing powder) and it’s wise to think about all these issues when devising your budget.

As a rough guide a single student in University accommodation over a 42-week academic session will spend £307 a week or £12,894 in total. For students who rent a room in a private shared house, this decreases to £257 or £10,794 over 42 weeks.

If you are an international student, you should ensure that you have enough funds to cover your tuition and living costs for the duration of your course before you apply for a visa. If you cannot provide an official letter from a sponsor stating that they will cover all of your fees and living costs for the duration of your course, you must be able to prove that you have sufficient funds to be able cover the cost of your course. For more information please visit the United Kingdom Council for International Student Affairs Visa application web pages

Table of living costs

The table below is an illustration of how your living expenses might break down over a 42-week academic session.


Table of living costs


Privately rented
shared house

Rent  154 (indicative)  80
Deposit  none  7 (refundable)
Gas/electricity  included in rent  8
Water rates  included in rent  3
Food/toiletries  40 (may be less of on a meal plan)  40
Course costs  15  15
Insurance**  included in rent  2
Clothes  15  15
Leisure  50  50
Travel  20  20
TV licence  3  3
Phone  10  10
Data link  Included in rent  4
Per week  £307  £257
TOTAL*  £12,894  £10,794

*These figures do not include your expenditure over the summer vacation (approximately ten weeks). You will incur additional expenditure during this time that will include at least ten weeks rent if you have a 52-week contract in private rented accommodation.

**Insurance costs depend on the level of valuables covered. We advise students to shop around for the best deal.