Living costs

We know it's important for you to know how much you will potentially be spending on tuition fees and living costs when planning finances for postgraduate study. To give an idea of annual living costs whilst studying at Birmingham, we have compiled average costs of basic living needs. 

The University provides a variety of accommodation to meet the needs of postgraduate students.  More information about the cost of University-owned accommodation can be found on our Accommodation page, including the Guarantee Scheme for international students.

If you are an international student, you should ensure you have enough funds to cover your tuition fees and living costs for the duration of your course before applying for a visa. If you cannot provide an official letter from a sponsor stating they will cover all of your fees and living costs, you must be able to prove you have access to sufficient funds yourself. 

For more information, please visit the UKCISA website.  

One-off initial costs

The following are a number of initial one-off costs you may need to pay up front:

One-off initial costs

Amount (£)
University-owned halls pre-payment £550
Private shared house deposit Usually a month's rent in advance
Bedding pack (single/double)* £30-40
Insurance** £80
Police Registration*** £34
TV Licence For up-to-date cost information, please visit the TV Licensing website.

* Bedding packs are available to purchase from your Accommodation site office
**Basic possessions insurance is included in all University-owned accommodation
***For international students, this might be a condition of your visa 

Essential costs

The following are a number of essential weekly costs to be factored into your budget to cover basic living needs (based over a 50 week academic session):

Essential Living Costs

Self Catered Halls Private House
Rent £125 £100
Gas & Electric Included £11
Water Included £3
Food £50 £50
Toiletries £5 £5
Laundry £5 £5
Weekly Total £185 £174
Annual Total £9,250 £8,700

Variable costs

The following costs are variable and the weekly amount may depend on your available budget and individual circumstances:

Variable Living Costs

Average cost per week
Course costs £18
Travel £25
Social/Memberships £50
Clothing £10
Internet*  £5
Mobile Phone £2 
Weekly Total £110
Annual Total £5,500

*Wi-fi connection is included in the cost of University-owned accommodation

Additional Course Costs

Some degree programmes may require you to cover the cost of additional activities (for example field trips). 

In addition to any costs associated with your course or programme of study, there are other costs that you are likely to incur as a student at the University of Birmingham. This is not an exhaustive list however, it is useful for you to be aware of the types of things you may have to pay for.

  • Printing – in the majority of cases, course work and assessments can be submitted online. Some students may be required to submit work in a printed format.
  • Photocopying
  • Books – a wide range of resources, including most core texts, are available in the library. However, you may be required to or prefer to buy your own copy of key text books
  • PCs and laptops – PCs and laptops are available on campus in IT clusters. However, you may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in University halls of residences
  • Stationery
  • Graduation – there are costs associated with hiring your gown for your degree ceremony