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.

Accommodation forms a large proportion of your budget, therefore, you should choose a residence carefully which suits your financial circumstances. More information about the facilities and services included within University-owned accommodation can be found on Living's offer pack information page.

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 upfront:


Amount (£)
Advance Rent Payment or Deposit (University or Partner Accommodation) Up to £550
Deposit (Private Accommodation only) Up to 5 weeks' rent
Bedding pack (optional)* £30 (single), £40 (double)
Insurance** £80
Police Registration*** £34
TV Licence £154.50

*You can contact your village reception to order a bedding pack for when you arrive to your accommodation

**Basic possessions insurance is included in University and Partner 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 on a 42-week academic session):


Meal Plan Self Catered
Rent £175 £150
Gas & Electric Included Included
Water Included Included
Food Included £50
Toiletries £5 £5
Laundry £5 £5
Weekly Total £185 £210
Annual Total £7,770 £8,820



Private House
Rent £100
Gas & Electric £11
Water £3
Food £50
Toiletries £5
Laundry £5
Weekly Total £174
Annual Total £7,308

Meal Plan residents have £52.50 loaded onto their card during term time (that rolls over every week), and qualify for a 10% discount on all food and drink purchases (excluding alcohol). Find out more information about our Meal Plan.

Variable costs

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


Average cost per week
Course costs £18
Travel £25
Social/Memberships £50
Clothing £10
Internet* £5
Mobile Phone £2
Weekly Total £110
Annual Total £4,620

*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). Where this is the case it will be indicated on the relevant course finder page.

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, coursework 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 textbooks
  • 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


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