Students in lecture roomIt is very likely that you will need to open a UK bank account during the course of your studies.

For example, you may need to pay your rent by direct debit or you may need bank statements to provide evidence of your funding for immigration purposes etc.

The bank you choose can advise you on the different types of accounts it can offer, direct debits, how long it takes to transfer money to other bank accounts (inside or outside the UK) and more.

Please see below for information on what you will need to prepare and do to get your bank account set up.

We cannot recommend a  particular bank, but there are a good range of banks nearby on Byres Road and Dumbarton Road from which you can choose.

How to open a bank account

To open an account, you will need:

  • Your passport or ID card, and
  • Evidence of your current course of study and address.

Depending on the bank you choose, you may be asked for other documentation.

You can download a letter of introduction from MyCampus to assist you with the opening of your account.

You must be academically registered before a bank letter can be available.

Further help:

Students on courses of less than 6 months

If you are studying on a course of less than 6 months you may not be able to open a bank account with a "high street bank" as you are only staying a short time in the UK. 

However, there are alternative ways to accessing, spending and safely storing your money while you study in the UK:

PayPal and PayPal's debit card:

This debit card is linked in to your PayPal account and allows you to withdraw money from your PayPal balance. It can be used at ATMs and everywhere that accepts Mastercard.

View further details on PayPal Debit MasterCard


MasterCard offers information on various types of pre-payment cards with various providers. You can take a short online quiz that asks you how you will use the card which helps determine which type of pre-payment debit card would be right for you.

View further details on pre-paid cards

For Short Term Study visa holders:

You may wish to consider trying an online bank account, for example Monzo or Revolut. Remember to check if there are fees applicable to holding this type of bank account or for particular services.

*These types of bank accounts are not usually suitable for Tier 4 visa holders, as it can be very difficult to get bank statements from online bank accounts that meet the UKVI requirements for financial documents when applying to extend a Tier 4 visa.