Ashton Lane

Glasgow is the most affordable city in the world (Time Out)

Cost of living

For students looking for an affordable cost of living when they come to university, Glasgow is a great option.

On average, Glasgow is 43% cheaper to live in than London (according to Expatisan).

There's never been a more exciting time to study in Glasgow. The city is growing faster, achieving more and bursting with energy and inspiration. With a student population of over 80,000, many local businesses, services and nightlife venues offer student discounts and promotions.

Below is a breakdown of spending for the average Glasgow undergraduate and postgraduate student for one academic year. It's important to note that these figures are estimates and depending on your circumstances, costs may vary. It is a good idea to include money in your calculations for unexpected expenses.

The following is only a general guide of costs per month for a single student in average priced self-catering accommodation.

We would recommend allowing:

  • £13,060 for a single student per year
  • A minimum of £20,000 for a married couple
  • For each child add £5,000 per year

In addition to the figure of £12,360 below, you should include the following amounts annually:

  • UK travel: £300
  • Books and stationery: £400

Cost per month - examples

Type of expenseApproximate cost
Accommodation £550
Food £180
Clothes £70
Bus, underground, taxi fares £40
Laundry, stationery, stamps, toiletries £30
Telephone/internet £40
Entertainment £120
Total £1,030 per month (£12,360 over 12 months)
  • Before you start your studies, it is expected that you will have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living costs.

  • Once you arrive in the UK it is not possible to raise funds or depend on part-time work to support yourself.

Although it is difficult to consider and budget for every possible cost when living in the UK, we hope that this information will assist you.  


One-off costs - examples

When you first arrive you are also likely to have some one-off costs. Here are some examples:

Possible expenses:
Deposit for accommodation (in the private sector this is usually the equivalent of 4 weeks rent)
Tuition fees (amount may change per year and depends on your College / programme of study.  Find out more about tuition fees costs, ways to pay and SAAS tuition payment for EU students).
Insurance for your belongings (Basic cover included in University owned accommodation.  Budget around £10 per month if you are in private accommodation and buy cover).
Police registration (if applicable to you - £34)
Mobile phone (for use in UK: £50-£100)
Temporary accommodation (Hotel or B&B usually around £60+ for 2 nights)

A day in Glasgow on a £10 budget

What’s the best way to enjoy a winter day in Glasgow without spending more than £10? Chinese postgraduate student Fawn shows us how to make the most of your money and enjoy yourself!

Battle of the brands (for student budgets)

Join third year Immunology student Lois as she explores the most affordable options for popular food and drinks by taking part in a taste challenge.