Scottish universities have the cheapest cost of living in the UK

It can cost up to twice as much to study in London as it does Edinburgh, according to new research

Ashley Kirk
Tuesday 17 December 2013 16:12 GMT
(Heriot-Watt University)

Edinburgh’s two universities are the cheapest to study at out of the UK’s top 20 universities, according to new research.

In an attempt to chart how far money goes at the UK’s top universities, a new study carried out by online payment provider Ukash compared the cost of nine key living expenses for students – from the price of a pint to the average annual rent.

According to the study, the cheapest universities to attend are Scottish. Students need to pay, on average, £9,587 each year at Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh and St. Andrews, which have subsidised tuition fees and give students free entry into student events.

After Scotland’s top universities, the University of Kent ranked fourth. Its tuition fees are significantly lower than other top English universities, which almost unanimously charge £9,000 a year, helped by varying prices dependant on degree course.

The University of East Anglia is the fifth cheapest, with the second cheapest annual rent on the list, at £3,108.

Unsurprisingly, the most expensive universities are those in London, with the London School of Economics, University College London and Imperial taking first, second and third place respectively.

The average student should expect to pay £59,152 over their three years at LSE, twice that of Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University.

London’s increased cost of living is particularly to blame, with annual rents of up to £8,710. Car insurance and entry to student events is also noticeably higher compared other universities.

Oxford and Cambridge are the fourth and fifth most expensive universities. An Oxford student will fork out around £16,846.85 a year, compared to an annual spending of £15,999.04 at Cambridge.

Cambridge has the highest cost of a pint of lager on the list, and the second highest cost of a pizza.

The cheapest rent at a top university can be found at the University of Birmingham, at £3,095.56 a year. Meanwhile, Imperial rewards its gym-goers with an annual gym membership of £35.

On average, a degree at one of the UK’s top 20 universities will cost £14,542.73 a year, or £43,628.18 for a three-year course.

Miranda McLean, Marketing Director at Ukash, commented on the results: “We were surprised to find such staggering differences in costs, with factors such as car insurance, rent and tuition fees varying greatly depending on where you study.”

The total price of three-year’s study at the UK’s top 20 universities

  1. Edinburgh Heriot-Watt University - £28,761
  2. University of Edinburgh - £31,210
  3. University of St. Andrews - £33,603
  4. University of Kent - £35,344
  5. University of East Anglia - £41,604
  6. University of Birmingham - £41,727
  7. University of Warwick - £41,790
  8. University of York - £42,793
  9. University of Leicester - £43,139
  10. University of Lancaster - £43,938
  11. Loughborough - £43,965
  12. Surrey - £44,264
  13. Durham - £44,459
  14. Bath - £45,199
  15. Exeter - £45,291
  16. Cambridge University - £47,997
  17. Oxford University - £50,540
  18. Imperial College London - £53,822
  19. University College London -  £53,954
  20. London School of Economics - £59,152

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