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Living expenses and study costs

Living costs

Your monthly living costs will be around £1000 to £1400 each month. This depends on your lifestyle and spending habits.

Rent and accommodation costs

Your rent and accommodation costs depend on whether you live in UAL halls of residence or in private accommodation:

  • halls of residence are approximately £153-£453 per week (including utility bills)
  • private rented accommodation is approximately £120-£350 per week (usually excluding utility bills)

See details and full costs of UAL Halls of Residence

Council Tax

Each household in Great Britain has to pay Council Tax. Most students don't have to pay, but you must check the rules.

If you don't have to pay, you need to let your local council know. Find out more about Council Tax and letting your local council know.


  • The best and cheapest way to get around London is on foot or by bike.
  • Check out how to hire a bike with Santander Cycles or plan a walking route with the Citymapper app.
  • Transport for London tells you all you need to know about public transport in London.
  • To save money on transport costs, get an 18+ Student Oyster card. This will give you 30% off travelcards and bus and tram passes (but not pay-as-you-go fares).
  • Add a 16-25 Railcard to your Oyster card to get a 34% discount on off-peak, pay-as-you-go fares. This railcard is also available to full-time students who are over 25 years old.
  • London buses run 24 hours a day. Fares are £1.65 for a single pay-as-you-go journey and £4.95 for a day. Weekly and monthly passes are also available.
  • You can book a taxi via apps (such as Uber or Bolt) and fares start at around £5. You can hail a licensed taxi (black cab) on the street, but the fares are high.


Cooking your meals at home and making a packed lunch is usually cheaper than eating out. There are lots of resources to help you cook your own meals on a budget.

Your weekly food shop might cost around £35 and you can compare food prices to find the best deals. London is full of supermarkets, so you can shop around for bargains. You’ll usually find a food market in your local area, where you can pick up cheap fruit and vegetables.

Eating out at a restaurant or ordering a takeaway may cost around £15 - £30 per person. Always ask if a student discount is available.

Other costs

As well as essential expenses like rent, you’ll also need to budget for non-essential costs such as:

  • mobile phone
  • clothes, haircuts, personal grooming
  • going out and socialising
  • hobbies
  • exercise classes, gym membership
  • subscription services, like Netflix, Adobe and Spotify
  • holidays, gifts.
Leisure time at the College garden

Study costs

Materials for your course or compulsory field trips can cost between £100 and £500 per year. However, this amount will vary depending on the materials and techniques you use.

Get discounts

Tate Donaldson working in the Letterpress Studio

Manage your money

These tools can help with budgeting and money-saving:

Laura Karklina and Lisa Kildjaskina working
Laura Karklina and Lisa Kildjaskina working - copyright Alys Tomlinson

Get support

  • Misa Okamura working in the Studio
    Student Advice Service

    Get advice on fees, funding, immigration and visas.

  • Natural materials Installation by Marta Pinilla, Show 1
    Scholarships and bursaries

    Search for funding towards tuition fees and living costs.

  • Image: Rochelle Saunders, MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise, Central Saint Martins © Alys Tomlinson

    Find part-time paid work with UAL's in-house temping agency whilst studying.