Living costs and budgeting

The average student will need around £7,000 for each year of study to cover their living costs (not including tuition fees). At Brunel, we can help you stick to your budget with great value accommodation and facilities.

Sample budget

The following list outlines how much the average student can expect to spend per term while studying at Brunel (calculations are based on a 12-week term).

- Accommodation – £1500

-(based on a couple sharing) Bills (off campus) – Gas £120 per term/Electric £120 per term/TV Licence £37 per term/Water £30 per term / Telephone & Internet £120 per term

- Phone (Mobile) £90 to £100 per term

- Food & Groceries £ 330.00 per term

- Travel (variable) Tube Zones 1-6 with student travel card is £ 40.00 per week

- Bus Pass £14.10 per week

- Books/Equipment (depends upon Course undertaken – Schools may be able to provide more exact details – for Access to Learning Fund

- Purposes we allow up to £600 per academic year

- Clothing/Other Shopping £200 - £300 per quarter

- Entertainment £360

Every student is different, and you should calculate your own budget based on your personal circumstances. You can find a useful cost-of-living calculator on the UCAS website.

Living costs for international students

If you are coming from outside the EU and require a visa to enter the UK to study, then an essential part of your student visa application process will be to provide evidence that you have enough money to live on, in addition to your course tuition fees. These funds are called maintenance funds.

These amounts are set by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for Brunel University as follows:

Course length

Maintenance funds required for course length

Nine months or less

Remaining course fees plus £1,265 to cover living costs for each calendar month of the course

More than nine months

Remaining course fees for the first academic year plus £11,385 to cover living costs for nine months

More information about the maintenance requirements can be found on our Visas and Immigration webpage. International students can also use the international student calculator developed by UNIAID to help them balance their budgets, and read tips from other international students.


All new UCAS main scheme have the opportunity to live on campus in one of Brunel’s halls of residence. Visit the accommodation webpages for more information and the latest rates.

All halls are self-catering, and rent rates include utility bills and a free network connection through which you can access the Internet at no extra cost (with some limitations and subject to the Computer Centre’s Terms and Conditions).

You may choose not to live in halls of residence at all, or to live off-campus after your first year. Brunel’s Housing Office maintains a large database of rooms, houses and flats and can give advice and information to help you find good value accommodation. Local private housing is very reasonably priced for the London area, and, unlike most agencies, the Housing Office does not charge for its services. For more details, see the off-campus housing pages.

Food and catering

The more you buy, the larger the discount you receive. If you prefer to cater for yourself, you can stretch your money even further by cooking with other students, and avoiding takeaways and ready meals. There is also is a weekly fresh fruit and vegetable market on campus every Tuesday during term time.


If you plan to live at home or off-campus you will need to budget for travel costs, and in any case, you will want to travel both within and outside the local area in your free time.

Uxbridge is part of the London transport network, so you can buy an Oyster Card to use on buses, the tube and local trains, saving you money in comparison with standard fares (see Oyster Online). If you purchase a season ticket rather than pay for travel as you go, then you may be eligible for a student Oyster photocard, entitling you to a 30% discount (see Oyster Photocards Online).

If you live further than two miles from the campus or if you are a disabled student, you will be eligible to apply for a parking permit, currently costing £93 per year. Please note that students who live on or within two miles of the campus will not be allowed to park a car at the University. Permits can be applied for through eVision once you are fully enrolled.

Course materials

You will need to set aside money for course materials and study equipment, and in particular for text books, which can be expensive. Good second-hand books and materials can be found on eBay and Amazon, as well as on your School notice board. The majority of your expenditure will fall at the beginning of each term when you receive reading lists, so plan ahead.


How much you spend on entertainment – such as socialising, eating out and your hobbies – will vary greatly depending on your interests. Membership fees for University clubs and societies vary – some are free, and others give access to reduced price activities. The bars and nightclub on campus offer very good value for money.

Advice and support

The Advice and Representation Centre (ARC), run by the Students’ Union, provide free, confidential, accurate and independent information on a range of areas that may affect your life whilst studying and working. This includes advice on financial issues such as budget planning, welfare benefits entitlement, employment issues, debt negotiation and counselling, student support queries and advice on the University Hardship Fund.

The Professional Development Centre can provide work-related information either through the Job Shop (for example on your National Insurance number, tax, the national minimum wage and your rights as an employee) or the Careers team (for example on written applications, CV writing, covering letters, application forms and interview skills).

Page last updated: Monday 30 November 2015