How much does it cost to study a Master’s degree in the UK?

Thursday, August 6, 2020

If you are interested in applying for a Master’s degree programme at any university in the UK, this essential guide will help you get to know more about UK universities’ tuition fees.

When considering applying to any UK university’s programme, one of the first aspects you should take into account is the cost of the tuition. Programmes’ tuition fees in the UK vary depending on where the student comes from. UK citizens interested in studying at a UK University are required to pay up to £9,250 per year. The price of International undergraduate tuition fees varies considerably, starting at around £10,000 and going up to £38,000 or more for medical degrees. Humanities and social sciences degrees tend to cost the least.

  • Universities in England

If you’re an EU national who has lived in the EEA (or Switzerland) for the past three years and are intending to study at an English university, you may be eligible for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,222 from the UK Government.

  • Universities in Scotland

If you’re an EU national who has lived in the EEA or Switzerland for the past three years, you may be eligible for a loan of up to £5,500 from the Scottish Government towards your tuition fees at a Scottish university. Unfortunately, living cost loans are only available to UK students who live in Scotland.

  • Universities in Wales

Like Scotland, Wales also has its own postgraduate funding arrangements through Student Finance Wales. If you’re an EU national planning to study a Masters in Wales, you may be eligible for funding of up to £17,000 from Student Finance Wales, taking the form of a combination of loans and grants.

  • Universities in Northern Ireland

Postgraduate loans in Northern Ireland are provided by Student Finance Northern Ireland. If you’re an EU student wishing to study a Masters in Northern Ireland, you may be eligible for a £5,500 postgraduate loan. Unlike the rest of the UK, this loan can be used to study a Postgraduate Certificate or a Postgraduate Diploma or as a Masters degree.
If these figures haven’t been enough to put you off studying in the UK, here’s a closer look at what you’ll be spending your money on, and how Brexit may affect your costs.

Current UK student visa requirements stipulate that you must have at least £1,015 (~US$1,435) in your bank account for each month you plan to stay in the UK anywhere outside of London. This works out as £12,180 (~US$17,200) per year.

If you wish to study in London, you’ll need to budget considerably more - at least £1,265 (~US$1,800) per month, the equivalent of £15,180 (~US$21,500) a year. 

Accommodation costs

Most students live in university halls of residence in their first year before moving into rented private accommodation in their following years. Many universities offer both self-catered and catered halls of residence, with food included in the price of rent for the latter.
In 2020, the average student rent came to £126 per week, or £547 a month, however, students in London can expect to pay an average of £182 a week, or £640 a month. The average annual cost for students is £4,914 (based on a 39-week contract). Most rents include bills of some kind, although one-third of students will pay bills on top of rent.

Other essential student costs

  • Utility bills (water, gas and electric) in rented accommodation are approximately £50 per month, with mobile phone bills ranging from £10 to £60.
  • Books and university equipment: will cost £30 per month.
  • A weekly food shop will likely cost you about £30/$42, and a meal in a pub or restaurant can be about £12/$17.
  • Gym membership costs roughly £32/$45 a month.
  • A typical night out (outside of London) costs about £30/$42 in total.

If you’re considering pursuing a Master programme at any university in the UK, the following are some of the best universities in the UK and they offer top Master’s degree programmes: 

  1. University of Law
  2. Imperial College London
  3. Durham University
  4. Lancaster University
  5. The Open University
  6. University of Cambridge
  7. University of Oxford

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