York is a great place to live as a student and is a compelling first step in independent city living. Your living costs will vary significantly depending on your lifestyle, but budgeting will help your money go further.
These pages were last updated in March 2023.
Current York students can find specific advice and support on our Cost of Living Hub. When planning your finances for any future years of study, you should allow for an estimated increase in line with the Consumer Price Index.
The UK living wage equates to about £1,500 after tax each month, though it will vary person to person depending on circumstances and lifestyle. You should budget accordingly for a reasonable standard of living.
A budget calculator is a great and easy way to help you figure out how much spending money you’ll have each month.
- How to budget at university (savethestudent.org)
- How much it costs to live at university (which.co.uk)
- How to manage your money better and make it go further (studentbeans.com)
- Guides and tools to help you save money while studying (moneysavingexpert.com)
- Student Minds cost of living support hub (studentminds.org)
We've partnered with Blackbullion (blackbullion.com), the financial wellbeing platform. You can sign up for free!
Blackbullion is a digital learning platform created to help you get to grips with all things money-related. It’s filled with videos, graphics and quizzes covering financial subjects designed to provide you with money skills for life.
For some good first lessons, check out our managing your money page.
Third Year English student Annabel shares her top three tips for student budgeting and managing your money at uni.
We have a range of on-campus accommodation to suit a variety of budgets. Visit our accommodation pages for a more detailed breakdown of prices.
Things to note:
- A typical contract for University accommodation is 44 weeks, which excludes the summer holidays.
- Our accommodation options include:
- Catered with shared bathroom
- Catered with en-suite
- Self-catered with shared bathroom
- Self-catered with en-suite
- Catered accommodation covers breakfast and evening meals on weekdays only. Some self-catered options have a weekly college meal included in their rent.
- University-managed accommodation prices include electricity, heating, water and insurance.
- To watch TV you may need to purchase a TV license (tvlicensing.co.uk).
Rental costs vary depending on a number of factors such as location and the number of people you're sharing with.
A typical private-sector accommodation contract is around 52 weeks, so you will often be paying more for household bills. Some private-sector housing contracts will come with bills included. The bills you may need to budget for include:
- gas and electricity
- contents insurance
To watch TV you may need to purchase a TV license (tvlicensing.co.uk), though this may be covered in a bills-included let. You should always check which bills are included with your rent and consider how much bills will cost if they aren't included.
Students can apply to be exempt from council tax (york.gov) if they meet the necessary criteria.
Most letting agent fees are now banned in the UK, including administration fees for when you start a tenancy.
- Find out more about letting agent fees for tenants (shelter.org.uk).
York is a walkable and cycle-friendly city, however, if you live further away from the University campus, you will need to allow for travel expenses.
If you have any questions about private-sector housing in York, feel free to get in touch with the University’s Student Housing Advisor through the appropriate self-referral form.
How much you spend will depend on your own lifestyle and spending habits. Expenses vary from person to person, but some common costs include:
- toiletries and household essentials
- books and stationery
- leisure and social costs
- mobile phone
How much you spend on food will depend on where you shop and your eating habits. There are small supermarkets on Campus East and West, with larger ones a short bus ride or 20-minute walk from campus, catering to all budgets.
There are also a number of catering outlets located across our campuses, including cafés, restaurants and bars. These are run either by the University or by the Students' Union (yusu.org). Please note, most of these only accept card payments.
Psychology graduate Rhiannon shares her advice on how much you should expect to spend on food at York, as well as how to save money on your shop.
There are regular, free shuttle buses (firstbus.co.uk) between Campus East and Campus West. The city centre is only a 30-minute walk from Campus West, or 10 minutes by bike.
Other ways to get around town include:
- bus into town (firstbus.co.uk)
- taxi (streamlinetaxisyork.co.uk)
- e-scooter or e-bike (visityork.org).
If you’re looking to regularly travel by train, it’s a good idea to purchase a railcard (railcard.co.uk), which can save you money on your trips.
College laundry facilities are available to all students living on campus.
How much you will need to spend on books will be dependent on your course, so be sure to check your course page for more info. Before you buy books, it’s a good idea to check the University Library, as many key texts are available to borrow or read online. If you need or want to buy books, second-hand copies are often available for a cheaper price.
For some courses there may be additional costs, such as travel to and from field trips and exhibitions. To find out if you’ll need to cover additional costs, see the relevant course page or contact the relevant department.
Looking to save some money on food? We regularly run a variety of promotions across campus. Find out more on our promotions page.
Funding your study and managing your money
If you're a full-time UK student from England, you can apply for a Maintenance Loan to help with living expenses.
- Maintenance Loan (gov.uk)
This loan is unlikely to cover all of your university living expenses. It’s a good idea to look at additional methods of funding your study. Be sure to check our government loans and funding page for more funding options.
The University of York offers a number of scholarships and bursaries to help with your study and living costs, and you don’t need to pay them back.
- Undergraduate funding for UK (home) students
- Undergraduate funding for international (including EU) students
Unsure if you're a UK (Home) or International applicant? Check your fee status.
English and History graduate Kristina talks about the financial support she received during her time at York.
If you require a Student visa to study in the UK, you’ll need to pay the application fee. For more information, check these webpages:
You will need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge. Use the Immigration Health Surcharge tool (gov.uk) to check how much you will have to pay.
In some cases, you may need to show you have a certain amount of money to meet your living costs. Make sure you’re aware of any documents you’ll need before you arrive in the UK.
Other international expenses
You may also wish to budget for travel insurance (for flight delays, lost luggage etc). You can find tools online to help give you an indication of the cost.
Ahmad from Pakistan explains how he’s managed his finances in the UK and provides some handy tips.
Finding a part-time job
A part-time job is a great way to help fund your studies while also helping you gain extra skills and experience.
Our Careers and Placements team offer lots of information to help you find a part-time or temporary job.
As well as opportunities for part-time work in the city centre of York, there are also opportunities on-campus, such as working as a student ambassador or for the Students’ Union (yusu.org). Our online job portal, Handshake, helps current students look for work while they study.
If you are studying full-time and will need to arrange childcare, you will need to factor in the cost of this.
We have a small nursery located on Campus West for children and babies aged 0-5. You can also find other registered childcare providers in the city of York.
Children in the UK can attend primary and secondary school for free.