Fees & fundingCost of living: advice & guidance for students

Living on a restricted budget can be challenging. We know that some of our students will be very concerned about meeting their essential living and study costs over the coming academic year.

Below, you can find advice, guidance, and information about managing on a limited income in a time of rising living costs.

We also have a dedicated cost of living page for international students.

Your income as a student

Steps you can take to make sure you’re receiving all the money you’re entitled to:

Student funding

If you are a Home (Scotland) or Rest of UK (England, Northern Ireland or Wales) student, you should check that you’re accessing any student loans, bursaries, or grants to which you are entitled.

If you’re a Home (Scotland) student you can use the Scottish Government's help with student funding and finance online tool to find out what funding you may be able to claim. Even if you have already applied to the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for funding, check out the link to see if you have claimed everything you can.

If you’re a student from England, Northern Ireland, or Wales, check these websites for more information about funding you may be entitled to:

Welfare benefits

Most full-time students are not entitled to claim welfare benefits (eg Universal Credit). However, you may be entitled to benefits if:

  • you are a parent/guardian of a dependant child
  • you are the spouse or partner of a non-student
  • you and your partner are both full-time students and you have a child
  • you have a disability or long-term health condition and have been assessed as having limited capability for work

If you have recently started a full-time course and were previously claiming benefits, your student status may affect the amount you can claim, even if you are in one of the categories listed above.

Welfare benefit entitlement and calculations can be complex. You can find more information about welfare benefits by seeking advice from Citizens Advice Scotland.

Please note: If you are an international student on a Student Route visa, or any other visa with a 'No Recourse to Public Funds' condition, please do not attempt to claim welfare benefits as this may jeopardise your visa.

Finding a part-time job

Part-time work not only gives you the chance to earn some extra income but is also a great way of enhancing your CV and developing your skills, provided you can fit in a work commitment alongside your studies.

Find out more about part-time and casual work.

If you're an international student on a visa, it’s important to make sure you know how many hours of work you’re permitted to do each week. Take a look at our working during studies web page.

Making your money go further

When you're on campus

There are plenty of spaces on campus where you can study, relax or catch up with friends between classes without the need to buy lunch or coffee.

If you need to grab lunch, University catering outlets are offering meal deals, and a £1.50 lunch pot.

Strath Union are also offering a not-for-profit-dish sold at £2.25 in The Terrace. In Common Ground, from 10 October, they will be offering a 50p portion of beans on toast. In Roasters, 'Too Good To Go' surplus food is sold at a reduced price to ensure nothing is wasted.

The University Chaplaincy (level 2, Graham Hills Building – room GH208) offers a quiet space on campus for all students and staff. In partnership with Strath Union, the Chaplaincy is offering soup (vegan) on a 'pay what you can' basis, 12 noon to 2pm, Monday to Friday and free tea, coffee and snacks from 10am to 3pm. The Chaplaincy is open to all students of staff, of all faiths and none.

Discounts, shopping & travel

Student Information Scotland has lots of useful information about student money matters, including advice on shopping wisely, student discounts, and travel costs.

If you travel regularly by train, check if any of the Scotrail Railcards will help reduce the cost of your tickets.

If you’re under 22, do not forget you’re entitled to free bus travel. Apply for your Young Scot National Entitlement Card to take advantage of this.

You can also apply for a Young Scot National Entitlement Card for other discounts if you’re aged 16 to 26.

As part of Strathclyde’s commitment to sustainable travel and supporting good health and wellbeing, all students and staff at Strathclyde are now eligible for a free membership to the Glasgow OVO Bikes network. You can read more on our sustainable travel pages.


Utility bills, household costs & budgeting

Many people are understandably worried about the rising costs of essentials, including gas and electricity.

Having a budget and monitoring your essential and non-essential spending can help you make your money go further. Strath Union have online resources to help you make a start on this.

You can also read more about utility (gas and electricity costs).

Study costs

You can reduce the cost of study by fully utilising the resources available through the University.

Study and IT resources are provided by Information Services. You can read more about the wide range of services you can access.

You may need to have a copy of core textbooks, but many other resources can be accessed through the University Library, either as textbook or as online electronic resources. Library staff work with lecturers to ensure that multiple copies of the most important texts for courses are available through the library.

The University also offers free access to PCs around campus – you can check availability of PCs using the Strathclyde App.

Council Tax

Most full-time students do not need to pay Council Tax, but if you share with non-student adults, there may be a bill. Find out more about claiming your student discount/exemption and how Council Tax works if you share/co-habit with non-students

Extra help

The University manages a number of funds to help students in financial hardship.

Emergency Aid Fund

If you have a short-term difficulty meeting essential expenditure, you can apply for a short-term, interest-free loan from the Emergency Aid Fund.

Hardship Funds

If you have a longer-term issue in meeting your essential needs, you may be eligible for support from the Discretionary Fund (Home and Rest of UK students) or the Lady Eileen McDonald EU and International Student fund. The University also manages other hardship funds – an application to either of these funds will also be considered for any other relevant fund.

Childcare Fund

If you're a Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) funded student, and you need to pay for childcare to attend your course, you may be able to apply for support from the Childcare Fund.