International students International students with families

Bringing your family to the UK is a big undertaking and the information below will help you make an informed decision on whether moving to the UK is the right choice for your family.  As well as practical considerations such as schooling, it is important to note that there is specific UK legislation regarding the safeguarding of children under 18, including making suitable arrangements for the child’s care and accommodation while in the UK.  

Please refer to all of our guidance below to help your decision-making and prepare your family for life in the UK.

If you have any questions about the information below, please contact us using the details provided in the 'Contact us' section of this page.


Bringing your family to the UK is a big undertaking and the information below will help you make an informed decision on whether moving to the UK is the right choice for your family. As well as practical considerations such as schooling, it is important to note that there is specific UK legislation about the safeguarding of children under 18, primarily making suitable arrangements for the child’s care and accommodation while in the UK. 

If you plan to bring your dependants with you, please bear in mind that the cost of living will increase accordingly. You should think carefully about whether bringing your family with you to the UK is a financially practical possibility; you may consider undertaking your studies while they still are at home.  

To obtain visas for your dependants, you will have to show to UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) that you have sufficient funds for yourself (£9243) and each dependant (£6120) to live on for the first 9 months of your studies. These amounts are incredibly low, and you are going to require more funds to meet the basic cost of living in the UK. 

You may also have to provide evidence that you have either a) arranged suitable accommodation or b) have sufficient money to pay the rent for suitable family accommodation that you will arrange for yourself and your family once you get to the UK. We would not recommend that you enter a contract with a private sector property owner or letting agent without first having seen the accommodation they are offering you. We recommend that you book at least 6 weeks of temporary accommodation. 

Finding accommodation for you and your family will not only be costly but may take some time to arrange; therefore, you should be prepared to have to search for suitable accommodation once you arrive in Glasgow. Coming to the UK on your own in the first instance to find accommodation that most suits your needs is the best option; you can then bring your family to join you. The University has no accommodation for families and is unable to source accommodation for you.  

As well as the cost of suitable family accommodation, you should consider other factors such as limited and expensive childcare facilities. Full-time childcare for children under school age is likely to cost around £1400 per month per child. 

NOTE: If you have a Student Visa, your dependant partner is allowed to work full-time whilst you study in the UK. However, finding suitable employment may be difficult. Your partner may also have to consider their language skills when looking for employment. You and your family cannot rely on earnings from employment here in the UK to finance your stay in the UK. You and your dependants are not allowed to access public funds. 

This estimate is based on the cost for a family of 4 renting a 3-bedroom house or flat.  What is included in the rent will depend on many factors but is not likely to include bills; you may also be liable to pay a share of the Council Tax.  Please note that the accommodation is likely to be unfurnished and you should factor this into your budget.  All figures are in GBP.

Essential costs

Per 4-week month



Food, local travel, energy costs, council tax, entertainment


Childcare (per child) under school age



3400-3800 per 4-week month

Please also visit our main Cost of Living guide.

Some students will be eligible to bring their partner and children to the UK as a dependant. This will depend on several factors including course level.   Please read our guidance regarding course levels to determine if you are eligible. 


Dependant partner 

A dependant partner is defined as: 

  • your husband, wife, or civil partner 
  • your unmarried partner (you will have to provide additional evidence if this is your relationship status) 

Dependant children 

A dependant child is defined as: 

  • your child under 18 years old - including if they were born in the UK during your stay 

If you, the main Student visa applicant, plan to bring your children to the UK, both parents must also be coming to the UK. This is confirmed in paragraph 34.2 in the Immigration Rules Appendix Student. 

Exceptions for one parent to bring their children to the UK 

If the other parent is not able to come to the UK, there are only very few exceptions where one parent can bring their children to the UK. This is known as Sole Responsibility and has strict criteria 

You would need to demonstrate that you: 

  • have sole legal responsibility for your children's upbringing (such as a court order, an informal arrangement or paperwork including signed sworn statements are not acceptable evidence) OR 
  • have serious or compelling considerations making it desirable for your children to come to the UK  
  • also, you must have made suitable arrangements for your children's care and accommodation and be able to evidence this in their application. 

What if I do not meet any of the above points? 

Both parents are required to come to the UK or be in the UK to apply for your children to join you in the UK. Without demonstrating one parent has "sole responsibility" for your children or that there are "serious and compelling" reasons, it will not be possible for them to apply. 

I want to apply for my children to come to the UK as my Dependants under the above points. What evidence can I provide? 

The Immigration Rules Appendix Student does not have detailed information on what type of evidence can be provided. Students and their Dependants are responsible for ensuring they understand and meet the UK immigration requirements.  

The International Student Support Team are not regulated to advise on what would be considered "serious or compelling" reasons. We would encourage students to contact qualified UK immigration solicitors for advice. 

More information can be found at:

The University of Strathclyde can only offer accommodation to individual students, so if your family will be living with you, you will need to find private accommodation. It is important that you plan and find accommodation before you bring your dependents to the UK as it can take a while to find the right accommodation as demand for private accommodation in Glasgow is high. You might need to stay in temporary accommodation (ideally with friends or extended family or in an Airbnb or hotel) whilst you look for suitable accommodation in an area that will work for all your family’s needs. 

You can contact any local letting agent and view properties on their websites. We do not recommend you pay any money or sign any contracts before you have viewed the property. If you can, ask a trusted friend or a family member living in the UK to help as they will be more familiar with the market. The Students’ Union Advice Hub can help with figuring out if a contract is legitimate. 

You must give all relevant details to letting agents or property owners when searching for accommodation. For example, you must tell them if children will live in the property because some properties are not suitable for younger children, and if a property owner finds out later that you falsified information the contract can be broken. 

Depending on where you come from you may think rental costs are reasonable or expensive. An average two-bedroom property in Glasgow City Centre costs around 1,200-1800GBP per month; this will not include utilities or council tax and you are going to have to consider that some accommodation will be offered unfurnished. 

When thinking about where to choose to live you may want to think about some of the following things: 

  • What is your budget as this will help you figure out where you can afford to live? 
  • How far the accommodation is from the University of Strathclyde? 
  • Is it near local schools/childcare facilities and local amenities like a GP (doctor) surgery or play parks? 
  • Is city centre living right for my family? You may want to consider searching a little further away from the city centre. Some areas you may wish to consider are:   
    • Paisley (the biggest town in Scotland. They have their own university, UWS, and so there is a mix of residential and student areas) 
    • Newton Mearns (a residential area) 
    • Bishopbriggs (a residential area) 
    • Cumbernauld (a residential area)

Children between the ages of 5 and 16 must attend school.  

The following guidance relates to dependant children of Student visa holders. Children visiting you with a Standard Visitor Visa for up to 6 months have no access to public schooling or childcare. 

Your child will be accepted into a local state school at no charge. You can find details of enrolling your child in school on Glasgow City Council's website. You can use registered childminders for before and after-school care, there is a fee for this payable directly to the childminder. You must use a childminder registered to provide childminding services; you can find details on the official Scottish Childminding Associate site.  

If your child is under school age, you may be able to access local authority nursery provision. You may also consider applying for a place at the University Nursery places are limited and you will have to pay for this; the University does not allocate funds to international students to pay for childcare. 

If you must pay for childcare for your child, you should expect to pay upwards of £200 per week and up to £1400 per month. The best option for childcare is for your partner to look after the children when you are in class. Obtaining a dependant visa for your child will be based on confirmation by you that there will be suitable arrangements for the child’s care and accommodation in the UK; these arrangements must comply with relevant UK and Scottish Government legislation. 

Please note that you must not bring your child to campus while studying. Details can be found in the University’s Access to University Premises policy. 

We would advise that all students with families register with a General Practitioner (GP) once they have moved into your accommodation in Scotland.  The GP you register with will be dependent on your location, in relation to the postcode area of your term-time address.  

Your GP is your first point of contact if you or one of your family members:

  • have an urgent care need
  • have had an injury (non-emergency)
  • have an illness that doesn't improve with self-treatment
  • are worried about your health
  • have an ongoing health condition 

The Student Health team provides full guidance on GP registration which can be found on their webpage

The page also contains helpful information relating to accessing pharmacy, dental, and other health services in Scotland.