International students Financial cost of living in the UK

Before you leave home, create a budget for your entire study period. We've prepared some guidance below to help you plan effectively.

Here's what you should actively consider during your planning:

  • Research your funding: Before arriving in the UK, find out exactly what's included in any scholarship or financial support you'll receive.
  • Factor in dependants: If you're thinking of bringing your partner or children, carefully consider if you can financially support them. Refer to the 'Students with partner or child dependants' section for more information.
  • Be aware of funding limitations: You will not be able to access any public funds. University funds to support international students are limited and distributed on a case-by-case basis in emergencies only.

What do I need to consider?

Glasgow's cost of living can be high, as mentioned earlier.  When budgeting, factor in your lifestyle and desired standard of living.

Review monthly costs for accommodation, food, energy, travel, and entertainment.  Remember to also factor in one-off costs for study materials and graduation. 

We've provided an approximate breakdown to assist you with financial planning.  While budgeting more is encouraged, budgeting less is not recommended.  Don't rely on projected earnings during your stay, as employment isn't guaranteed.

Two children walking in front of two adults

Students with partner or child dependants

Thinking about bringing your family to the UK?  This information will help you decide if it's the right move for everyone.

Several factors influence whether you can bring your family: your course level, start date, and any financial sponsorship you receive.

Beyond practicalities like schooling, UK law requires specific arrangements for child safety under 18, including suitable care and accommodation.

Adding dependants will significantly increase your living costs.  Consider if bringing your family is financially feasible.  You may need to choose between studying while they stay home or finding alternative arrangements.

Visit our guidance for more practical information about bringing your family to the UK.

Close-up of hands holding credit or debit card and entering information on laptop

Paying your tuition fees

Plan for your tuition fee payments!  The University requires at least one-third of your fees paid upfront before you can register for your course.

Cash is not accepted for tuition or accommodation fees.  You'll need a valid debit or credit card to make or set up payments.

For your convenience, the University has partnered with Convera.  This service allows international students, parents, and sponsors to pay tuition and other educational costs easily and affordably in their home currency.

Benefits to you:
  • payment by bank transfer or online e-wallet
  • convenient payment methods including UnionPay, AliPay, Geoswift, Trustly, etc.
  • mobile-friendly interface for a seamless payment experience
  • multi-language platform
  • no transaction charges from the University of Strathclyde or Convera
  • favourable exchange rates compared to most banks
  • online payment tracking service
  • customer support service to help with every step
A woman using an ATM with debit card

Getting your money to the UK

Consider how you will get your money to the UK.  The safest option is likely to have a family member transfer funds to your UK bank account after you open it.

Be aware of cash restrictions when entering the UK.  You must declare cash of 10,000GBP or more to UK customs before you travel or as soon as you arrive in the UK.  Find more details on the UK Government website.

The University cannot accept cash for tuition or accommodation fees.  Ensure you have a valid debit or credit card to make or set up payments.

A barista smiling and serving a takeaway hot drink.

Working during studies

International students with a valid Student visa are entitled to work 20 hours per week during term time (10 hours for pre-sessional students), and unlimited hours during vacations. Please visit our Working during studies webpage for full details.

Students who have permission to be in the UK on a Standard Visitor visa are not permitted to undertake any paid or unpaid work, or participate in a work placement.

EEA Nationals who have been granted Settled or Pre-Settled Status on the EU Settlement Scheme can work unlimited hours in the UK.

aerial shot of Glasgow

Local transport

Public transport is the way to go if you live off-campus.  Here's how to get around Glasgow and save money:

A printed council tax bill on a wooden table with a few pound coins laying on top.

Council Tax

The Council Tax is set by local authorities to help pay for certain services they provide. 

Find out more about liability and exemption.