Cost of living

 

Managing your money is one of the most important things you will learn as a student.

Knowing that your finances are under control will allow you to relax and enjoy your time at Worcester.

For UK students, your student loanscholarship or part-time job will support you while you are at university.

Learning costs

Tuition fees and everyday expenses

Tuition fees and living costs are the main areas to consider when allocating your finances.

You will need to buy things you may have taken for granted at home (such as food and washing powder) and it’s wise to think about all these issues when devising your budget.

  • Books – you won’t need to buy all the books on your reading list, just the core texts. Remember the Library has an excellent collection of books.
  • Vital equipment and materials - the University has excellent facilities, computer access for all students and your academic lecturers will let you know of the best place to buy any extra equipment.
  • Attending compulsory field trips or placements – you might have to pay for transport and/or accommodation.  

Living costs

Reasonable living costs in Worcester

The cost of living in Worcester is comparatively very reasonable.  Rent and many other costs are lower than larger cities. The proximity of our campuses and halls of residence to each other and to the city centre means that you won’t need spend additional money on transportation.

If you require a car, there are spaces available for on campus parking. View our car parking charges.

  • Rent – Many first year students choose to live in halls of residence. For more information about living in Halls and private accommodation costs, visit our Accommodation section.
  • Deposit - if you are in privately rented accommodation, you will probably need to pay a deposit. This is usually about the same amount as a month's rent, and will be returned to you at the end of your stay. Your landlord can deduct money from your deposit if there is damage to the property, unpaid rent, etc.

Utility bills and ways to save

If you are in privately rented accommodation, you will need to pay towards utility bills (electricity, gas, telephone, etc). You won’t have to pay council tax as long as everyone in your house is a student.

 

Gas prices and how to save

Worcester residents spend an average of £574 a year on gas*. Save money on your gas bill with these simple tips.

  1. Cook multiple meals in the oven at once to reduce the amount of time it needs to be on. Why not cook with your housemates to share the load and spend some quality time together?
  2. Wear warmer clothes around the house in winter to avoid using the central heating as frequently.
  3. Schedule your central heating to come on morning and evening, to avoid heating the house when it is unnecessary.

Electricity prices and how to save

Households in Worcester spend an average of £130 per month on electricity*. If you’re looking for ways to save money, cutting your electricity usage is a good place to start – and this doesn’t mean studying by candle light. Here are some easy to follow tips that won’t impact your quality of life at all:

  1. Don’t leave your electronics on standby as they still consume a small amount of electricity that can add up over the year. Turn them off at the wall socket instead.
  2. Use a price comparison site like Compare the Market to find the best deal for your home. If you’re renting, discuss your energy bills with your landlord or letting agent to see if switching will save money.
  3. Switch to energy-saving LED lightbulbs, which use much less energy than halogen or fluorescent bulbs. 

Water prices and how to save

Water bills in each area of the country are covered by a single supplier. In Worcester, your water supplier is Severn Trent Water.

There are two different ways of paying for water:

  1. Standard tariff

Households on a standard tariff are billed a fixed amount depending on the value of the house. You can pay the entire annual bill upfront or pay it throughout the year.

  1. Water meter

If your house is on a meter, you only pay for the water you’ve used.

Saving money on a water meter is easy. Reduce the amount of water you use as a household with simple tips such as:

  • Don’t let water run down the drain. While running the tap for hot water, fill the kettle, pans and jugs. Use this water for drinking, cooking and watering plants.
  • Limit showers to five minutes.
  • Don’t wash your clothes until you have a full load to put in the washing machine. Half-loads use the same amount of water as full loads. Consider sharing a load with your housemates if you don’t have enough clothes to wash yourself. 

How much is council tax in Worcester?

If your household only has full-time students living in it, then you are exempt from paying council tax. Who counts as a full-time student? Anyone on a course that lasts at least 1 year, involving at least 21 hours of study per week.

If you have anyone living at your house who isn’t a full-time student, then you’ll get a council tax bill – but don’t despair as you may still qualify for a discount. The best thing to do is to check with your local council - Worcester City Council

Broadband, landline and TV and how to save

There are quite a few choices in Worcester when it comes to choosing your broadband, landline phone and TV package, and there are bundle options combining the 3 that offer enticing deals.

While a bundle deal might seem like a cost-effective option, it’s worth considering the following:

  • If you have a smartphone do you really need a landline telephone as well?
  • TV providers like Sky and Virgin both charge a monthly fee to access their channels, but a Freeview box provides a wide range of TV channels free of charge.

If you’re looking to save money, the best strategy is likely to be choosing a broadband-only contract. Here’s how to get the best deal on one:

  1. Use a price comparison site to find the best broadband deal for your home.
  2. Look out for special offers, discounts and voucher codes.
  3. Consider whether you need ultra-fast or fibre-optic broadband, which are more expensive. Often the fastest broadband speed advertised isn’t an accurate representation of the true speed you will get. 

TV Licence

If anyone in your house or flat watches or records TV programmes as they’re shown on TV or on an online TV service (including your laptop, tablet or smartphone), or downloads or watches BBC programmes on demand on iPlayer, you’re legally required to obtain a TV licence. If you don’t obtain a TV licence, you may be fined up to £1,000.

If you don’t want to pay £154.50 per year for a TV licence, here are some other options:

  • Use a streaming service such as Netflix to watch programmes, which doesn’t require a TV licence. At just £5.99 per month, a basic subscription works out at £71.88 per year – a saving of £82.62 compared with a TV licence.
  • Watch series, documentaries and more on YouTube for free.
  • Spread the cost of your TV licence throughout the year if you pay by direct debit. 

*Data provided by Compare The Market, calculated using the average spend of households over a 6 month period from 1st August 2018 – 31st Jan 2019.

International costs

If you are an international student, you should consider your funds before you apply for a visa. Make you have enough funds to cover your tuition and living costs for the duration of your course. You must be able to prove that you have sufficient funds to be able cover the cost of your course and your stay in the UK. One option is to provide an official letter from a sponsor stating that they will cover all of your fees and living costs for the duration of your course.

A guide to budgeting

Suggested budgets

For an undergraduate student living on the University campus for the 38 week academic year, a student will need in the region of £6,000 to £7,500 to cover living expenses.

  • Rent - University accommodation ranges from £102 to £169 per week.
  • Food – everyone’s got to eat and drink. It depends on what you buy, but budget for about £25 per week.  
  • Clothes – Remember you can use your NUS Extra card to get discounts throughout the city’s shopping centres. It can be useful to set aside a monthly allowance for personal spending.
  • Socialising – there are lots of clubs and societies that you can join at the Students' Union and there are many student nights at the University and at various venues in the city.  
  • Don’t forget your mobile phone bill too! Make a note of other necessary monthly costs, such as gym memberships and online subscriptions and factor these into your budget.

You can use the Uni Aid calculator to help build your budget.