Skip to main content

Earning a master’s or PhD from a world-renowned university like Cambridge, Oxford, or the London Business School can elevate Australian and New Zealand students  career prospects and open doors to exciting opportunities. Before embarking on this academic journey, understanding the financial landscape is crucial. Let’s delve into the costs  of postgraduate studies in the UK for international students.

UK Postgraduate Programs Tuition Fees for International Students

Tuition fees for international students in the UK can vary significantly depending on the university, program, and course length. Here is  a general breakdown:

  • Average Tuition Range: Expect tuition fees to range between £10,000 and £40,000 (around AU$18,000 – AU$72,000) per year for postgraduate programs.
  • Top Universities: Prestigious universities like Cambridge, Oxford, and the London Business School can have even higher tuition fees, reaching up to £50,000 (around AU$90,000) per year for certain postgraduate programs.

For instance:

  • Cambridge University: Master’s programs in Engineering generally range from £29,820 to £38,810 (around AU$54,000 – AU$70,000) per year, while an MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School can cost up to £50,150 (around AU$90,500).
  • University of Oxford: MSc programs in Mathematics typically fall within the £25,140 to £34,740 (around AU$45,000 – AU$63,000) range, while the fees for the prestigious Oxford MBA program can reach £50,900 (around AU$92,000).
  • London Business School: The London Business School’s world-renowned MBA program boasts a hefty price tag of £87,000 (around AU$157,000) for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Scholarships and Financial Aid Programs

Numerous scholarships and financial aid programs can help ease the financial burden. Here are some resources to explore:

  • University Scholarships: Many UK universities offer scholarships for international students. Research the scholarship opportunities offered by your chosen university.
  • Chevening Scholarships: Funded by the UK government, Chevening Scholarships offer financial support to postgraduate students from Commonwealth countries, including Australia and New Zealand, for one-year master’s degrees.
  • Australian Government Support: The Australian Government offers various loan programs to help students finance their overseas studies. Explore options through Centrelink or your higher education provider.
  • New Zealand Government Support: The New Zealand Government offers Study Awards to support postgraduate study overseas. Investigate eligibility criteria and application processes.
  • Spark Finance offers a tuition loan product tailored especially for postgraduate students. Please see more information about options for Australian and New Zealand students looking to study at universities in the United Kingdom in our FAQs or our website. You can also apply now

Cost of Living in the University Area

Living expensed can vary depending on your chosen university location. Here’s a breakdown of some key cost components:

  • London: As the UK’s capital, London is known for its high cost of living. Expect to spend around £1,200 to £1,800 (around AU$2,200 – AU$3,200) per month on accommodation, groceries, transportation, and utilities.
  • Other Major Cities: Cities like Oxford, Cambridge, and Edinburgh might have slightly lower living costs compared to London, but still expect to budget around £800 to £1,200 (around AU$1,500 – AU$2,200) per month.

Housing Options and Expenses

Accommodation is a significant expense. Here are some options to consider:

  • University Accommodation: Many universities offer on-campus accommodation for postgraduates. While convenient, it can be more expensive than private options. Costs typically range from £500 to £800 (around AU$900 – AU$1,500) per month.
  • Shared Flats: Sharing a flat with other students can be a budget-friendly option. Rents can vary depending on location and flat size, but expect to pay around £400 to £600 (around AU$720 – AU$1,100) per month for a room in a shared flat.
  • Private Rented Accommodation: This offers more flexibility but can be more expensive. Rents can vary considerably, so thorough research is crucial.

Health Insurance and Medical Costs

All international students studying in the UK for longer than six months are required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of their visa application. This surcharge covers basic National Health Service (NHS) services, including doctor visits, hospital treatment, and emergency care. However, it doesn’t cover everything. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): The cost varies depending on the length of your program. Expect to pay around £624 (around AU$1,100) per year for a standard postgraduate visa.
  • Additional Health Insurance: Consider purchasing private health insurance for added peace of mind. This can cover dental care, prescriptions, and private room options in hospitals, which aren’t covered by the NHS. Prices can vary depending on the level of coverage, but expect to pay around £30 to £50 (around AU$55 – AU$90) per month for a basic plan.
  • Prescription Costs: While some prescriptions are free under the NHS, others might incur a charge, typically around £9 (around AU$16) per item.

Textbooks and Study Materials

The cost of textbooks and study materials can also vary significantly depending on your program. Here’s a ballpark figure:

  • Estimated Range: Budget around £500 to £1,000 (around AU$900 – AU$1,800) per year for textbooks and course materials.
  • Cost-Saving Tips: Utilise the university library extensively, explore used textbook options online or through student societies, and consider e-textbooks where available.

Transportation Expenses

  • Public Transportation: Many cities in the UK have extensive public transportation networks. Monthly travelcards can be a cost-effective option, with prices varying depending on the city and zones covered. Expect to pay around £50 to £80 (around AU$90 – AU$150) per month for a travelcard in major cities.
  • Cycling: A budget-friendly and healthy option, especially in smaller cities with good cycling infrastructure. Consider purchasing a used bicycle or utilising university bike rental programs.
  • National Travel: Travelling within the UK for weekend trips or academic research can add to your expenses. Buses and trains are the most common options, with prices varying depending on distance and booking time.

Meal Plans and Dining Costs

Eating well is essential for academic success, so consider your dining options:

  • University Meal Plans: Some universities offer meal plans, which can be convenient but might not be the most flexible option. Prices can vary, but expect to pay around £200 to £300 (around AU$360 – AU$550) per month for a basic plan.
  • Self-Catering: This gives you the most control over your budget. Grocery shopping costs can vary depending on your dietary needs and cooking habits. Budget around £150 to £250 (around AU$270 – AU$450) per month for groceries.
  • Eating Out: Eating out regularly can significantly increase your expenses. Factor in occasional meals at restaurants or cafes, with pub lunches typically costing around £10 to £15 (around AU$18 – AU$27) per person.

Remember: These are just estimates, and your actual costs will vary depending on your lifestyle choices, university location, and program requirements.

A Final Word: Budgeting and Planning for Success

Thorough research and careful budgeting are crucial for a financially sound postgraduate experience in the UK. Explore scholarship opportunities, compare living expenses in different cities, and choose the accommodation and dining options that best suit your needs. With careful planning, you can make the most of your academic journey in the UK without breaking the bank.