These are the cheapest and most expensive University cities to live in 5 years ago

These are the cheapest and most expensive University cities to live in

University can cost you a fortune.

You've got to shell out thousands of pounds on student fees, accommodation and new gear...and that's before you've even gone on your first pub crawl.


That's when your bank account can really start taking a nose dive into the red when you're out partying five nights a week, getting taxis home and then living off a diet of hungover takeaways all year.

But have put together a comprehensive list of the cheapest and most expensive towns and cities from the UK's top 50 universities on everything from the price of a pint to student digs.

It makes some very interesting reading on which university towns and cities you'll get most bang for your buck and others you'll be spunking your student loans away fastest.

It covers beer, wine, taxis, student halls, cheap food, travel, rent and even gym memberships and there are a few leading universities' names which keep cropping up as value for money.

Sadly, if you're knee deep in Freshers' Week at a super-expensive London uni, it might be a little late to switch up this year...



You would have probably thought the most expensive pint would be in London for uni students. You'd be wrong. No London university even made it into the top three for beer. It seems one of the most prestigious Universities, University of Cambridge, is the most expensive, setting the bright bulbs back £3.63 per pint.

If you're looking for a cheap night on the ale, you're probably going to have to travel north or west though, with three universities selling pints for just £1.30.

Most Expensive Beer*

  1. University of Cambridge - £3.63
  2. University of Wolverhampton - £3.50
  3. University of Kent - £3.10

Least Expensive Beer

  1. University of the West of England
  2. University of Central Lancashire
  3. University of Liverpool (all £1.30)

*Based on a pint of domestic beer

Most Expensive Wine*

  1. King's College London - £4.60
  2. University of Huddersfield - £4.05
  3. University of Edinburgh - £3.95

Least Expensive Wine

  1. University of Birmingham - £1.25
  2. Cardiff University - £1.30
  3. University of Glasgow - £1.30

*Based on a large glass of house red


Student halls

You might not be paying top dollar for a pint in London, but your student loan will be getting rinsed paying to keep a roof over your head.

London is undoubtedly the most expensive place in the country if you're in student halls. The University of Westminster will set you back £210 a week.

This is an eye-watering amount when you realise you could be paying just £85 to live on campus at Teeside University in Middlesbrough.

Most Expensive

  1. University of Westminster - £210.08
  2. University College London - £200.00
  3. King's College London - £196.00

Least Expensive

  1. Teeside University - £85.60
  2. University of Wolverhampton - £86.67
  3. University of Central Lancashire - £98.79

Gym memberships

In between all those beer and kebabs, you're going to want to stay in shape - especially if you're on any of the university sports teams.

So a gym membership is going to be pretty high up on your list of must-haves when you're budgeting. But there are some universities where you're going to be forking out a king's ransom if you want to train...especially when you read that you can train for free at unis in Lancashire and Merseyside.

Most Expensive

  1. University of Cardiff - £320.00
  2. University of Sheffield - £290.00
  3. University of Leeds - £269.00

Least Expensive

  1. University of Central Lancashire - Free
  2. Liverpool John Moore University - Free
  3. University of Edinburgh - £36.00


You can't walk 10 yards in a university city without seeing a student wearing a hoody or t-shirt repping their uni.

But when  it comes to University clothing attire, Coventry University is where to get the cheapest garments. A t-shirt from the Student Union costs a measly £4 and is a snip compared to what you'll pay at Manchester Met.

For those searching for warmer clothing, it seems the south coast and it's blustery conditions call for cheap cover, with University of Portsmouth offering the cheapest hoodie at £15...

Most Expensive T-Shirts

  1. Manchester Metropolitan University - £22.98
  2. City University - £22.00
  3. University of Wolverhampton - £22.00

Least Expensive T-Shirts

  1. Coventry University - £4.00
  2. University of Central Lancashire - £5.00
  3. University of Hertfordshire - £7.50

Most Expensive Hoodies

  1. University of Huddersfield - £35.00
  2. University College London - £30.50
  3. Northumbria University - £30.00

Least Expensive Hoodies

  1. University of Portsmouth - £15.00
  2. University of Salford - £15.00
  3. Coventry University - £17.99


When you're hanging out of your arse after a night on the tiles during Freshers Week, you're going to need a classic combo of burger and chips to breathe life back into you to go again.

This student staple will set you back some serious money in Birmingham though where you'll be paying £8.30 for the basic meal.

If cheap grub's what you're looking for, you need to head to Glasgow where you can fill your stomach on fast food for just £3.10.

 Most Expensive Burger & Chips

  1. University of Birmingham - £8.30
  2. University of Manchester - £7.50
  3. University of Nottingham - £6.50

Least Expensive Burger & Chips

  1. University of Glasgow - £3.10
  2. Ulster University - £3.95
  3. Cardiff University - £3.99

*Stats based on figures taken from the Higher Education Statistics Authority (October 2015)


When it comes to average rents, per 1 bedroom flat, in University towns and cities, Staffordshire University students are jumping for joy as Stoke-On-Trent has the cheapest average pricing of all of the top University cities and towns with £370 a month.

As expected, London universities are a nightmare for renting, with the average monthly flat rental for University of Westminster reaching the dizzy heights of £1,750 per month, with flats nearby City University and London South Bank University costing £1,682 per month.

Most Expensive

  1. University of Westminster - £1,750
  2. City University - £1,682
  3. London South Bank University - £1,682

Least Expensive

  1. Staffordshire University - £370
  2. University of Huddersfield - £395
  3. University of Wolverhampton - £400


When it comes to getting around uni you've got two options - first is going everywhere under your own steam and walking or biking it around campus.

If all that sounds far too much effort then you're going to be shelling out for public transport and taxis to get around, unless you're one of these flash bastards that has a car at uni.

Surprise, surprise you'll pay the most money for taxis in and around London while De Montford University comes out cheapest at a bargain £0.60 per km.

Getting a monthly bus pass isn't a bad shout if you're a regular bus wanker  traveller. Again London universities seem to be pretty pricey if you're getting the bus, with Kingston University coming out the most expensive.

Preston's University of Central Lancashire though was an absolute bargain for bus travel.

Taxi fare:

Most Expensive

  1. City University - £3.11 per km
  2. London South Bank University - £3.11 per km
  3. Middlesex University - £3.11 per km

Least Expensive

  1. De Montford University - £0.60 per km
  2. University of Plymouth - £0.62 per km
  3. University of Ulster - £0.78 per km

Bus :

Most Expensive

  1. Kingston University - £220.00
  2. Westminster University - £142.00
  3. City University - £130.00

Least Expensive

  1. University of Central Lancashire - £39.50
  2. Teeside University, Middlesbrough - £42.50
  3. University of Portsmouth - £43.00

Feature: Kristian Dowling / Getty Images

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