The cost of living

As part of your visa application, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requires you to show £1,334 a month for a single student living in London to meet basic living expenses such as accommodation costs, food, books and equipment as well as other necessities. This is in line with Home Office recommended figures for living inside London, but due to the current cost of living is advisable to have extra resources available during your studies. These figures are given as a guide only and the amount you actually spend will depend a lot on your personal lifestyle. The following breakdown of costs can give you some idea of how this figure is reached. Don't forget that your costs will be much higher if you plan on bringing your family to the UK as your dependants. Check the British Council - Cost of living and studying in the UK pages to have a better idea of other cost you might incur during your studies. 


It's very important that you have insurance to cover your personal property. If your laptop and other belongings are damaged or stolen it will cost you a lot of money to replace them. Endsleigh is the recommended insurance company for students. 

Student discount cards

Totum: After you have enrolled at London Met, apply for an NUS (National Union of Students) Extra (or TOTUM) card which costs from £14.99 but entitles you to discounts in hundreds of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. For example, you can get 10% discount on your food shopping at the Cooperative supermarket, so it will not take long to cover the cost of the card.

Unidays: This discounted free card is available worldwide. Current students enrolled in higher education can sign up for free to get discounted deals on products and services. Join 20 million of student around the world and sign up to Unidays.

Student Beans: If you are over 16 years old and in full time education, Student Beans gives you free and easy access to all the best student discounts wherever you are.


On average you will need to budget for spending an average of between £60 and £100 on food per week. This is based on eating breakfast, lunch and a hot evening meal. All UK Supermarkets and stores have loyalty cards, which could save you money and give you vouchers. London is full of great places to eat. There are many outlets for buying food on and around our campuses that are extremely affordable. You can find out more about where to eat in London on the visit London website.

Heating and lighting

The cost of utility bills can be difficult to predict as it will depend on your accommodation type, size, whether you are sharing accommodation or living on your own. At the moment, your biggest expense may be heating and electricity. 

If you choose to live in private rented accommodation, the cost of heating and electricity may not be included in your rent. If you're not used to cold or damp weather, you may want to use the heating for up to seven months of the year and this will have a big impact on your spending.

Make sure you check whether the accommodation has central heating and what costs are included in your rent. If you want to have an additional electric heater, this can be expensive to run. Allow a minimum of £800 for the year but this can go up to £1800 or more if you live alone in a one bedroom apartment, for example. It's important to do your research into your accommodation and energy companies.

Save the student energy comparison 

Books and equipment

London Metropolitan University have well-stocked libraries where you should be able to find all the books required for your course.

There may also be times where you'll have to purchase your own books. The cost of books will vary for different courses. You're strongly advised to check with your department see if there are any extra costs. You'll have to pay for your own stationary, computer disks/memory sticks and photocopying. 

Travel costs

All students are entitled to a 30% discount on travel in London but only if you have a Student Oyster card. You can apply for your Student Oyster card on the Transport for London (TfL) website.

young person's railcard will entitle you to 1/3 off normal nationwide train fares, allowing you to visit other parts of the UK at discounted prices.

Cycling is a fast and affordable way of travelling but remember to stay safe and always wear a helmet. Cycling safety information can be found on the UK government website and also on the Transport for London (TFL) website.

Council tax

Council tax is the system of local taxation charged to all residents in the UK by the local government councils to part-fund local public services such as waste disposal, policing, fire service, schools etc. Council tax charges are based on the value of your property and consider the number and type of occupants.  

Do I have to pay the council tax?

Full-time students usually don't have to pay council tax. If you live alone or in a household where everyone is either a student or a Student visa (previously Tier 4) dependant of yours, you won't need to pay any council tax as the property will be exempt. You should request a Council tax exemption letter from your School Office and then give it to your local council office

Further details on council tax and international students can be found at GOV.UK and UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

Further information


A photograph of Tower Bridge from between two buildings