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Higher education – Costs and scholarships

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Costs

Before you begin your studies, think carefully about the costs and how you will finance your studies.

UK undergraduate and postgraduate courses are generally shorter than in other countries. This helps to keep tuition fees and living expenses down. Most full-time undergraduate courses take three years to complete. Full-time postgraduate courses can take one year or more.

Tuition fees for UK higher education courses vary, depending on factors including: whether you are from the European Union/European Economic Area; where in the UK you are studying (there are different rules for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales); and whether you are studying at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

For undergraduate students from the EU/EEA, these are the maximum tuition fees (but many institutions charge less):

  • In England and Wales, up to £9,000 per year
  • In Northern Ireland, up to £3,575 per year
  • In Scotland, tuition is free.

If you’re from another country outside the EU/EEA, tuition fees vary by course provider.

For all postgraduate students, tuition fees vary by course provider.

You can find out about tuition fees for undergraduate courses here and tuition fees for postgraduate courses here. Please also visit the UKCISA website for more information. 

Budgeting

When comparing tuition costs, look carefully at what is included – and what is not included – in each fee. For example, some institutions may charge you extra for books, study materials, examinations, etc. You should be able to find out what the course fees cover on each course provider’s website, but if not, don’t hesitate to ask them.

When budgeting, think about additional costs for:

  • Travel to the UK
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Day-to-day living costs
  • Travel and sightseeing in the UK
  • Health and travel insurance.

Have a look at our Money section for advice on budgeting.

Scholarships

There are a number of good scholarship and financial support schemes for UK higher education courses. Demand can be high, but it is well worth taking a look at what is available.

Have a look at our Scholarships and financial support article for more information.