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Durham University


International applicants

Durham is one of the most affordable student cities in the UK. The cost of living and accommodation is lower in the North of England than in the South and London.

Lots of businesses in Durham offer discounts for students and you can save money on a wide range of goods and services, including transport, fashion and entertainment.

You should plan your finances for the duration of your studies and ensure you have funds to cover all of your expenses before you travel to the UK.

Bank accounts

The International Office organises an event for new students to get assistance with opening a bank account during welcome week. You will receive information about this along with your induction information.


Depending on the college you are allocated to, you may be either fully catered (meals are provided in college every day) or self-catered (you must prepare all of your own meals). Typically, self-catered students or those living in private accommodation should allow at least £30 a week for food.


Durham City is compact enough to walk or bike around and certain bus services around Durham are also free. Students can also get discounted train travel with a 16-25 railcard, which can be purchased for around £30. The rail fare between Durham City and Newcastle is around £6.00. Discounts are also available on other destinations including London, Manchester, Liverpool and Edinburgh.

Private housing costs

  • Durham: Expect to pay between £60-100 per week without bills or around £100-110 per week with bills included. Lower priced accommodation tends to be further from the city centre. If you choose to pay bills separately, expect to pay at least £15 extra per week on top of the house price.

Keeping in touch

A mobile phone contract typically costs between £10 and £50 a month depending on what type of phone you opt for and how many minutes and texts you need.

If you have a smart phone you can use What’s App, Skype and Viber to keep in touch with friends and family for free as long as you have a wifi connection


Here are some typical costs of popular leisure activities:

  • Cinema tickets with student discount– approximately £6
  • Durham Student Theatre – Tickets for students approx. £6
  • Local attractions: Durham Castle, free for Durham University students; Cathedral, free; Botanic Gardens, free for Durham University students; Oriental Museum, free for Durham University students
  • Meal out – students can dine for as little as £5-10 with student discounts in local restaurants and bars. For a standard meal out expect to pay between £5-10 for a starter, £10-15 for a main course and around £5 for a dessert.

Visa requirements

In order to get a visa to enter the UK will need to show that you have enough money to cover tuition fees, plus accommodation costs and living costs for the first year of your degree. The exact amount that you will need depends on your individual circumstances, you can find more information here.

You will need proof that you have this money and that it has been in your bank account for at least 28 days before you apply for your visa.


Postgraduate Funding Opportunities


Postgraduate funding opportunities - find out more about scholarships available for postgraduate study.