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Durham University


Living costs

Living costs are typically much lower in the North of England than they are in the South, however your own budget will depend on your lifestyle.

Below we’ve included some key expenses with some example costs to give you an idea of how much money you will need.

College Accommodation

Our 15 undergraduate colleges offer fully-catered, part-catered and self-catering options. As well as accommodation and food (in the catered colleges), the cost of college accommodation covers utilities (including a cleaning service) and a wide range of facilities.

Find out about our undergraduate colleges here:


Both Durham City and Queen’s Campus are compact enough to walk or bike around. Certain bus services around Durham City are also free for Durham students.

Students can also get discounted train travel with a 16-25 railcard, which can be purchased for £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.


Prepare for costs up to about £250. Although remember that there is no need to go out and buy every book on your reading list. There will be copies of all course books in the library. If you really want to have your own copy of the books, look out for cheaper second hand versions on Amazon/eBay or from previous students selling their books.


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 should allow approximately £30 a week for food.

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.
  • Stockton/Thornaby: £50 - £90 per week (bills usually included)


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 – 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.