Affordability is always going to be one of the main factors in deciding whether you go to Uni or not. One of the biggest factors in figuring out how much you’re going to spend at Uni, is choosing where to live. The good news is students can find a cheap place to live without compromising on the quality of learning experience. All while avoid the
most expensive cities in the UK for students
We searched far and wide to give insight into which of the best UK cities for students are the cheapest for students to live in. Read on to find the best UK cities for students looking to enjoy their time at Uni, for less. And remember, wherever you decide to live you will always be able to find
free or cheap things to do
Student deals and discounts
can be up for grabs wherever you decide to live.
Based on a number of student focused cost of living factors, research from the
Natwest Student Living Index
, the Welsh Capital City, to be the most affordable city in the UK for students. The rest of the list has been super surprising for us. You can be confident though, that while you’ll pay less for life at Uni, you absolutely won’t have to compromise on your high standards of education. Read on to find out which are the cheapest cities in the UK for students, and a bit more about the cities themselves.
The Welsh capital, Cardiff, is a special mix of old culture and the new, with a vibrant food scene, major events, and a beautiful countryside just outside the city. There’s plenty of free attractions, museums and galleries for you to enjoy, and the option for endless walking trails and parks to soak in the sun. Why not get your spook on at Cardiff Castle with a tour of the haunted tunnels and connect with ghostly giants!
Cambridge, one of the most well known traditional British cities in the world, is also home to one of the Top 10 Universities in the world! Not only that, but it comes in second place in the cheapest cities in the UK for students! The University of Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum is a stunner, with a collection of over half a million works of art to peruse around. Why not try your hand at punting!
Number 3 on the list of most affordable student cities is Southampton, a bustling city by the sea, with plenty to see and do. Whether it’s a picnic in the park, a pub crawl, or a wander down the Titanic Trail, there’s something for everyone in Southampton. For those looking for a step back in time, the New Forest is nearby, where you can wander through fields and woods with Shetland ponies and wild horses.
Sheffield used to be the cheapest city in the UK for students, but has been knocked off the top spot by Cardiff. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time at Uni there, and stick to a budget. The vibrant city of Sheffield, filled with independents to fill you with artisan food and drink, street art culture flooding the streets, all within a modern cityscape sat beside the stunning Peak District National Park.
Although number 5 on the list of cheapest places to study in the UK, Coventry Uni is the Number 1 Modern University in the Midlands. Home to more than 50,000 students, Coventry is home to a thriving restaurant and nightlife scene, word class attractions, and the leafy Warwickshire countryside just a stone's throw away. And if you fancy a lil staycation, London is only an hour away on the train!
Durham, home to a Cathedral which plays a role in the Harry Potter movies! A majestic north eastern city with a history and heritage to compete with the best. If you fancy stepping away from the history and architecture of the city, channel your inner explorer and wander through riversides and parks filled with deer! In the evenings, enjoy a super affordable nightlife, with clubs and bars filled with students in the same situation as yourself.
York Uni is recognised as one of the best around, as part of the Russell Group, with a campus based in the centre of the city. You’ll never run out of things to do in York, with more attractions than any other UK city. With incredible medieval architecture, ghost tours to keep you on your toes, and a historically inspired food and drinks scene. It’s got a student scene that feels like a step back in time, something everyone can get on board with.
University of Oxford, a Uni with an outstanding global reputation for its teaching, research, and contributions to society. While Oxford is famously recognised for its Universities & colleges, the city is brimming with stunning architecture, history and culture. Grab a drink in one of the many side street pubs like The Bear Inn or the Eagle and Child Pub. Experience the culture and history in one of the city’s theatres. Try your hand at punting down the River Cherwell. Or pop down to Bicester Village for some savings whilst living life on the classy side.
At the heart of the city centre, lies Birmingham University, one of the top Uni’s in the country. Birmingham also one of the most affordable cities for students to live in. Birmingham is home to one of the most diverse and delicious food scenes for every taste. It also comes with a thriving shopping scene from the Bullring to the Jewellery Quarter. If you fancy letting your hair down, the city is host to some incredible races and warehouse club nights.
The Uni of Bristol is one of the UK’s top universities. Bristol is known for its friendly atmosphere, quirky culture and independent nature. While you're there, you’d be mad not to explore the city for street markets, museums and galleries. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s a buzzing nightlife with plenty of pubs, music venues and nightclubs, as well as independent cinemas, theatres and comedy venues.
So now you know where you should live if you want the cheapest place to study in the UK. If you're looking for the
most expensive student cities in the UK, click here
. If you're looking for more advice on student living, check out our
Student Guides To Renting, Bills & Accommodation
to learn the ins and outs of renting, what to prepare for, and what to think about. For more advice on life at Uni visit our
Student Advice Hub