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Cheapest Cities to Study in the UK

When it comes to the cost of studying abroad, apart from tuition fees, which are fixed and cannot be subjectively adjusted at will, it's the usual living expenses. Since you've already decided on the UK as your study destination, how do you choose if you want to study in a city with a relatively low cost of living?

QS has ranked the cities in the UK where famous universities are located according to the indicators of university affordability collected from students.



Score: 55.6/100

Nottinghamshire is an essential industrial city in the East Midlands region of England. It is the capital of Nottinghamshire and the second-largest trading centre in the United Kingdom after London.

Nottingham has a long history. The story of the famous Robin Hood of the Greenwood also took place here. The castle of the Lord of Nottinghamshire has burned down, and the present site is open to the public as an art museum.

Nottingham has been named 'City of Science' by the UK government and is home to Boots, a world-renowned pharmaceutical company, and Nottingham BioCity, a rapidly growing centre for life science innovation. The two universities in Nottingham are also renowned for their research strengths.

There's no need to worry about weekend walks in Nottingham, with the famous Peak District National Park just north of the city. There are many places to visit around the city, such as Shakespeare's home town, Warwick Castle, Cambridge and Oxford, and Roman ruins.

Universities: The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.

Student Accommodation Nottingham Rent

Student accommodation Nottingham Rent varies greatly depending on location, type of accommodation and facilities offered. Generally, students can expect to pay from £90 to £150 per week to rent a room in a shared flat or house. Purpose-built student accommodation tends to be more expensive, ranging from £120 to over £200 per week, often including bills and internet charges.


In addition to the above-ranked cities, Preston is also a cheaper city to live in

Preston is the county seat of Lancashire, England and is located in the north-west of England, near the cosmopolitan cities of Manchester and Liverpool. Below is a detailed description of Preston's features, cultural characteristics, recommended attractions, universities included, and the average cost of renting a student flat:

Preston is a historic and vibrant city with a population of around 130,000 people. The city's traditional industries are mainly wool, linen, and cotton textiles, while modern industries include lead, zinc, antimony, and uranium ore mining and smelting, metal processing, aeroplanes, automobiles, chemicals, and other fields. In addition, Preston is home to the largest rayon factory in the UK, demonstrating the diversity and importance of its industrial development.

Preston has a rich and diverse cultural character. As the transport hub of England, the city is easily accessible and attracts tourists from all directions. Ancient buildings such as St John's Church and Roman-era castles add to the city's rich historical heritage. Preston is also one of the most famous cities in the North of England, with a thriving tourist industry and an excellent destination for rest. In addition, Preston is also very successful in handicrafts such as pottery, fabric design, etc., reflecting its unique artistic atmosphere and cultural charm.

There are many attractions to see in Preston, and the following are some of the more popular ones:

Romanesque Castle: This castle bears witness to Preston's long history and is an excellent place for visitors to learn about the city's history.

St John's Church: This church attracts many tourists with its unique architectural style and religious culture.

City Centre Business District: Preston's bustling and vibrant city centre business district is excellent for shopping and entertainment.

Universities: The University of Central Lancashire, the University of Preston, and the University of Cambridge Preston.

Student Accommodation Preston Rent

Student accommodation Preston Rent varies depending on factors such as location, room type and facilities. Generally speaking, a single flat in the city centre costs around £500 to £700 per month, while it may be cheaper in the suburbs.


Score: 61/100

Aberdeen, the third-largest city in Scotland, is located in the north-east of the country, between the estuaries of the River Don in the north and the River Dee in the south. It is the main harbour on the North Sea waterfront.

Due to the confluence of the two rivers, Aberdeen is not only picturesque but also an excellent place for all kinds of outdoor sports enthusiasts, fishing, canoeing, and rafting; nature is very convenient, not only the golden sandy beaches but also cliffs, flocks of seabirds and migratory birds as a place to stay. Nearby Mount Cango offers excellent hiking and skiing opportunities. Of course, you can also go to the stadium to witness the various events.

The Imperial Theatre in the city also attracts troupes worldwide for ballet, opera and drama. The Concert Hall regularly hosts classical, contemporary and rock concerts.

Universities: The University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University.

Student Accommodation Aberdeen Rent

The cost of renting student accommodation in Aberdeen varies greatly depending on location, property type, and facilities offered. Students may have to pay anywhere from £400 to £650 per month for a room in a shared flat or house. Studios or one-bedroom flats offer more privacy and space and cost between £600 and £800 per month.


Score: 58/100

Glasgow is one of the largest cities in the UK and has the second-largest student population, with over 185,000 students from 140 countries. Scotland's largest and most diverse city boasts museums, galleries, music, comedy, film and art, and famous festivals such as Celtic Connections.

Glasgow is also widely regarded as one of the best shopping destinations in the UK, second only to London. It is the second largest retail city in the UK, and there is sure to be enough for you to choose from, from designer brand shops to large shopping centres on city centre streets. There are also numerous coffee houses, restaurants, bars, and fast food outlets.

Universities: The University of Glasgow, University of Clyde, University of the West of Scotland, and Glasgow Caledonian University.

Student Accommodation Glasgow Rent

The average cost of renting student accommodation in Glasgow varies greatly depending on factors such as location, type of accommodation and facilities offered. Typically, the monthly rent for shared student accommodation ranges between £400 and £800, with slightly higher prices in the city centre. Purpose-built student accommodation offers more services and costs between £500 and £1,000 per month, including utilities and internet access.


Score: 57.7/100

Cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, and classical decorations—when it comes to these keywords, I'm sure the city that springs to mind for many is Edinburgh. A city steeped in history but also boasts an array of modern architecture, a thriving creative culture, and a friendly atmosphere, it's not hard to imagine why Edinburgh is so popular with students.

NatWest named Edinburgh one of the top 10 most affordable cities for students in 2021. It is a city where you can feel at home, whether you're from the city or the country.

Edinburgh is famous for its festivals, including the Fringe, the International Film Festival and the Food Festival. You can catch a great theatre show at the Playhouse or Traverse, comedy at The Stand Comedy Club or a film at the Filmhouse or Cameo Picturehouse.

Art and history lovers can't miss Edinburgh, which are keywords in Edinburgh's favour, so head to the National Galleries of Scotland, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art or the annual Fringe Festival for creative inspiration. Stroll through the streets of Edinburgh and visit Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, the National Museum of Scotland or the Royal Mile, and the range of buildings in the Old Town. Be sure to be rewarded with something different each time.

Universities: The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Longbranch University, Heriot-Watt University, and Queen Margaret University Edinburgh.

Student Accommodation Edinburgh Rent

Edinburgh student flats' rent varies greatly depending on the area, type of property and facilities offered. The average monthly rent for a student renting a shared flat is between £400 and £800. More luxurious or separate living spaces, such as one-bedroom flats, can be more expensive, sometimes exceeding £1,000 per month.


Score: 56.5/100

Located in the geographical centre of the UK, Leeds is a major transport hub and the third largest city in terms of population size. It is also the UK's second-largest financial centre, second-largest legal centre, third-largest manufacturing centre, an important economic, commercial, industrial, and cultural centre in the Midlands, and one of England's eight core cities.

A multicultural identity, a thriving arts scene, and a wealth of music, food and sport are all readily available in Leeds, and its location in West Yorkshire, with its mix of urban and rural environments, makes it extremely attractive to students from a wide range of backgrounds.

For 'food', you'll find a wide range of street food and independent restaurants in Trinity Kitchen and Leeds Dock. Headingley and Otley are known for their beautiful cafes, and Belgrave has relatively cheap food and drink and is perfect for chatting and relaxing with friends. Kirkgate Market is a great place to buy cheap fruit and vegetables, and the city centre is not short of pubs and bars, but keep it in moderation!

Universities: Leeds University of the Arts, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Trinity University, and the University of Leeds.

Student Accommodation Leeds Rent

The cost of renting student accommodation in Leeds varies greatly depending on location and quality of accommodation. On average, students can expect to pay between £600 and £850 per month for a one-bedroom flat in an area close to a university campus or the city centre.


Score: 55.9/100

The city of Leicester is located in the county of Leicestershire in the East Midlands, England, UK. It is a central transport hub from which it is very convenient to reach any part of the UK, with famous cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester and Sheffield all only about an hour's drive away.

Leicester is a thriving, cosmopolitan business city with many shops, restaurants, bars and cultural and entertainment facilities, making city life convenient and rich.

Leicester is also one of the UK's leading university towns, with students making up 10% of the city's population. This makes it a vibrant, safe, and comfortable place to live, full of culture and modern trends. As the UK's first environmentally friendly city, Leicester has a very natural, fresh, and liveable urban environment.

Universities: The University of Leicester, De Montfort University, and Loughborough University (Charnwood, Leicestershire).

Student Accommodation Leicester Rent

The average rent for student flats in Leicester varies, depending on the flat's location, size and facilities. A one-bedroom flat typically costs between £400 and £750 per month. For those looking for shared accommodation, the cost per room may be lower, and students can find options for around £300 to £500 per month.

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