Living costs
Lunch in the dining hall at Somerville College.
(Image credit: Rob Judges Photography / Oxford University Images).

2014 Living costs

Your living costs will vary significantly dependent on your lifestyle. In 2014-15 these are estimated to be between £945 and £1,332 per month. Undergraduate courses usually consist of three terms of eight weeks each, but as a guide you may wish to budget over a nine-month period to ensure you also have sufficient funds during the holidays to meet essential costs.

Living costs breakdown

 Per monthTotal for 9 months
 Lower rangeUpper rangeLower rangeUpper range
Food£255£286£2,291£2,570
Accommodation (including utilities)£464£596£4,176£5,364
Personal items£115£234£1,031£2,102
Social activities£58£103£518£923
Study costs£34£71£302£635
Other£19£42£189£394
Total£945£1,332£8,507£11,986

Additional costs

The above range is based on a single student with no dependants living in college accommodation (including utility bills). You may need to make additional provision for costs such as a student visa, international travel to and from Oxford, and fieldwork or separate costs related to your family.

Further information about living costs

Food

These estimated food costs would enable you to eat in your college for three meals each day but food costs may be lower or higher, depending on your personal choice about where and what you eat. Most students in college eat in the dining hall, although there are basic self catering facilities available.

Accommodation

These estimated accommodation costs include related bills (e.g. utilities such as electricity and heating) and are based on college accommodation. All colleges provide rooms for their undergraduate students during term time for the first year and for at least one other year of their course, and rent will vary depending on the college and room standard. Please visit the Colleges section of our website for more information on individual colleges.

You can also live out in privately rented accommodation, but should be aware you will have to pay rent outside term, in the holidays. Private accommodation costs may vary to the figures shown, and depend on the number of people you share with and the quality and location of the accommodation.

Study costs

You will need to allow for costs related to your studies, such as text books, stationery, printing and photocopying, course-related equipment and materials.

Living costs in future years

When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford, you should allow for an estimated increase of around 3% for each year.

Below are a range of case studies from current students at Oxford showing how their living costs vary depending on how they choose to spend their money.

Keller, BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

Oxford is more expensive than living at home, so I have become creative at spending money. I eat in hall on a meal deal most nights, go to society meetings that offer free food on others, and will at times prepare something myself. At home I live with my parents, rent free. I have yet to pay for a textbook, as I use my laptop and the college libraries extensively.

Chris, BA in Philosophy and Theology

I live in a college owned flat, with a bathroom and a living room, which is shared by three students. I eat my main meal in college each day. For my other meals, I purchase food from local stores and supermarkets. I never buy clothes during term time, only ever during the vacation, during which I live with my parents. I have several extracurricular hobbies, yet none of these are at any substantial financial cost. I rarely go out in the evenings, which also keeps my costs low. Since the beginning of my course, I have not needed to purchase books and I have owned my current laptop for three years. I, of course, also spend money on basic items such as toiletries.

Lucy, MEng in Engineering Science

I live in a four person flat owned by my college. We split the cost of cleaning materials between us but I buy all my own food and rarely eat in college. I rarely need to buy new clothes, and live with my parents rent free during the vacations, except in summer where I work abroad and accommodation is paid for. I hardly ever go out but do a lot of sport which does incur costs. My laptop was free, and all the books I need are in the college or faculty libraries.

Kate, BA in English Language and Literature

I live in a set in college with one roommate during term time - we have two bedrooms, a living room, and a shared bathroom. I don't really use college meal facilities because I rarely remember to book for hall in advance and there aren't many kitchens, so I tend to use cafés and supermarket meals quite a lot. I try to stay in Oxford over vacations for access to libraries, but if I can't, I live rent free with my parents outside term time. My co-curricular activities aren't particularly expensive - I'm mostly involved in student media, which requires more time and effort than money. There are occasional one-off costs in Oxford (like when I broke my glasses) and I spend a moderate amount on books.

Thanh Cong, MMath in Mathematics

During term time, I live in an en-suite college room and have meals at college almost every day. During Christmas, I stay for free at my friend’s house but for Easter vacation, I stay at college’s accommodation for exam revision. I seldom buy new clothes or any new personal items and I still have my computer since I first bought it during my first year. My social life is active but not too busy. I hang out with my friends once or twice per week for dinner or drinks, and sometimes I attend talks or seminars which mostly are free. Also some of my spending goes to sport activities as I have to pay for membership fees and equipment. My spending on study related materials is minimal as all of my text books can be borrowed from my tutors or from the library and I only have to spend on printing and stationary.

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