Your living costs can vary significantly dependent on your lifestyle. These are estimated to be between £1,345 and £1,955 per month in 2024-25. We provide the cost per month so you can multiply up by the number of months you expect to live in Oxford.
How much will it cost to live in Oxford?
The likely living costs for 2024-25 are published below. These costs are based on a single, full-time graduate student, with no dependants, living in Oxford.
|Likely living costs for 1 month
|Likely living costs for 9 months
|Likely living costs for 12 months
Further information about these costs
This information is provided to ensure that you are fully aware of and consider very carefully the likely living costs associated with your chosen course of study at Oxford.
In addition to reviewing the information on this page, you should fully consider and research your personal likely living costs. As part of the Financial Declaration process, you will need to confirm that you are willing and able to fund your living expenses at least at the lower amount in the range shown above, and any remaining years of your course after 2024-25 (see note below on 'What might my likely living costs be in future years?').
Please note that the University sets its maintenance stipend level for graduate scholarships at the competitive RCUK minimum doctoral stipend rate, which as a guide equates to £18,622 for the 2023-24 academic year.
How are these likely living costs calculated?
In order to provide these likely living costs (which are rounded to the nearest £5), the University and the Oxford SU conducted a living costs survey to complement existing student expenditure data from a variety of sources, including the UK government's Student Income and Expenditure Survey and the National Union of Students (NUS).
These likely food costs would enable you to eat in your college for each of your three meals each day and there is provision for some dining out but food costs may be lower or higher, depending on your personal choice about where and what you eat.
These likely accommodation costs include related bills (for example, utilities such as electricity and heating) and are based on the latest available college accommodation figures, with an inflationary increase applied. Please note that college accommodation costs take into account a range of factors, and the impact of inflation on these costs will therefore vary from year to year. Private sector rental costs and utility bills may be subject to higher inflationary increases. You can find more information about renting in the private sector through the Oxford Student Pad and University Accommodation Office.
These are likely costs directly related to your studies, such as text books, stationery, printing and photocopying, course-related equipment and materials.
These are small, miscellaneous costs which do not fall under the other categories above.
Further advice on planning a budget is available on our Managing your finances page.
What additional costs might I need to budget for?
You may need to make additional provision for costs such as travel to and from Oxford and fieldwork, or for international students the visa and health surcharge costs (see below). Any additional course-related costs will be outlined in the individual graduate course pages, accessible via the Courses page. These costs are not included in the figures above.
Students with dependants (for example, a partner or child) will also need to consider separate costs related to their family. More information and advice is available in the Living costs for dependants section of this page.
Are there any additional costs for International students?
If you need a student visa you will need to budget for the cost of the student visa and also the immigration health surcharge (see the student visa webpages for more information on the costings). The immigration health surcharge is paid upfront when you apply for your student visa and for the entire duration of your course, and any additional time the Home Office adds to your course end date for the visa expiry date. For example, this will be a 1.5 year health surcharge payment for a 12 month Master's (4 months added to course end date by the Home Office), 5 year health surcharge payment for a DPhil (4 year allowance for course length and 6 months added for viva and corrections, plus 4 months added by the Home Office). You should plan ahead for this expenditure as it must be paid with your visa application and the Home Office does not offer any instalment options. It also needs to be paid for each dependant, if any are able to accompany you to the UK.
What might my likely living costs be in future years?
The current economic climate and high national rate of inflation make it very hard to estimate potential changes to the cost of living over the next few years. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2024-25, it is suggested that you allow for potential increases in living expenses of around 5% each year – although this rate may vary depending on the national economic situation. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.
What advice is there about living costs for part-time students?
The living costs above are based on single, full-time students living in Oxford. While it may be the case that, as a part-time student, you will not be based in Oxford during your studies, you will still need to cover your cost of living on a full-time basis. If this applies to you, you should calculate your living costs to be sure that you have sufficient funding to meet these costs for the duration of your course. In particular, part-time students who are not based in Oxford will need to calculate travel and accommodation costs carefully. Please note that living costs outside Oxford may be different from those shown above.
Living costs profiles from our graduate students
To help in planning your living costs, we asked a number of our graduate students to share their experiences on the cost of living and studying in Oxford. You can read their stories in the Living costs profiles section of this page.
Living costs for dependants
The costs quoted in the Living costs for 2024-25 section of this page are for single students. If you are planning to bring family members or other dependants to Oxford, you will need to budget for additional costs.
Please see our Visas for your family page for further details on whether you can bring dependants, the associated visa costs, and funds you may be required to show to demonstrate you are able to support your dependants.
When considering your budget, please take into account the following information:
Accommodation and utilities
There is some University accommodation available for couples and families. The Accommodation Office's Rents page provides details of the relevant costs. Local websites will also give some idea of what you can expect to pay in the private sector. Please check whether any utility bills are included in your rent, and consider how the size of your property and the number of people living there will affect your bills.
A student living with non-students, whether they are family members or not, may need to pay council tax. More information is available on the Gov.uk website and Oxford City Council's website gives further information specifically for Oxford residents.
Self-catering for a family can reduce the cost of food per person. Comparing food prices at some major supermarkets may help you plan and there are various price comparison websites which will assist you in doing this.
Childcare (up to age four)
Childcare in Oxford is likely to be expensive and there may be high demand for places. For more information about the University's subsidised nurseries, see the Childcare Services page. Some UK government and limited University support may be available for (mainly UK) student parents. You can find out more about free early learning opportunities on the Gov.uk website.
Education (for children aged four and over)
Once children are of school age (the September after they turn four in Oxfordshire), they can attend a state school at no cost.
If you require a visa to study at Oxford, please see the Student visa page for information about health costs relating to you and your dependants.
Other living costs
Please consider expenditure you may incur on other items such as clothes, books and entertainment for your dependants.
In working out the income that will be available to you, you may also want to consider the following:
- If your partner is planning to work to help fund themselves whilst you study, check that they have the right to do so (ie that their UK visa permits it). Unless your partner has made arrangements in advance, it may take them some time to find a job in Oxford and you will need to budget for this period. Local websites advertise a number of short-term, part-time and casual jobs in Oxford; and
- If you are unfamiliar with tax arrangements in the UK, please check the information provided on the HM Revenue and Customs website.
Living cost profiles
To help in planning your living costs, we asked a number of our graduate students to share their experiences on the cost of living and studying in Oxford.
Below are a range of case studies from current students at Oxford showing how their living costs vary.
Améline, MSc in Comparative and International Education
I live in a single en-suite college room (with a double bed!) in a house with 10 other students. I have a few meals in college every term to make the most of my allowance (included in the college accommodation fee), but otherwise I cook with my housemates as it’s much cheaper. I bought stationery and a laptop at the start of my degree and haven’t had to spend much since, as I borrow books from libraries instead of buying them. Most of my social and sport activities are free, but I go to London or visit friends every weekend. My main and regular expenses include food shops, train tickets and phone contract, with occasional additional costs such as social outings (and sometimes a ball after exams - start saving up early if you want to go, they can be pretty expensive!).
Alexei, DPhil in Ion Channels and Disease
I am currently living in North Oxford in college owned couples accommodation with my girlfriend. We share a one bedroom flat, which is small and quite basic but good value for such a lovely part of Oxford. One of the best things is that bills are included in the rent, and parking for two cars is available outside the flat. Living close to the city centre and my department is great as it means I can cycle to work in less than 10 minutes, so I don’t spend any money on commuting. As we enjoy cooking ourselves we rarely spend money eating at college other than for the odd formal and guest night dinner.
Samantha, DPhil in Inorganic Chemistry
I live out of college in a house with four other people. Usually I cook for myself, but sometimes we share meals, and if I've got time I like to have friends over and cook for a crowd. My college's MCR put on lots of events that are free to go to and I'll go to formal hall probably three or four times a term, and a couple of bar nights, as well as socials with my lab group. I have enough to travel home or visit friends most weekends easily, and to buy presents or buy new clothes without living beyond my means.
Ayesha, DPhil in Pharmacology
I live in a shared house that is quite far from the city centre, and usually eat at home, though I like to eat out with friends a few times a week. My social life is quite busy as I like to meet friends at some point each day, and this often means going out somewhere and spending some money. I like to buy clothes sometimes, and I spend quite a bit of money on groceries and household supplies, though this was a more significant cost when we first moved in. I don’t have much extra expenditure for my studies or for travel.
Tatiana, DPhil in Education
I live in an en-suite college room and share a kitchen with three more students. I work as Assistant Junior Dean at my college and because of this my accommodation is free of charge. Being a DPhil student I spend most of the year in Oxford. I usually cook in the flat or go for meals to college. On occasions I eat out. My social life is somewhat active and I like to go to the movies, concerts, theatre and to have coffee and catch up with friends. I try to attend free events around University or take advantage of student discounts. This year I’ve had to invest some money in equipment for fieldwork and data analysis, for example a voice recorder, some software licenses and a laptop. I often commute by train or bus to do interviews outside of Oxford for my research. I’ve also spent some money on sports equipment and club memberships. I go to Colombia, my home country, once a year, usually during Christmas break.
Sam, MSc Global Governance and Diplomacy
I am a self-funded student living in en-suite university accommodation. I cook for myself at home most of the time to keep costs down. When I eat out, I look for restaurants that offer student discounts (top tip: always ask the restaurant if they offer student discounts!). But I also enjoy having a fancy dinner on a special occasion e.g. birthdays and have been able to afford this.
When I was coming to Oxford, I did not include social expenses in my budget – such as joining clubs that involve trips and fees, as well as simply socialising with people (e.g. going to pubs, cafes, and formal dinners). To finance these expenses, I was able to find some low-commitment part-time jobs that fit within the university’s paid work guidelines. Moreover, cooking and hosting a dinner at home, rather than eating out, has helped me and my friends save a lot of money. Studying in college where I can pick up free coffee and tea instead of buying it also helps keep everyday costs lower.
Peter, MPhil Tibetan and Himalayan Studies
As an international student I fund my studies through a combination of partial scholarships, US federal loans and some part-time work in my field of expertise and for the Oxford SU. I was additionally awarded a small one-off stipend by my college specifically for travel expenses related to my course. To budget for my living costs I use a banking app which texts me after each transactions and sends me regular updates on my expenditure - these texts greatly help in monitoring my expenses and what the trajectory of them is. I also separate my money into two accounts, with a set amount for spending each week, to avoid accidentally overspending.
I live out of college in a privately-rented flat, as my partner lives with me and so external accommodation better meets our needs. When I came to Oxford I was unaware we would have to pay Council Tax as my partner is not a student, which adds to our outgoings. Incoming students should consider these kinds of additional costs when looking at their housing options - Oxford SU provide a living out guide that can help you know where to start. I cook the vast majority of my meals at home, and shop at a budget supermarket, which has made all the difference and saved hundreds of pounds over the term compared to eating out (it’s much healthier too!). With the money saved in this way I enjoy pub nights or eating out with friends a couple of times a week. I have a membership to the Oxford Union, which I was bought for me as a gift, and am a member of a local football group which costs a few pounds per week.
Sheila, DPhil Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
My student experience has been a bit different to many, as I live with my husband and two children in Oxford, rather than in a college. We cook most of our own meals at home, as we’re catering for the whole family, but I do enjoy going to college formals from time to time as these are a great way to get to know the college community. I took advantage of a university nursery place to help balance our childcare needs with my DPhil, as places are prioritised for the children of students. There are lots of great free activities and facilities on offer in Oxford, and many are family-friendly, for example the University museums, Botanic Gardens and University Parks. There are also lots of community parks and playgrounds - Cutteslowe Park and Florence Park are particular favourites of my family!