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

Living costs for 2023-entry

Your living costs can vary significantly dependent on your lifestyle. These are estimated to be between £1,290 and £1,840 per month in 2023-24. Each academic year usually consists of three terms of eight weeks each, but you may need to be in Oxford for longer.

We provide the cost per month so you can multiply up by the number of months you expect to live in Oxford. 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

The likely living costs for 2023-24 are published below. These costs are based on a single, full-time student, with no dependants, living in Oxford. 

Likely living costs
 Per monthTotal for 9 months
 Lower rangeUpper rangeLower rangeUpper range
Personal items£180£305£1,620£2,745
Social activities£40£90£360£810
Study costs£35£80£315£720



Further information about living 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 2023-24 (see note below on 'Living costs for future years'). 

Please note that the University calculates its maintenance stipend for undergraduate scholarships using the average of the lower and upper likely living costs amounts, which equates to £14,085 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 estimated food costs would enable you to eat in your college for three meals each day and there is some provision for dining out 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.


These estimated accommodation costs include related bills (eg utilities such as electricity and heating) and are based on the latest available college accommodation costs 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. 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 choose to live in privately-rented accommodation, but should be aware you will usually have to pay rent for a whole calendar year, including any vacations. 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

These are likely costs directly related to your studies, such as text books, stationery, printing and photocopying, course-related equipment and materials.

Other costs

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 a student visa and travel to and from Oxford. If you require a visa to study at Oxford, please see the Student visa page for information about health costs.

If you have dependants (a partner or a child) or live with other family members, the following information may also be of assistance when considering your increased costs: 

  • The Accommodation Office's Rents page provides details of the relevant costs of University accommodation available for couples and families;
  • Council tax information is available on the website and Oxford City Council website for students living with family members;
  • The Childcare Services page provides information about the University's subsidised nurseries. Some UK government support may be available for (mainly UK) student parents. Information on free early learning opportunities (for under 4s) can be found on the website;
  • 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;
  • If you require a visa, you will need to show that you have a certain amount of funds to support your dependants. Please see our Visas for your family page; and,
  • If your partner is planning to work to help fund themselves whilst you study and you are unfamiliar with tax arrangements in the UK, please check the information provided on the HM Revenue and Customs website.

Living costs for 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 2023-24, it is suggested that you allow for potential increases in living expenses of 5% or more each year – although this rate may vary significantly depending on how the national economic situation develops. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.

Student case studies

To help in planning your living costs, we asked a number of our undergraduate students to share their experiences on the cost of living and studying in Oxford. Below are a range of case studies from current students showing how their living costs vary.

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 ensuite college room and have meals at college almost every day. During Christmas, I stay for free at my friend’s house but for the Easter vacation, I stay in college 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 are mostly free. Also some of my spending goes on sport activities as I have to pay for membership fees and equipment. My spending on study-related materials is minimal as all of my textbooks can be borrowed from my tutors or from the library, and I only have to spend money on printing and stationery.

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