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

Living costs for 2024-entry

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. 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 2024-25 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£190£320£1,710£2,880
Social activities£40£95£360£855
Study costs£35£85£315£765

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 2024-25 (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 £14,850 for the 2024-25 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 and utility bills may vary to the figures shown and may be subject to higher inflationary increases. The costs will also 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 travel to and from Oxford. If you are an international student who needs a student visa, see the international students section below.

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.

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 cost). The immigration health surcharge is paid upfront when you apply for your student visa and covers the entire duration of your course and any additional time the Home Office adds to your course end date so this matches the visa expiry date. For example, this will be a 3 or 4 year health surcharge based on your course length and the 4 months added to your course end date 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. This surcharge also needs to be paid for each dependant, if they are able to accompany you to the UK.

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 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.

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.

Daniel, BA History and Politics

During term time I live in college-owned accommodation – my college charges the same rent for every room which helps with future budgeting. For my meals, I mainly eat in my college’s dining hall as I find it is the easiest way to get nutritious food while preserving my energy. During term I mainly spend money on food and drink, specifically eating out and socialising with friends. I bought clothes at the start of university that still fit and I like, so I haven’t purchased much clothing for a while. Most of the societies I have been involved with at Oxford have a minimal membership fee and quite low-price events, and my college has a book grant which means I haven’t spent too much on course reading materials either (particularly given my college library has the vast majority of the books I need). During vacations I usually live with my parents rent-free, though having been involved in various college activities I have been able to stay in Oxford for some additional time with subsidised rent.

For additional costs that arise from my disability, there is the government Disabled Students Allowance, which has covered everything I have needed (including printing costs and mental health support) apart from £200 which I paid towards the cost of a specialist laptop which has lasted me through my studies. Outside of term time there are plenty of opportunities for work to top up my income, including working with the university and my college, as well as more local opportunities – I have monetised my hobby of DJing which has been a great way to earn money while having minimal impact on my studies.

Jack, MBiochem Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

I feel I manage my finances well, despite certain costs at Oxford being more expensive than back at home. I like to budget by keeping a rough idea of how much money I can sustainably spend each week, and keeping track of how much I actually spend. 

During term time I live in college accommodation and have access to a kitchen, which I use regularly rather than eating in hall, as I prefer to cook for myself. I do a weekly food shop at a budget supermarket to keep costs down, and also have the odd trip to a café for lunch. I don’t really go out to restaurants and this helps keep me within my budget as eating out often can really add up. I play table tennis for the university, and my membership and equipment costs are a couple of hundred pounds over the course of the year. Some of this cost is reimbursed by the university. I do some vacation work as a tutor to earn some extra money to supplement my income.

I am a Crankstart scholar, and the money from this scholarship means I don’t have to worry about essential costs, like my rent, and am able to splash out on some additional activities - like going to a ball! The money also means I can prioritise my studies during vacations and spend less time focusing on how I'm going to fund the next term.

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.

Sabyia, BA Jurisprudence

During my time at the University of Oxford, I have developed a strategy for managing my finances effectively, ensuring that I can meet both my academic and personal needs while living in this vibrant and historic city. I live in college accommodation, which allows me to predict my housing costs for the entire year. At the start of each academic year, I create a spreadsheet to calculate the total funding I will receive from sources like SFE (Student Finance England), scholarships, and bursaries. I then note down larger expenses such as rent, toiletries, food, and phone bills.

For meals, I frequently visit my college hall, as it offers affordable, convenient dining options and serves as a great social opportunity. I also enjoy cooking for myself. To stick to my budget, I order groceries online and have them delivered. I often coordinate with friends to split the delivery costs, making it a cost-effective choice. I shop at a large supermarket chain which offers a rewards program, which provides fantastic deals and rewards through vouchers as the points accumulate.

When my budget for the weekly grocery shop is tighter than expected, my friends and I opt for a taxi to reach the local discount supermarket, which saves on travel costs, and these stores generally offer more budget-friendly options. I always ensure that I include my 'non-negotiables' in my financial plan. For me, one such non-negotiable is my gym membership, so I factor in the cost of my preferred gym to ensure it's accounted for.

Like many students, I enjoy socializing with friends and participating in extracurricular activities. Oxford provides numerous low-cost or free opportunities for students to engage in various societies and events. Many restaurants and cafes in Oxford offer loyalty schemes, allowing you to enjoy discounts or even free food and drinks after a few visits. Additionally, my college's book grant has proven invaluable in reducing the cost of the key course reading materials that it is helpful to have my own copies of. This, coupled with the extensive collection at the college library, has minimized my spending on academic resources. Overall, my financial strategy revolves around careful planning and making the most of available resources, allowing me to navigate the unique financial challenges of studying in Oxford as a law undergraduate student.

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