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

Living costs

Your living costs will vary significantly dependent on your lifestyle. These are estimated to be between £1,002 and £1,471 per month in 2017-18. 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£250£350£2,250£3,150
Accommodation (including utilities)£538£619£4,844£5,569
Personal items£115£255£1,035£2,295
Social activities£40£119£358£1,073
Study costs£38£83£338£743
Other£22£45£196£407
Total£1,002£1,471£9,021£13,237

In order to provide these likely living costs, the University and the Oxford University Student Union 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).

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. 

Students with dependants (a partner or child) will also need to consider separate costs related to their family (see further information below) .

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.

The figures provided are for information only. 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, for the duration of your course (for courses longer than one year, you should allow for an estimated increase in living expenses of 2% each year).

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 (eg 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.

Other costs

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

If you require a visa to study at Oxford, please see the Tier 4 Student Visa page for information about health costs.

Living costs for dependants or other family members

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 Gov.uk 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 Gov.uk website.
  • If you require a visa to study at Oxford, please see the Tier 4 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.
  • 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

When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2017/18, you should allow for an estimated increase in living expenses of 2% each year.

Current student case studies

Below are a range of case studies from 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 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.

Next: Details on the government support available