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Living expenses

BU's Talbot Campus at night

Learning to manage your finances is one of the biggest challenges of living independently. However, with some careful advance planning, learning to live within a budget and being sensible with your money can provide a strong financial platform and make your student loan last longer.

To help you get off to a good financial start, we have put together a guide to living expenses, some additional information on how you can supplement your income as well as useful links for further advice and guidance on managing your money and implementing a budget.


A guide to living expenses

The following breakdown of living expenses is intended as a rough guide, as your expenses will differ depending on your lifestyle and how you decide to spend your leisure time. It does not cover items such as clothing spend, phone contracts, your interests & hobbies or distance away from home (ie. additional travel costs) – but please consider these when drawing up your own budget. If you plan on staying in Bournemouth during the summer you will need to budget for this too.

It also excludes tuition fees* and any money you may wish to set aside for unexpected events and special occasions etc.

Expenditure Approx. cost per month** Academic year Notes
Rent (this is paid in one installment each term) £490 £4,410 Average rent for a standard room, on a 42 week tenancy.
Bills (Gas, electric, water & sewerage, internet) £0 £0 These are included in the cost of your rent when in Halls of Residence ⁄ Unilet accommodation.
Local bus travel £0 £0 A 12 month BU bus pass is included in your accommodation price for BU Halls of Residence ⁄ Unilet.
Food, toiletries and household items £245 £2,200 Based on National Union of Students cost of living survey.
Laundry costs £23 £210 Launderette facilities are coin ⁄ card operated in Halls. Unilet houses are equipped with washing machines (so this is included in the rent).
Insurance for personal possessions £70 This is recommended. Can usually be paid by monthly Direct Debit.
TV Licence £145.50 If applicable – see useful links below. Can be paid monthly by Direct Debit.
Course materials (eg.books, photocopying, stationery and consumables) £53 £475 For example core text books, photocopying, stationery and consumables.
Totals £811 £7,510.50

** During term time – ie. over 9 months.

* For the majority of students Student Finance will provide tuition fee loans, meaning you or your parents will not have to save up all the money beforehand or factor this into your budget. Once you leave university you only repay the loan if you earn more than £21,000 a year.

To help you draw up a more detailed cost of living summary for your own personal circumstances, we recommend that you make use of one of the online student budget calculators (UK and International student versions are available):


Start–up costs

When drawing up your budget remember to factor in any one–off costs, eg. You will have to pay an accommodation deposit and booking fee when you accept your offer of a Hall or Unilet accommodation. In some cases a month’s rent in advance will also be required. Take a look at our Price Guide for further details.

There are also a few things you will need to bring with you when you join us in September – so include these in your budget planning:

* Consider bringing the bare minimum to get you through the first week as some items in the kitchen may be best purchased when you arrive in Bournemouth, perhaps in partnership with your new flatmate's to avoid duplication.


Part–time work

Many students supplement their income by working part–time* and Bournemouth is well placed for part-time and seasonal staff vacancies with a wide range of pubs, clubs, hotels, bars and restaurants in the local area. Shops and supermarkets present further opportunities. The BU Careers & Employability Service helps to publicise part–time jobs for students via its online Career Hub.

We would advise that you work no more than 15 hours per week to ensure you have time to study and have a social life.

* International students, with the appropriate visa, may work part–time (no more than 20 hours a week) during term time and full–time during vacations. It is important to note that if you require a visa to enter the UK, you must show evidence of sufficient funding to cover your tuition fees and living costs. Even though you will normally be permitted to undertake paid part–time work in the UK, you will not be granted an entry visa if it appears that you will be relying on this to help fund your studies.


Useful links: