The UK is home to international students from all across the globe and is just second to the US in the ranking. Known for its world-class education standards, the culture in the country is diverse and worth cherishing. Students pour in for the escalation in their career and life, with the exposure and network they hope to create during their stay.

Nothing comes inexpensive in the UK and for the prospects you dream, the price you pay is quite big as well. If you plan to study for bachelor’s you are looking at a fee from £15000 to £30000 on an average and £20000 to £40000 if you have post-graduation dreams in the UK.

Apart from the tuition fee, students have to find a way to meet their cost of living during their stay period. It includes expenses of accommodation, meals, personal and recreational needs, books and other miscellaneous necessities which amount to an average of another £20000. You must find a financial source supporting your expenses there.

Now that you know how big is the toll that a UK admission is going to take on your pockets, only better financial planning and execution will help you here.

There are multiple options available for you to fund your studies in the UK. Let us throw some more light into your possible options of funding.

1. Savings

Either you can depend on your own or on your parent’s savings for getting a seat in your favorite UK university. It is no secret that most of the students source their funds from the family and the figure is roughly 65% as per the Institute of International Education (IIE). 

If your parents are unable to fund your studies in the UK, then you can opt for self-funding. But you as a responsible student in the UK should adhere to the rules and limits set by the government on the working time and schedule. 

In the UK you can work 20 hours a week if you are a postgraduate student and 40 hours per week if you are a research student during the term time. You are free to work full time during the holidays. This will cover all your living expenses and a major share of your course fee as well. Marketing, accountancy, healthcare and education are the mainstream disciplines that you can ponder for getting a higher payment in the UK.

2. Student loan

Student loans are the second favourite choice of international students in the UK. The loans are meant to cover your tuition fee and maintenance or your living expenses.

These loans are flexible in most cases, such that you can avail of the loans for your requirement only. You can ask for a partial loan, if necessary, but in some universities, you don’t have that privilege. A maintenance loan is meant to cover your living expenses during your stay in the UK.

You can apply for a loan at a government or private bank or a non-banking financial institution in your country or you can look for prospects of getting a loan from the UK. In most cases, the former will be the easiest and better option.

There are two types of loans:

  • Secured loan

These loans can be availed over collateral such as a tangible or intangible asset including properties and financial instruments like FDs. Lower interest rates, longer repayment period and no repayment during the course period are some of the advantages of a secured student loan.

  • Unsecured loan

Unlike secured loans, these loans don’t need collateral to be submitted during the loan process and hence doesn’t have any benefits that a secured loan has on offer. Higher interest rates make it beyond the reach for many and short repayment periods make it even worse. Some loans have to be repaid during the course duration as well.

3. Grants

Popularly known as gift-aids these are financial aids that don’t have to be repaid by the beneficiary. It weighs your merit, your financial background and your area of research before considering your application.

These factors won’t make you get guaranteed as there are some rules and regulations followed by the universities. Since these rules vary for different universities then there are no hard and fast procedures that you could follow to be eligible for the same.

All that you could do is to refer to your university website, get details of the grants available for you and apply when it is open.

4. Scholarships

Unlike grants, these are merit-based, which doesn’t usually consider factors other than your academics, hobbies and your affiliations.  There are government scholarships that involve a lot of scrutiny and demand your name on top of the merit list of merit. But most of the universities are offering scholarships for international students to maintain their global reputation and fame. There are plenty of choices for example The University of Bristol and the University of Oxford offer a lot of opportunities for their students to avail themselves of a scholarship.

Apart from government and University scholarships, external organizations also offer scholarships. If your employer gets convinced that your study plans will benefit the company, there is a high chance that your employer will fund your studies in the UK. In most cases, that will be conditional funding which asks you to pledge your allegiance to the company for a term.

In any case, you failed to convince your employer, there are some charity institutions and organizations that can fund your studies. There are some popular choices for international students in the UK such as Chevening Scholarships or Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan. 

5. Teaching and research assistance

These assistantships are usually provided for postgraduate students who can spend specific work hours in the university as a teaching assistant or research help. The remuneration will be in salary or as a discount to the tuition fee you are entitled to pay. There is a high chance that an external body can pay for your services who have an interest in the area you are an assistant in research. You may be assigned to classrooms, laboratories, student counseling sessions and whatnot.


  • What are my expected monthly expenses in the UK?

While the expenses vary depending on personal choices, the city you live in, the accommodation you choose and a lot more factors, you can expect yourself to spend around £1800 per month. The figure is excluding any unforeseen spending and luxuries.

  • Do all universities offer scholarships for their international students?

Most of the universities have a scholarship program at the least, but you are expected to check with the university website and confirm the same before taking admission.

  • How easy is it to get a part-time job while studying in the UK?

Part-time jobs are available in all cities and there are high chances for you to get some provided you have the required skills.

  • Can part-time jobs solely fund your studies?

Getting good part-time jobs with high hourly payments will surely help you to pay a large part of your fees.  But you are expected to have backup funding as your work hours per week are limited by the university.