Cost of living

close up of two female students drinking coffee in the Treehouse Area of Elm's Village student accommodation

The cheapest place to be a student

Northern Ireland has the lowest student cost of living in the UK (Which? University, 2018)

That makes it cheaper than Manchester, Edinburgh, Leeds and Newcastle, while the cost of living is 28% lower than in London (Numbeo 2015).


Affordable social life

Your lifestyle budget will stretch a lot further in Belfast, too:

A standard cinema ticket will cost you £1.55 less than in England and Scotland, and an incredible £3.80 less than in London (Source: Odeon), while university gym membership is 20% cheaper than in England and more than 40% cheaper than in London (Source: University websites).

If you choose to live in Queen's Accommodation you will also avail of free off-peak gym.

If you are a full-time undergraduate student living in self-catering halls during term-time you are likely to face costs that will look something like:


Typical cost *

Accommodation £110
Food £50
Gas, electricity and water Included in student accommodation
Council tax Northern Ireland students are exempt
General living costs £30
Travel £10
Total Cost £210

* Costs shown are per week.

Useful Links

Where is the cheapest University town in the UK 2016?


Cost of living comparison

See how Queen's compares with other Universities in key costs, including accommodation, weekly household bills, travel expenses and tuition fees.

Area of Institution

Queen's University Belfast

English University

Scottish University

London University

Weekly cost  of University Accommodation*
Source: University websites
£115 £126 £141 £210
Average Weekly Rent
Source: Student Living Index 2016
£113 £117.93 £131.36 £210.98
Tuition Fees for 2017/18
Source: University websites


£9,250 £9,250 £9,250
Maximum Student Maintenance  Loan Available
Source: Student Finance NI

£3750 if living at home
£4840 if living away from home

£4,840 £4,840 £6,780
Average Weekly Household Bills
Source: Student Living Index 2016
£10.77 £9.05 £9.98 £10.73
Additional Travel Costs (Flights)**
Source: Sky Scanner (EasyJet)
Nil £141 £153 £138
Additional Travel Costs (Baggage)***
Nil £38 £38 £38
Source: University websites

11 x £200 - £1000 scholarships for AAA students.

14 x Elite Athlete Scholarships
£3,000 towards fees, £2,000 towards accommodation plus additional benefits
Up to £2000 available but only for those with household income less than £35,000

AAA NI students £1000 cash award.

NI students pay £9000 per year but will receive one year free for 4 or 5 year courses
(excludes Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science).

Up to £2000 available for those with household income less than £42,600.

Up to £2000 available for those with household income less than £42,875
  Queen's University Belfast English University Scottish University London University
Total Cost
(NI students) ****
£8,515 £14,164 14,749 £17,440
Total Cost
(GB Students) ******
£11,235 £14,164 14,749 £17,440


  • Student maintenance grants and loans are available for NI students, both vary according to household income.
  • Based on comparable RG Universities (Newcastle, Glasgow and UCL).
  • * Based on Single Ensuite accommodation. London (UCL) only cost available Single Ensuite Studio
  • ** Based on 3 return flights p/year to Belfast
  • *** £18.99 per item - max 30kg per item
  • **** Based on University Accommodation (39 weeks), Tuition Fees and Weekly household bills (39 weeks)
  • ***** Based on an AAB student. University Accommodation (39 weeks), Tuition Fees and Weekly household bills spend (39 weeks)
Two female students preparing food in a kitchen in Queen's student accommodation


Keep on top of your finances

As a guide we estimate you should allow a sum in the region of £5,500-£7,500 to cover your expenses for one academic year. Wherever your money comes from while at university, learning to prioritise your spending will help reduce your cost of living.

Travel and Transport

Translink operates Metro bus services in Belfast and train services. Student Discount card is available for all 16-23 year olds and costs only £8.

It gives up to 1/3 off Translink bus and rail services within Northern Ireland, plus up to 50 per cent off Enterprise train service between Dublin and Belfast.

More details
pink Metro bus in Belfast

Queen's University Belfast is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.

Queen's University Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101788
VAT registration number: GB 254 7995 11