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Cost of living

The UK’s best value student city

Belfast has won awards for its affordable living, and rent in the popular Queen’s Quarter is rarely more than £150 a week.

In this exciting hub of music, food, shopping and culture, you’ll also pay less for things like travel, cinema tickets and going out.

Best value for money

Belfast has the lowest cost of living in the UK (Mercer Cost of Living City Ranking 2023)

Save without compromise

Lowest student rent in the UK (NatWest Student Living Index, 2020)

Group of students at a picnic table in the quad

Queen’s University has announced a multi-million support package of £7.69 million for students and staff facing the current cost of living crisis.

As students and staff face into a winter of financial uncertainty, it has been our priority to develop a series of measures to support the Queen’s community including;

  • A total of 3600 students who come from families earning under £25,000 per year will receive a one-off payment of £400 each with all other students receiving £150.
  • We will allocate £600,000 into a student support fund focused on international students.

Find out more on the Cost of Living site

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.

As a guide we estimate you should allow a sum in the region of £6,500-£8,500 to cover your expenses for one academic year (9 months)

Overall cost comparisons
Queen's University Belfast English University Scottish University London University
Weekly cost of University Accommodation [1] £124 £164 £157 £231
Average Monthly Rent £252 £424 £373 £717
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 £4,630 (NI Students)
£9,250 (GB Students)
£18,200 (International Students)
£9,250 £9,250 £9,250
Maximum Student Maintenance Loan Available £4,840 (NI Students)
£9,488 (GB Students)
Varies by nation (International)
£4,840 (NI Students)
£9,488(GB Students)
£4,840 (NI Students)
£9,488 (GB Students)
£6,780 (NI Students)
£12,382 (GB Students)
Scholarships UG Scholarships
GB Scholarships
International Scholarships
Travel Costs (Flights/Trains) [2] N/A (NI Students)
Manchester - Belfast flight £41 return (GB Students)
£55 (NI Students)
London-Newcastle train £84 (GB Students)
£43 (NI Students)
London-Glasgow train £114 (GB Students)
£30 (NI Students)
Manchester-London train £71 (GB Students)
Total Cost [4] £9,342 (NI Students)
£13,962 (GB Students)
£20,950 (International Students)
£16,138 £15,390 £18,243
  • Student maintenance grants and loans are available for NI students, both vary according to household income.
  • Based on comparable RG Universities (Manchester, Glasgow and UCL).
  • [1] Based on Single Ensuite accommodation, similar distance to Elms BT9 to campus
  • [2] Flights based on return tickets cheapest available in September 2023
  • [4] Based on University Accommodation (Min. contract) and Tuition Fees
Hear from our Students
What I Eat in a Week as a Student

Kathryn Allen, Northern Ireland

Spend a Cheap Weekend with me in Belfast!

Beth Molloy, Dublin, Ireland

Free Things to do in Belfast
Affordable Food and Drink

Affordable Social Life

"I was pleasantly surprised by the cost of living in Belfast. The student halls are very cheap in comparison to other UK universities accommodation. You can feed yourself for very little which means you’ve more money to do other things in Belfast."
Jacob Robinson, Newcastle

Read more: Day out in Belfast spending only £10

Read more: The Affordable Student Experience: Belfast vs London vs Manchester

Read more: Three Cheap day trips from Belfast

Read more: Make the Most of Student Discounts

Read more: Money Saving Tips!

Read more: Surviving January: Student Budgeting Tips

Read more Cost of Living blogs

Queen's Film Theatre

Typical living expenses

A standard cinema ticket will cost you £3 less than in England and Scotland, and an incredible £5 less than London.

Gym membership is also significantly cheaper than England and if you choose to live in Queen’s Accommodation you will benefit from free off-peak gym membership.

Read more: Grocery Shopping on a Budget

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
Coming from Republic of Ireland?
Specific cost comparisons