Cost of living

As part of careful budget planning, you should allow enough to cover your basic essentials each week. The following list gives you an idea of what you should expect to pay on a weekly basis in London. City, University of London have some money management tips on how to manage these weekly expenses.

Accommodation - £170 - £290 per week

If you have a place in halls of residence, you can expect your accommodation to be between £150 and £280 depending on which Hall you are allocated. This weekly amount includes utilities such as heating, lighting and hot water. See City's Accommodation pages for current rates. For private sector accommodation, prices will vary depending on which zone in London you live in but expect to pay anywhere between £90 and £140 for a room in a zone 2 household for example. Private accommodation rent is not guaranteed to include utilities.

Food - £150-500 a month

All halls at City are self-catered, so you will need room in your budget for grocery shopping as well as lunch on campus.

While London is home to some of the best food in the world, eating out every day can become costly. Near the campus you can find chain coffee shops and supermarkets that have reasonably priced lunches. However, we recommend buying groceries and brining lunches if you are looking to budget your money.

Electricity/Gas/Water/Council Tax/Internet - £120-200 a month

If you are living in halls, you will not need to pay for utilities such as electricity and gas.

Utilities in private accommodation are rarely included within the rental price. Prices will vary depending on whether you flat share or live alone. You are able to change internet providers if you find a better contract, however, electricity, gas and water providers are sometimes fixed by the landlord or letting agent. Council Tax will vary in amounts depending on the borough of London you live in but you might get a discount if you are a full-time student.

Households where everyone’s a full-time student do not have to pay Council Tax. If you do get a bill, you can apply for an exemption.

Study materials - £5 - £10 a week

Most study materials will be required within the first few weeks of your course, so it is a good idea to budget for this up front expense. Check with your School or department before you register whether there is any equipment that you are expected to buy.

Travel - £30 - £100 a month

The closer you are to City, the cheaper your transport costs will be. As most of our Halls are within walking distance of the main campus, public transport costs will be fairly minimal and limited to what you spend travelling to other parts of London. Students in privately rented accommodation or the family home can expect to pay more to travel to Zone 1 on a weekly basis. Most students will be eligible for a 30% discount on a weekly or monthly travel card.

Entertainment - £20 - £50 a week

One of the benefits of studying is access to student discounts. Cinemas, museums and theatres often advertise a student price which you are entitled to. High-street retails often have student sales and many food vendors will provide various discounts. To take opportunity of any of these, we would recommend getting a TOTUM card from the Students' Union.

Student Discounts

Student Travel Card

Lydia HughesMost full-time students are eligible for a discounted Oyster Travelcard (TfL's terms and conditions apply*).This is how:

  • You apply online for your Oyster Photocard once you have completed your in-person registration at City. Please note that your application cannot be approved until you have registered in person.
  • You should receive your Oyster Photocard within 7 days of applying online if you have already registered on your course. If you have not received your Oyster Photocard within that time, or you applied for it before you registered on your course, please contact the Student Centre so that we can check the status of your online application.

*To find out if you are eligible for an 18+ Student Oyster photocard and to apply online, please visit Transport for London.

NUS card for student discounts

Lydia HughesThe NUS Extra card brings a range of benefits for students and, at only £12 per year, it is well worth applying for. Cardholders get access to a range of specially negotiated discounts, offers and competitions. These are with companies like Amazon, Ticketmaster, Spotify, Subway, Topshop, ASOS, Apple and many more.

For an additional small fee, your NUS Extra card can also double as an International Student Identity Card. So you can use it to get special offers and discounts when you're travelling abroad in over 100 countries.

Find out more and apply through the NUS website.


Unidays offers free discounts for sixth form, college and university students from well known brands. From clothing to restaurants and fitness there is something for everyone.

Find our more and apply for discount here.

Student Beans

Student Beans offers student discounts for fashion, tech, food, travel + more. Find out more and how you can sign up here

16 - 25 Railcard

As a student if you are 16 to 25, you will be eligible for 16-25 rail card, with this you can enjoy 1/3 off rail fares when you go by train across Britain. You can also apply for one if you’re a mature student in full time study, please read the eligibility here.

The Railcard costs £30 and you can find more information on how you can sign up here.

International Student Identity Card (£12 a year)

The International Student Identity Card offers worldwide discounts to students in 130 different countries. This Card is available to students in the UK for £12 a year and can be accepted in many UK stores. Find out how you can sign up here.

UK Student Bank Account Initiatives

Natwest Student Bank Account

You can opt for a Natwest Student Account and choose between 1 of 3 offers from either an Amazon Prime Student membership, National Express Coachcard or Tastecard

They also offer a mobile banking app for ease of access to funds in which you can apply for a £500 interest free student overdraft for Term one.

Find out how you can sign up here.

Santander Student Bank Account

Santander offers Student bank accounts along with a free 16-25 Railcard for four years , saving you a third on all rail travel within the UK.

You can also earn cashback of up to 15% at a range of major retailers when you use Retailer Offers with your Santander debit card -  a free service available through Online or Mobile Banking. Find out about the Santander Student Bank Account here.

For cost comparisons, you may find the following sites useful: