The Cost Of UK Student Life And How It Compares To Canada

Apr 13, 2015 5:00:00 PM


The UK is the world’s second most popular destination for international students to study abroad. A degree from a UK university continues to provide graduates a distinct advantage in acquiring a job of their liking in a highly-competitive marketplace.

UK universities believe all of their resources keep them competitive in attracting international students to study away from home.

But one factor that students always want to know the answers to is, how much does it really cost to study abroad? Read on to see how student life compares in the UK and Canada.

Tuition cost

The cost of UK student life and how it compares to Canada is dependent on many factors, including institution cost, the course you choose, location and funding opportunities that could bring the overall amount down.

On the whole, UK and Canadian tuition fees are similarly priced with students looking to study abroad still able to take advantage of the CanLearn loan alongside a private student line of credit.

Although the UK doesn’t offer a drastically lower cost in tuition fees, the financial benefit to study in the country occurs due to the course length…

Undergraduate course length

On average, it takes three years to gain an undergraduate degree at a UK university, in comparison to the standard four years of study in Canada.

This means that thousands of dollars can be saved on overall tuition costs at the end of your degree. This also applies to graduate students too who can obtain a Master’s degree in one year at a UK university, while it will take two years back home. 

Cost of living

One rule for anyone looking to study in the UK is that London is more expensive compared to the rest of the UK. Whilst you may be tempted to live in the capital during your studies there, it’s important to remember that there are some brilliant universities around the rest of the UK too.

Overall, the UK is slightly higher in living costs compared to Canada with grocery prices around 2.8% more expensive, according to Numbeo. Despite this, everyday products such as milk, bread and bottled water are actually cheaper in the UK.

It is also worth remembering that UK universities offer international students the option to live in halls of residence. We highly recommend taking this option in your first year especially, as it gives you the benefits of cheaper rent, great location and a chance to build relationships with your neighbours.

Part-time Work

If you’re a full-time student studying in the UK, your visa permits you to work on a part-time (20 hours per week) basis.

Similar to back home, there are plenty of job opportunities from working in the local restaurant to stacking shelves in a grocery store. Based on 20 hours per week, a student aged 18-20 can expect to earn at least $410 per month gross according to For students aged 21 or over, you can expect at least $520 per month (based on the minimum wage rates).

Interested in the UK?

Choosing to study at university will be one of the biggest decisions of your life. Whether you stay and study at your local university, or travel to the UK, the costs are going to play an important role in the decision you make.

UK universities can offer you a potentially faster and cheaper degree compared to Canada, as well as the chance to live in a new country. In the UK you have access to one of the world’s cultural hubs, greatest educational institutions and the doors to Europe.

If you’re prepared to take the next step on your journey to the UK, click here.

Download the Canadian student's guide to studying in the UK