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Student Accommodation

Universities where students pay the most rent

We all know rent gobbles up a huge chunk of Maintenance Loans – but which students have to fork out the most? And which get the best deal? Use our table to find out!

terraced street with shocked emoji on top

Credit: David Iliff - Wikimedia

Rent costs are the bane of most students' lives – as soon as that Maintenance Loan drops in your account, you can guarantee the majority of it is going to be hoovered up by rent costs pretty quickly.

But there's no denying some students have it worse off than others. Depending on which university you choose to go to, the rent costs you'll face can differ drastically.

In our recent National Accommodation Survey, we uncovered which students pay the most in rent and, somewhat surprisingly, not all of the universities with the highest costs are in London. But where does your university rank on the rent chart? Read on to find out...

Check out our interview with a guy whose rent, when combined with his flatmates, was £2,275 for the student house from hell.

Which universities have the highest rent?

map of uk with rent amounts in each region

The average amount students pay for rent in the UK is £126 per week – which works out at around £547 per month.

Just like most expenses (including pints!), prices vary around the country, with London coming out on top and the Midlands, North of England, Northern Ireland and Wales offering the cheapest rent.

As you may expect, the uni with the students paying the most in rent is based in London – Westminster, to be precise, where the going rate is a whopping £215 a week. That's around £934 a month (1.7 times the national average)!

In fact, all of the other top five most expensive unis – West London, MiddlesexRoyal Holloway and St George's – are situated in (or very close to) London, with the average weekly rent at all of the top four exceeding £200.

The South of England, as the above map shows, is also an expensive place to live as a student. Many of the non-London universities at the top of the table can be found in this region, including Bournemouth University (£189 a week), the University of Winchester (£178 a week) and the University of Portsmouth (£170 a week).

Cheapest universities for accommodation

row of terraced housing

Credit: Manchesterphotos - Wikimedia

Tied as the joint-cheapest universities to live at are Wolverhampton and Wrexham Glyndŵr, with students at both universities reporting an average weekly rent of just £50 (about 60% less than the national average).

In fact, the cheaper end of the table is almost entirely dominated by universities based in the Midlands, North of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Students at 20 universities reported an average rent of less than £100 a week, and just one (the University for the Creative Arts, in Hampshire) is situated outside of these regions.

For a comprehensive picture of the cost of rent at universities across the UK, including your own, search our table below.

Rent costs by university

UniversityAverage weekly rent (£)
University of Westminster215
University of West London213
Middlesex University London207
Royal Holloway, University of London206
St George's, University of London194
Bournemouth University189
King's College London188
University of Winchester178
University of Law175
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)173
Edinburgh Napier University172
University of Portsmouth170
University of Bath165
Imperial College London162
Birkbeck, University of London162
University of Hertfordshire162
University College London (UCL)160
University of the West of England, Bristol160
University of Bedfordshire155
University of Oxford155
University of Roehampton155
Falmouth University154
University of York154
University of Dundee153
London South Bank University153
University of Edinburgh151
University of Reading149
University of Kent147
University of Exeter146
University of Southampton145
Cardiff University144
University of Brighton144
University of Nottingham144
Nottingham Trent University142
Queen Mary, University of London141
University of Salford139
City, University of London138
Durham University138
University of Gloucestershire137
University of East London137
Cardiff Metropolitan University134
Southampton Solent University134
University of Surrey131
Bath Spa University131
University of Bristol131
University of Sussex131
Leeds Arts University130
Oxford Brookes University128
University of the Arts London128
Brunel University London127
University of Warwick127
University of Essex125
University of Cambridge125
Loughborough University125
University of East Anglia124
Birmingham City University123
Kingston University London122
Edge Hill University122
University of Leicester122
University of Manchester122
Leeds Beckett University122
University of Sheffield121
University of Worcester121
Coventry University121
University of Birmingham121
University of Greenwich121
University of Chichester120
Abertay University119
Manchester Metropolitan University117
University of Strathclyde116
St Mary's University, Twickenham116
University of Glasgow116
Aberystwyth University116
University of Central Lancashire115
Lancaster University115
Open University115
Northumbria University113
Anglia Ruskin University112
Newcastle University112
Buckinghamshire New University111
University of Huddersfield110
University of Leeds110
University of Derby109
Liverpool John Moores University107
University of St Andrews107
University of Liverpool106
Sheffield Hallam University104
Arts University Bournemouth103
Royal Veterinary College103
De Montfort University101
Bangor University99
Swansea University99
Heriot-Watt University99
University of Plymouth95
University of Northampton95
University of South Wales94
University of Chester94
University for the Creative Arts94
University of Aberdeen93
University of Lincoln89
Aston University87
Staffordshire University86
University of Sunderland86
Ulster University83
Robert Gordon University80
University of Hull79
Glasgow Caledonian University78
Queen's University Belfast74
University of Wolverhampton50
Wrexham Glyndŵr University50
National average

The data has been filtered to exclude universities where there were not enough respondents, or where the results included huge outliers.

Does the Maintenance Loan cover the cost of rent?

person using calculator

With rent prices still depressingly high, many students have complained that their Maintenance Loan just doesn't cover it.

Student rent costs an average of £547.82 per month, but the average Maintenance Loan is just £572. Clearly there's an issue here, and 60% of students are having to borrow money from their parents, banks and friends (among other sources) to help pay the rent.

It's perhaps not a shock, therefore, to find that the vast majority (eight out of 10) of students told us that they want rents capped in line with what the Maintenance Loan covers.

Meanwhile, many students are keen to see an increase in the Maintenance Loan.

Students based in London receive more financial support to help them cover the capital's inflated rent costs but, as our research has found, this level of expense isn't exclusive to London.

We've previously reported on students petitioning the government to extend the 'London loan' to other regions with similarly high rent levels but, to date, there's been little sign of progress on this front.

One thing's for sure, though: each year the results of our National Student Accommodation Survey highlight just how tough it is to rent while at uni, and something needs to change – fast.

We've got a whole host of ways to decorate your bedroom on a budget, so you can turn your dingy student house into the palace you deserve.


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