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Student Accommodation

How much is student accommodation?

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!

houses in England and shocked face

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?

The average amount students pay for rent in the UK is £148 per week – which works out at around £641 per month.

As you may expect, the uni with the students paying the most in rent is based in London – or at least part of it is, anyway. With an average rent of a whopping £238 per week, the University of Greenwich turned out to be the most expensive university for accommodation. That's more than 1.6x the national average!

In fact, the other institutions in the top three most expensive unis – the University of Edinburgh and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) – both have an average weekly rent of £200 or higher.

As you can see, another university in Scotland made it into the top five – Glasgow Caledonian University placed fifth, with an average rent of £196 per week.

Interestingly, students at the University of Warwick in the West Midlands reported an average of £197 per week – making it the fourth most expensive university for accommodation.

Cheapest universities for accommodation

row of terraced housing

Credit: Manchesterphotos - Wikimedia

The cheapest university to live at is Staffordshire University, with students reporting an average weekly rent of just £80 (just over half the national average).

In fact, the cheaper end of the table is almost entirely dominated by universities based in the Midlands and the North of England.

Students at eight universities reported an average rent of less than £100 a week, with some of the cheapest unis for rent being based in the South East or London – London Metropolitan (£108 a week) and Brunel University (£110 a week) are among the very few.

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 (£)
Greenwich238
Edinburgh222
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)200
Warwick197
Glasgow Caledonian196
Imperial College London190
BPP*185
City, University of London*185
Consertvatoire for Dance and Drama*185
East London*185
Goldsmiths*185
Guildhall School of Music and Drama*185
Kingston*185
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine*185
Middlesex*185
Pearson College*185
Roehampton*185
Rose Bruford College*185
Royal Central School of Speech and Drama*185
St George's, University of London*185
St Mary's*185
Trinity Laban*185
University of the Arts London*185
West London*185
University College London (UCL)182
Abertay Dundee*180
Chichester180
Heriot-Watt*180
Robert Gordon*180
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland*180
St Andrews*180
Queen Mary175
Essex173
Cumbria172
Oxford171
Bristol167
Edge Hill166
Birmingham165
King's College London165
Bournemouth*164
Chester164
Falmouth*164
Plymouth Marjon*164
Royal Agricultural University*164
West of England, Bristol*164
Sheffield Hallam162
Glasgow160
Westminster158
Cambridge156
Arts University Bournemouth154
University College Birmingham153
Buckingham*152
Buckinghamshire New University*152
Cardiff Metropolitan*152
Medway School of Pharmacy*152
Royal Holloway*152
Trinity St David*152
University for the Creative Arts*152
Wrexham Glyndŵr*152
Canterbury Christ Church151
Sussex151
Manchester Metropolitan University147
Liverpool146
Southampton145
Arden*144
Birmingham City University*144
Hertfordshire144
Loughborough*144
Wolverhampton*144
Manchester143
Queen Margaret143
Bolton*142
Royal Northern College of Music*142
Bedfordshire141
Bath139
East Anglia139
Edinburgh Napier138
Salford138
Winchester138
Exeter136
London South Bank136
Hull135
Lancaster135
Lincoln133
York133
Swansea132
York St John132
De Montfort131
Portsmouth131
Bradford130
Brighton130
Coventry130
Liverpool John Moores130
Kent129
Aberystwyth128
Bath Spa128
Gloucestershire128
Leeds126
Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts126
Cardiff125
Reading125
Stirling125
Aston123
Derby123
Durham122
South Wales122
Leeds Beckett121
Strathclyde120
Newcastle119
Dundee117
Nottingham Trent116
Oxford Brookes115
Surrey114
Leicester113
Northampton113
Nottingham113
Plymouth113
Ulster113
Leeds Arts112
Keele111
Northumbria111
Brunel110
University of Law110
Aberdeen108
London Metropolitan108
Liverpool Hope107
Anglia Ruskin106
Bangor104
Newman100
Sheffield100
Harper Adams98
Worcester98
Queen's Belfast95
Sunderland91
Teesside88
University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)88
Huddersfield81
Staffordshire80
National average
148

* In these instances, there were not enough respondents (or too many significant outliers) to give a reliable average. As an indicative amount, we have used the average rent for each university's region.

Does the Maintenance Loan cover the cost of rent?

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 £641 per month, but the average Maintenance Loan is just £470. Clearly, there's an issue here, and 56% 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 surprise, therefore, that many students are keen to see an increase in the Maintenance Loan – a motion that we wholeheartedly support.

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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