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.
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 Student Accommodation Survey, we uncovered which students pay the most in rent. Somewhat surprisingly, not all of the universities with the highest costs are in London. But where does your university rank on the rent chart?
Which universities have the highest rent?
The average amount students pay for rent in the UK is £535 per month.
As you may expect, the uni with the students paying the most in rent is based in London. With an average rent of £865 per month, UCL turned out to be the most expensive university for accommodation. That's more than 1.6x the national average!
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The other institutions in the top three most expensive unis – Oxford and Imperial College London – both have an average monthly rent of over £800.
A university in Scotland made it into the top five. Heriot-Watt placed fifth, with an average rent of £762 per month.
Cheapest universities for accommodation
The cheapest university to live at is Queen's University Belfast, with students reporting an average monthly rent of £289 (just over half the national average).
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
|University||Average monthly rent (£)|
|Imperial College London||825|
|King's College London||748|
|University of Law||675|
|Canterbury Christ Church||669|
|London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine*||663|
|Royal Agricultural University*||663|
|Royal Veterinary College*||663|
|St George's, University of London*||663|
|Royal Central School of Speech and Drama*||663|
|Rose Bruford College*||663|
|University for the Creative Arts||656|
|London South Bank||617|
|University College Birmingham||608|
|University of the Arts London||581|
|West of England, Bristol||579|
|Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts||560|
|Glasgow School of Art||540|
|Medway School of Pharmacy*||534|
|University College of Estate Management*||534|
|Norwich University of the Arts*||532|
|Highlands and Islands*||525|
|Arts University Bournemouth*||518|
|Liverpool John Moores||516|
|Royal Northern College of Music*||506|
|Royal Conservatoire of Scotland||500|
|West of Scotland||449|
|Trinity St David||440|
|University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)||363|
|Queen's University Belfast||289|
* 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?
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.
With rent prices still worryingly high, many students have complained that their Maintenance Loan just doesn't cover it.
Student rent costs an average of £535 per month, but the average Maintenance Loan is just £485 per month. Clearly, there's an issue here, and 58% of students are having to borrow money from their parents, banks and friends (among other sources) to help pay the rent.
A major issue is that Maintenance Loans, especially for students from England, are not keeping up with inflation.
For English students, Maintenance Loans are due to increase by just 2.8% in 2023/24. Due to the previous two years of forecasting errors, students will be up to £1,500 worse off than if the loans had kept up with inflation.
In response to this, we're calling on the government to #FixStudentLoans. Please sign and share our petition!
To find out more about the realities of renting at uni, see the full results of the National Student Accommodation Survey.