Cheapest Universities in the UK for International Students: Top Picks and Tips for Affordable Education

Explore the most affordable UK universities for international students, with top picks like Staffordshire, Teesside, and more. Plus, discover practical money-saving tips for studying in the UK.

The United Kingdom is known for its prestigious universities and rich academic history, but studying there can be costly for international students. However, if you’re an aspiring scholar seeking an affordable education, you’re in luck. This article will reveal the cheapest universities in the UK for international students, and provide tips on how to save money during your studies.

Cheapest Universities in UK for International Students

1. Staffordshire University

Staffordshire University is a great option for those on a budget. With average annual tuition fees of £10,500 for international students, it’s one of the most affordable universities in the UK. The university offers a range of courses, including business, engineering, and computer science. Located in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire is well-connected by public transport, making it easy to explore the rest of the UK during your studies.

2. Teesside University

Teesside University, based in Middlesbrough, is another budget-friendly option. International students can expect to pay around £11,000 per year in tuition fees. Teesside is known for its excellent courses in digital media, computer games, and animation. The university also offers a vibrant campus life, with numerous clubs and societies to join, ensuring a well-rounded experience.

3. University of Cumbria

Situated in the beautiful Lake District, the University of Cumbria offers a picturesque setting for your studies. With average annual tuition fees of £10,500 for international students, it’s an affordable choice for higher education. The university is renowned for its courses in education, healthcare, and the arts. Plus, the nearby national park offers plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in your free time.

4. University of Sunderland

The University of Sunderland offers an array of courses at an affordable price. International students can expect to pay around £12,000 per year in tuition fees. The university is particularly well-regarded for its courses in journalism, media, and engineering. Located in the northeast of England, Sunderland boasts a friendly, multicultural atmosphere and is close to the beautiful beaches of the North Sea.

5. Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett University offers a range of affordable courses, with average annual tuition fees of £13,000 for international students. The university is known for its excellent sports science, business, and events management programs. Situated in the bustling city of Leeds, students will have no shortage of cultural and entertainment options to explore during their studies.

Tips for Saving Money as an International Student in the UK

Apply for scholarships and grants

Don’t forget to explore scholarship and grant options, which can help to offset the cost of tuition fees. Many universities offer financial aid specifically for international students, so be sure to research these opportunities and apply early.

Choose affordable accommodation

While studying in the UK, accommodation can be a significant expense. To save money, consider sharing an apartment or house with other students or opt for university-owned housing, which is often cheaper than private rentals.

Utilize student discounts

Make the most of your student status by taking advantage of available discounts. Many shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues offer discounts for students, so don’t be afraid to ask. Additionally, investing in a student railcard can save you up to 1/3 on rail fares, making travel more affordable.

Cook at home and meal plan

Eating out can be costly, so consider cooking at home as much as possible. Planning your meals and shopping at budget-friendly grocery stores can help you save a significant amount of money during your studies.

Work part-time

If you’re eligible, working part-time can help offset your living expenses while studying in the UK. International students are typically allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during holidays, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their studies. Part-time jobs can be found on-campus or in the local community, providing valuable work experience and extra income.

Use public transportation

The UK has an extensive public transportation network, making it easy to travel between cities and towns without breaking the bank. Opting for buses and trains over taxis can save you a significant amount of money. Furthermore, purchasing weekly or monthly passes for public transport can lead to additional savings.

Attend free events and attractions

The UK is home to numerous free attractions and events, from museums and galleries to festivals and public lectures. Take advantage of these opportunities to enrich your cultural experience without incurring additional expenses.

Buy second-hand books and materials

Textbooks and course materials can be costly, so consider purchasing second-hand books or borrowing from the library. Many universities also have online resources and e-books available, which can further reduce the cost of your studies.

Keep track of your spending

Creating and sticking to a budget is crucial for managing your finances while studying abroad. Make sure to track your expenses and adjust your spending habits as needed, ensuring you can cover all necessary costs without going into debt.

Network with other international students

Connecting with fellow international students can be invaluable for sharing money-saving tips and experiences. Joining clubs, societies, or online forums dedicated to international students can provide a supportive community and useful resources for managing your finances in the UK.


Studying in the UK doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive. By choosing one of the cheapest universities for international students and following the money-saving tips outlined in this article, you can enjoy a world-class education without breaking the bank. Start researching your options today, and embark on an unforgettable academic journey in the United Kingdom.

Respective active links for Cheapest Universities in the UK for International Students

Here are the active links to the official websites of each university mentioned in the article:

  1. Staffordshire University:
  2. Teesside University:
  3. University of Cumbria:
  4. University of Sunderland:
  5. Leeds Beckett University:

Please note that these are the official university websites where you can find more information about their courses, facilities, and application processes.

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