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Accommodation and living costs

The costs of living and studying in London will depend on the type of accommodation you choose, where in London you live, your travel and day-to-day expenses, and the associated costs of your course, including books, field trips, equipment and travel. We strongly advise you to make full provision to cover the costs of living and studying in London before you begin your course at Birkbeck. 

Come and speak to us about the costs of studying and financial support for students in need

Accommodation costs 

The cost of renting accommodation in London fluctuates and varies from place to place, so the following is only a guide. Accommodation in central London - where the Birkbeck campus is located - is usually much more expensive than living further out from the centre. This is what you might expect to pay for the various accommodation options available to Birkbeck students: 

  • A room in a partner hall of residence can cost from around: 
    • £143 per week for a twin, catered room 
    • £145 per week for a single, self-catered room 
    • £200 to £300 per week for a double, catered room or single studio flat. 
  • A room in a UNITE hall of residence can cost from around: 
    • £150 per week for an ensuite room in a shared flat 
    • £270 to £500 per week for your own studio flat with a kitchen and bathroom. 
  • A room, flat or house rented privately can cost from around: 
    • £500 to £750+ per month to rent a room in a shared flat or house. 
    • £950 to £1500+ per month to rent a one-bedroom flat, depending on how close you are to the centre. 
    • £1200 to £1600+ per month to rent a two-bedroom flat. 
  • The Greater London Authority has created a useful rent map that compares the average price of renting in different areas of London. 
  • The University of London House Service can give you professional guidance and support in finding private rented accommodation in London. 

Living costs 

The cost of living in London varies greatly, depending on your accommodation costs, your bills, travel costs, everyday expenses and lifestyle choices. As a rough guide, we recommend that you budget £12,000 to £13,000 per year for your accommodation and living costs (excluding your tuition fees), or around £1000 to £1200 per month.

To calculate a budget, you need to consider the cost of: 

  • rent 
  • food 
  • water 
  • electricity and gas 
  • broadband 
  • TV Licence 
  • Council Tax (contact your local London Borough about the student discount) 
  • home contents insurance 
  • travel to and from College 
  • leisure  
  • household items and toiletries 
  • books and equipment 
  • electronic equipment, including your mobile phone and laptop 
  • unexpected overheads. 

The University of London Housing Services provides a useful guide to renting privately in London, which can help you calculate a budget and find the best accommodation option for your budget.