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The Top 10 Cheapest UK Universities

In the past few years the cost of going to University has gone up dramatically in the UK. Especially for English students as Scotland insists on charging English and Welsh students the same as non EU students while providing free university education for Scottish people.

Tuition fees may have risen to a whopping £9,000 at many universities, however, because of the financial crisis graduate job prospects have actually been getting worse.

So in an effort to help you get the most bang for your buck I have compiled a list of the cheapest universities to study at in the UK. This is based not only on tuition fees but also on the cost of living which includes the cost of booze. The list primarily relies on information provided by the Ukash cost comparison of universities.


1. # 1 Edinburgh Heriot-Watt University

The cheapest place to study is Edinburgh Heriot- Watt. With annual tuition fees of only £4,500 and a relatively low cost of living; rent costing about £3650.40 per year and Student Union events having no entry fee. It certainly seems like a bargain in terms of cost. It also ranks number 18 on the Guardian University guide, so the standard of education you receive won’t be bad either. The total cost per year should be about £9587.28

2. # 2 University of Edinburgh

In second place is another the big brother of Heriot-Watt. Slightly more expensive with annual tuition fees of £5410 and as you would imagine a roughly similar cost of living to Heriot-Watt with rent costing exactly the same. Indeed it actually is at number 19 on the Guardian University guide despite costing more than its little brother. The total cost per year should be about £10403.54

3. # 3 University of St Andrews

The Scots get third place as well with St Andrews charging only £5410 tuition fees. However, the cost of living such as rent and car insurance is relatively high being £4285.84 and £741.02 per annum respectively. Interestingly, the cost of a pint is actually lower than in the University of Edinburgh. So at least they have their priorities right. It also comes number 4 on the Guardian University guide so that’s a bargain especially if you’re a fan of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The total cost per year should be about £11201.01.

4. # 4 University of Kent

In fourth place in actually an English University which has resisted the urge to charge £9,000 tuition fees. The university of Kent has managed to keep its fees at a respectable £5410.00. Combined with Kents higher living costs such as rent of £4484.48 it brings the total cost per year to roughly £11781.65. Coming number 20 in the Guardian University guide this is not such a bad price.

5. # 5 University of East Anglia

In fifth place is the first of the universities that charge the full £9,000 tuition fees. The University of East Anglia does not have particularly high living costs with rent only being £3108.56. However, those fees drive up the total cost per year to £13868.25.

6. # 6 University of Birmingham

In Sixth place we have the University of Birmingham which is a bit of an oddity. The living costs are roughly comparable to that of Scotland and it actually has the lowest rent out of the 10 cities at £3095.56. But the £9,000 fees drive the price up. The overall cost per year is roughly £13909.04.

7. # 7 University of Warwick

Despite being a Southern Elite University, Warwick manages to find itself at number seven in our list. With everything except booze and pizza costing less than most other places in the list it is easy to see how the £9,000 fees have pushed up prices. But I guess you get bargains when you live out in the sticks. The total cost per year is roughly £13930.25.

8. # 8 University of York

York is quite a good bargain and strangely finds itself more expensive than Warwick on our list. The tuition fees are the same but the rent, pizza and a pint are some of the expenses which make it that little bit more expensive. The total cost per year is roughly £14264.63. Who says the South is more expensive than the North.

9. # 9 University of Leicester

At number nine we have the University of Leicester who are apparently elite without being elitist. The tuition fees remain at a prohibitive £9,000 per year but the cost of living is not particularly high with rent being similar to Scotland at £3510.00. However the total cost per year works out to roughly £14379.74.

10. # 10 University of Lancaster

Finally at number ten the University of Lancaster. Although still one of the cheapest Universities in the country it is a bit pricier than the previous nine mentioned. It charges more for everything except Gym membership SU event entry and surprisingly rent which is £3801.72. So the £9,000 fees together with the other costs drive the total cost per year up to roughly £14646.27. It is not the cheapest but it is far from the most expensive.

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