Keeping costs down

When it comes to life at university (particularly if you are living away from home), your spending patterns are likely going to be very different from what they may have been before. Your costs are made up of a combination of fees, living costs, rent and money spent on course materials. 

The amount you spend varies from student to student and depends on your lifestyle, but with Norwich being voted one of the UK’s most affordable cities to live in for students by the Student Living Index 2020, you’ll be getting good value for money!

Below you will find a brief guide to some of the main expenses you may encounter as a student. 

Whilst at university, accommodation will probably be your biggest expense so it is worthwhile taking the time to choose a residence carefully which suits your financial circumstances. 

In your first year, lots of students choose to live in campus halls. At UEA we have a wide range of accommodation types with prices ranging from £79.45 to £170.80 per week (including electricity, Internet, gas and water).  More information about the facilities and services included within halls can be found on our Accommodation pages.

After the first year, most students move into a privately-rented house or flat off-campus, paying rent at the start of each month to a landlord or letting agent. 
In Norwich, students pay on average £300 per month. This does not include costs for utility bills. From your second year, you will be responsible for paying for these along with your housemates.

How much you spend obviously depends on what kind of lifestyle you have, and it is important to remember that just because you have a budget, does not mean you have to spend it all every month. 

The below table shows a number of essential weekly costs to be factored into budgets to cover basic living needs (based over a 42 week academic session on average student costs):

Description On-Campus Accommodation (first year) Privately-rented accommodation (second year onwards)
Rent £170 £80
Utilities (Gas, Water & Electric Included £18-£25
Internet Included £5
Food £60 £60
Mobile Phone £5 (based on £20 monthly bill) £5
Toiletries £5 £5
Laundry £2 Washing machine in house
Travel £10 £20
Social Life £40 £40
Clothing £10 £10
WEEKLY TOTAL £297 £238-£245

The above costs are for indicative purpose – obviously individual circumstances may differ and you should review your budget and adjust for your particular circumstance.

One thing to remember when it comes to budgeting for university is that when it comes to student loans, the system assumes parents contributing or students getting a job will fill the gap often left from the maintenance loan. If students receive the full amount for the maintenance loan, it’s enough to cover all essential costs. However, in some cases, students are not left with enough money.

The majority of students will top up their income by applying for scholarships, bursaries, and getting a job when they arrive at university. At UEA we have many brilliant on campus opportunities for students to find jobs with good pay and flexible hours that fit around studies.

Our Student Union offers opportunities working in the campus shop, in the union bar and café, during gigs and club nights at the LCR or The Waterfront and also helping with the administration of the Union.

There’s also opportunities on campus working for the university. For example, working as a student ambassador as an open day guide, visiting local schools to talk about university life and conducting campus tours.

Our Careers Service – CareersCentral – is there to help students find a job whatever step of the journey they are on. They have hundreds of part-time jobs listed on their website.