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Information for Students

Cost of living in London

Living in London can be expensive, but careful budgeting and a little insider knowledge can make a huge difference to your monthly costs. Luckily in London there are plenty of job opportunities, and many SOAS students work part time to enhance their CVs and help cover their bills. 

Information about scholarships, bursaries, grants and hardship funds can be found on the Funding Your Studies pages. 

Budgeting

Working out a budget is the first step to helping you choose accommodation that you can afford.

This table provides a rough estimate of living costs in London, however this varies greatly from student to student. 

 ItemCost /week
Accommodation
Accommodation 

Halls of residence start at around £150 per week, whilst private rented accommodation in zone 2 may be found for £120-200 per week.

£120-260 
Utility Bills
Utility Bills

In private rented accommodation you will usually be responsible for paying gas, electricity and water bill. Sometimes this is included in the rent. 

£10-15 
Food
Food

Going to larger supermarkets, buying ‘value’ range or own brand items, shopping at the SOAS Coop and buying in bulk with your flatmates can help to keep food costs down. 

 £30-40
 
Insurance
Insurance

In private rented accommodation, you will need to purchase contents cover to protect your belongings from theft or damage.

£2 
 
Travel
Travel

The closer you are to SOAS, the cheaper your transport costs will be. You may need to buy a travelcard – students save up to 30% on the normal price or these. A bus only travel card is a cheaper option, whilst many students choose to cycle. 

£10-30 
 
Study Materials
Study Materials 

Most study materials will be required within the first few weeks of your course, so it is a good idea to budget for this. All SOAS printers have a scan to email function, which may reduce your photocopying costs.

£5-£10 
 
TV License
TV License

If you want to watch TV you need to get a TV licence

 £3
 
Mobile Phone and Internet
Mobile phone and Internet

 Shop around to find the cheapest provider

£10 and £5

 

 
Entertainment
Entertainment

Look for discounts offered to students for club nights, theatre and cinema tickets, and special events, as well as free events held at the Students' Union.

£20-40 
 
Miscellaneous
Miscellaneous

Leave some room in your budget for items such as clothes, gifts, prescription medication, etc.

£10-20
 
Total
£220 - £430