Cost of living in London

Budgeting for your accommodation

Working out a budget is the first step to helping you choose accommodation that you can afford. here are some things you should take into account when choosing the perfect accommodation for you.


Halls of residence start at around £150 per week and include all bills. Private rented may be cheaper, but you must remember to add on all your 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.


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.


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


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.

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.

TV licence

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

Mobile phone and internet

Shop around to find the cheapest provider


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.


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