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Cost of Living

RGU Cost of Living Guide 2022/2023*

Aberdeen is an exciting and welcoming student city – with a variety of options to suit most budgets. This guide has been developed by the team at RGU to support students to prepare for their studies in the UK. Aberdeen is ranked 1st in the UK for affordability thanks to our lower living costs (QS Best Student Cities 2022) and the rough costs below will give you an outline on what to expect what your spending could be.

Please note that these amounts are estimates and will vary depending on your course and the social activities you take part in.

*Costs vary in line with inflation outwith ICRGU/University control. These figures are provided as a guide and we encourage you to review actual costs using sites such as Student Budget Calculator.

You should budget approximately £55 per week for personal expenses, such as clothes, travel, sports and other social activities, and approximately £50-60 per week for essential items such as food and toiletries. For books and stationary, you should expect to spend up to £500 over the academic year.

Don’t forget that with your National Union of Students (NUS) card, you will benefit from student discounts and offers in many shops, restaurants and cinemas.

Estimated Monthly Costs

There are the estimated lower and upper costs of living in Aberdeen.

The cost of living can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle, budget and spending habits. These costs are broken down per month and you can use this to calculate your estimated budget based on your duration in Aberdeen.

Please note these costs do not include your tuition fees.

  • Rent (private): £508 to £700
  • Food: £200
  • Water & Energy: £110
  • Mobile Phone & Internet: £40 to £50
  • Personal Care: £220
  • Printing/stationery, photocopying and text books: £40 to £60
  • Total per month: £1,100 to £1,340


Once you have been assigned CAS for your visa by the ICRGU admissions team, we will share with you your RGU ID to allow you to make your application to RGU Accommodation.

RGU accommodation offers fixed rate prices for the duration of contract, and includes utility bills and internet costs, thereby offering excellent value for money and an easy way to plan your budget.

For more information on RGU accommodation costs visit the RGU Costs of Accommodation information page

When you begin university, there will be some one-off costs to consider. It is important to plan for these in your budget where necessary.

  • Temporary accommodation – Around £50 to 80 per night. We recommend that you consider securing RGU accommodation in advance of travel to prevent the need for temporary accommodation.
  • Deposit for accommodation – Usually equivalent to one month’s rent but it can vary. RGU accommodation requires a fixed £250 sum, which is a rent advance rather than deposit.
  • Furniture – If you rent an unfurnished flat you will need to purchase your own furniture.
  • Bedding Packs – Can be purchased from the university but also online through UniKitOut.
  • Insurance (Contents etc) – In university accommodation this insurance is included in your rent. In private housing, you will need to arrange personally.
  • Police Registration – £34, if you are required to register with the police on arrival in the UK it will be clearly indicated in your passport (this is not applicable to all students)
  • Internet and phone installation – £30 to £50, you can compare prices via comparison websites when reviewing internet, mobile, phone providers.
  • TV Licence – £159. If you watch TV in your accommodation this licence is required on an annual basis. This can be paid in instalments.

Depending on your lifestyle and living arrangements there maybe additional costs to consider. It is important to plan for these in your budget where necessary.

  • Travelling – Travel costs to Scotland will vary. By planning in advance, you are more likely to secure lower rail/air fares.
  • Bus fares – Day passes from £4.20, week passes from £17 and month passes from £57.50. Remember, students pay a discounted rate for bus travel as long as they have their Student Card with them at each trip.
  • Internet/TV package – £35 to £70 per month, there are good deals for students during fresher’s week with packages at a reduced price.
  • Clothing – £0 to £50 per month, dependant on individual requirements.
  • Gym membership – RGU offers free membership, for alternative providers this usually ranges to £40.
  • Childcare – £138.70 per week for a part-time nursery place for a child under 3 years old. Or £124.41 per week for a childminder.

If you are coming to Aberdeen with a family, there will be additional financial considerations you should research. This includes securing family size accommodation, feeding and clothing dependants, and importantly childcare.

Children generally start school in Scotland between 4 and 5 years old. The school a child will attend is based on their address, and should be a consideration when looking at family accommodation in Aberdeen.

For children younger than school age, childcare is self-funded by the parents. As an example, a full-time nursery place for a two-year-old is approximately £262.16 per week, meaning that nursery costs around £52 per day. Part time childcare is approximately £138.70 per week for children aged two to four.

There are very few ‘pay as you go’ nurseries. For most a contract is signed with a fixed number of hours each week stated and payment required in advance. Many also have waiting lists, so this should be investigated prior to beginning your studies.

Find out more about childcare costs in the UK.

Food costs count for a significant part of your budget. This will vary on your tastes and dietary needs.

Most major supermarket chains have stores in and around Aberdeen. Many of these are close to the central area of the city.

  • Tesco
  • Lidl
  • Aldi
  • Asda
  • Iceland
  • Morrisons
  • Sainsburys
  • Farmfoods

Aberdeen is a cosmopolitan city with many specialist and international shops and restaurants. Meat, fruit, vegetables, spices and other products from around the world can be found close to the university and throughout the city. There is also a regular International Food Market held in the city centre. Halal foods and Kosher foods are available from both specialist stores and some larger supermarkets.

  • Harmonie Ventures Ltd (African and Caribbean)
  • Matthews Foods Ltd (Asian)
  • Grosik European Mini Market
  • Spice of Asia
  • The Polski Smak
  • Rice N Spice
  • Bismillah City Spice Shop

  • Haig’s
  • Gourmet Cheese Co.
  • Aberdeen Farmers Market

You can use this online tool to help you plan a budget for your time studying at ICRGU and RGU.

Student Budget Calculator

For the original guide, please visit the  main RGU website.

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