Belfast becomes the 6th most expensive UK city for students

  • The cost of studying in Belfast has become significantly higher in recent years, according to the Ulster Bank Student Living Index. 

    Published this week, the study found that while renting costs and tuition fees are much lower in Belfast than anywhere else in the UK, typical student loan contributions for students here much lower than the UK average. 

    The survey also revealed that other sources of income, including contributions from family and friends and assistance through bursaries or scholarships, were again lower than the UK average. While students in Belfast try to mitigate this by working a higher number of part-time hours, overall income is the sixth lowest in the UK.

    On average, students here work a total of 23.2 hours each month and dedicate 86.8 hours each month to their academic study, which is just slightly shy of the UK student average of 90.3 hours per calendar month.

    While those living near student hotspots may take a different view, the survey reported that Belfast undergrads are only spending 23.7 hours per month socialising, the fourth lowest in the UK. The report also shows that nights out in Belfast are £10.00 more expensive than the UK average with students spending £56.00 on each night out. Interestingly, Belfast students reported that they expected to spend upwards of £7.20 on a pint, more than double the UK average of £3.30. 

    Terry Robb, Head of Personal Banking at Ulster Bank, said it was important that prospective students were thinking about the financial implications when choosing where to study. “We see huge discrepancies associated

     with the cost of studying at different cities, so it is important that young people take this into account when selecting the right course for them.

    “Once at university, it’s equally important students are managing their finances effectively and learn to budget for the duration of the semester. Our student account offers flexible ways to bank with an interest-free student arranged overdraft, commission free travel money and an award-winning mobile banking app which is a convenient way for students keep on top of their spending.”

    Hull is currently the most affordable city in the UK for students according to the index. Liverpool  has overtaken Glasgow as the most expensive place to study with rent, household bills and the cost of socialising all well above the UK average.

    For more information on Ulster Bank’s student account, visit

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