Good to know

  • Home students can apply for a Maintenance Loan from the UK government to cover their living costs
  • These loans don't have to be paid back until your son/daughter has left university and is earning over the repayment threshold

How much does it cost to study in London?

Rent, food, travel and leisure activities are some of the major costs your son/daughter will need to plan for whilst at university.

Means-tested Maintenance Loans from the UK government are available to help Home students cover their living costs.

Below is a guide to living costs at Imperial for one academic year (39 weeks)*. This does not include tuition fees or extra course costs such as books, field trips and protective clothing like lab coats.

Actual costs may vary according to lifestyle and your son/daughter’s ability to budget effectively.

Please bear in mind that students living in private accommodation normally need to sign a 52-week contract.

Cost of living in London (academic year 2018-19)
 Weekly (£)39 weeks (£)*
Accommodation and utilities: College Halls of Residence1 £176.51 2 £6,884
Accommodation and utilities: Private-sector Housing £176 £6,864 3
Food4 £58 £2,262
Travel (Zones 1–3 with 18+ Student Oyster) annual cost is based on monthly travel cards £27.90 £965 5
Personal and leisure £43 £1,677
Total 1 (halls of residence) £305.41 £11,788
Total 2 (private accommodation) £304.90 £11,768

1 Based on rents for 2018-19. Costs for 2019-20 will be displayed on our website once confirmed.
2 This £177 average cost includes a £2 weekly contribution to the Activities Fund. 65% of rooms in College accommodation cost less than the weekly average of £177.
3 Students choosing to live in private accommodation may be required to commit to a 52-week contract and therefore may need to budget for 52 weeks of accommodation costs.
4 Figures taken from a Student Experience Survey 2018 of Imperial students.
* the length of Imperial's accommodation contract will be 38 weeks and 5 days for students beginning in 2018

How do the Maintenance Loans work?

Home students can borrow money from the UK government towards their living costs in the form of a means-tested Maintenance Loan. The amount your son/daughter is eligible for will depend on their household income, as well as the UK government funding arrangements where they live.

These loans are administered through the Student Loans Company, and paid directly into your son or daughter’s bank account in three instalments (one per term) each year.

More information

Students outside Beit

Loan repayment

Loan repayments begin the April after your son/daughter has left university, and only when they are earning above the repayment threshold.

The amount they pay back each month is linked to how much they're earning, not how much they owe in total. Repayments are currently calculated at 9% of the amount they earn over the threshold.

Find out more about how loan repayment works.

Life Sciences student in the lab

How to apply

Your son/daughter can apply for a Maintenance Loan at the same time as the Tuition Fee Loan, through his/her local funding authority:

England: Student Finance England
Wales: Student Finance Wales
Scotland: Student Awards Agency for Scotland
Northern Ireland: Student Finance Northern Ireland

Applying for the means-tested Maintenance Loan also means they can be considered for our generous Imperial Bursary scheme.

Design Engineering student with a robot

Extra help

Students from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland may be entitled to maintenance grants or bursaries, which do not need to be repaid. Your son/daughter can apply for these through their regional funding body.

UK students who face additional costs due to a disability or dependants may be able to apply for additional government funding.

Would it be better for my son/daughter to live at home?

Living at home is one way to reduce day-to-day living costs and the total amount your child needs to borrow. However, it wouldn't reduce the amount your son/daughter had to repay per month on their loan because repayments are based on how much they are earning, not how much they borrowed.

It is also worth bearing in mind that your son/daughter would have to make more of an effort to get involved with university life if they lived at home, and may feel that they were missing out on an important part of the university experience by doing so.

Find out more about university accommodation.

For more information on loans and grants, please visit our Fees and Funding webpages.