Good to know

  • Home students, and EU students until 1 August 2021, 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 child has left university and is earning over the repayment threshold

How much does it cost to study in London?

Costs that your child need to plan for while at university can include:

  • Rent
  • Food
  • Travel
  • Leisure activities

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 child's ability to budget effectively.

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

Costs for one year (academic year 2020-21)
 Weekly (£)39 weeks (£)
Accommodation and utilities: College Halls of Residence1 181.782 7,089.58
Accommodation and utilities: Private-sector Housing4 186.72 7,282.083
Food4  62.52
Travel (Zones 1–3 with 18+ Student Oyster) annual cost is based on monthly travel cards 29.60 1,023.30
Personal and leisure4 46.67 1,820.13

Total 1  £320.57

Total 2  £325.51



1 Based on rents displayed on the Compare halls page.

2 This average cost includes a contribution to the Activities Fund. 60% of rooms in College accommodation cost less than the weekly average. Average calculated in May 2020. Changes to room offerings and rent have occurred as a response to COVID-19. Please see the Changes for 2020-21.

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 2020 of Imperial students.

Updated: July 2020

How do Maintenance Loans work?          

Home students, and currently EU students, can borrow money from the UK government towards their living costs in the form of a means-tested Maintenance Loan. The amount will depend on 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 child's bank account in three instalments (one per term) each year.

Find out more about the Maintenance Loan.

More information

Students outside Beit Hall

Loan repayment

Loan repayments begin after your child 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.

How loan repayment works

Life Sciences student in the lab

How to apply

Your child can apply for a Maintenance Loan at the same time as the Tuition Fee Loan, through their 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. These do not need to be repaid.

These are applied for through their regional funding body.

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

Would it be better for my child 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 won't reduce the amount they have to repay per month on their loan. This is because repayments are based on how much they are earning, not how much they borrowed.

It can be more difficult to get involved with university life if your child lives at home. They 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.