Do I require a TV licence at university?

You must be covered by a TV Licence if you:

  • watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service
  • download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand.

This applies no matter what device you use, whether it’s a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or Blu-ray/DVD/VHS recorder.

A TV Licence costs £145.50 and payment can either be made in one go or in weekly, monthly or quarterly instalments.

Watching or recording TV without a valid TV licence carries the risk of prosecution and a fine of up to £1000.

TV licence in halls of residence

Your hall of residence probably has a TV licence for communal areas, but you may still need one for your room if you have TV recording device in it.

TV licence in privately rented accommodation

If you have a joint tenancy where all names appear on the contract, then one TV licence should cover the whole property. If you have a separate contract for your room and are individually liable for your rent, then you will need separate licences for each room.

Student refund

If you’re leaving your halls or rented accommodation and moving back home for the summer, you may be eligible for a refund on your TV licence.  To request a refund or for more information call 0300 790 6090 or visit

When don’t you need a licence?

If you never watch or record programmes as they're being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, and never download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer, then you don't need to be covered by a TV Licence.

This means the only TV you'd watch would be on demand programmes on services other than iPlayer, such as Sky Go, All 4, ITV Hub and YouTube.

Do I need a TV Licence