Students in halls


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What is the typical cost of studying in London?

As a student at Imperial, the amount you can expect to spend on your living costs will vary depending on many factors such as:

  • where you live
  • the length of your course
  • the lifestyle choices you make

Tuition fees and extra course costs

We have provided an estimate below of the average amount Imperial students can expect to pay for accommodation and meals, transport and personal expenses. 

We have not included tuition fees and course-specific study costs, but these should be included in your budget.

You can see the fees for each course, and any extra course costs that may apply such as books and field trips, on our course pages – search our courses. Wherever possible, an estimate of the costs involved will be provided at the time an offer is made.

If you are sponsored, you will need to make your sponsor aware of any extra course costs.

Some courses involve non-compulsory conference costs. You can apply for funding for these from: 

Visa and travel costs

If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you will need sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees and living costs for your first year of study. Find out more about the financial requirements for your student visa application.

The travel estimates in the table below also do not include the cost of flights or travel insurance.

Estimated cost of studying at Imperial

Below is a rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London.

The costs below are averages. Factors like your lifestyle and personal expenses mean they may not match your actual costs, but they can help you estimate how much you may expect to spend while at Imperial.

Basic prices for things like food, bills and insurance are similar wherever you study. Costs related to accommodation and travel are more specific to London and to Imperial.

CostWeeklyMonthly9 months12 months
 Accommodation College-run  £210  £912  £8,205  N/A
Private sector  £229  £994  £8,950  £11,933
Food  £71  £308  £2,769  £3,692
Travel  £34  £129  £1,158  £1,340
Personal and leisure  £50  £218  £1,962  £2,616
Totals  £365 to £384  £1,566 to £1,665
 £14,094 to £14,838
Figures are rounded to the nearest whole number.
Summary of the table's contents

How are these costs calculated?

UPDATED: May 2023

The guide above is based largely on averages from the Student Experience Survey 2022-23 results.

Many students are able to budget below these averages.

We always recommend that you fully research your potential living costs in line with your lifestyle and personal expenses.


The figures for Imperial-run accommodation are based on rents at our different undergraduate halls of residence.

You can find them in full on our Compare halls page.

The rents for all of our undergraduate halls include utility bills, internet access, basic contents insurance, maintenance, communal cleaning and a contribution to the halls activity fund. Typically, you will need to sign up for a 9-month contract.

If you want to live in private accommodation, you may need to commit to a 12-month contract, so be sure to factor this into your budget. Find out more about private accommodation in London.


Our food costs cover the typical requirements for someone studying in London.

The actual costs may be higher or lower, depending on how often you dine out or where and what you eat.


Your travel figures are based on the costs of TFL travel cards in London.

As a student in London, you will be able to purchase an 18+ Student Oyster Card for Zones 1–3.

This is a popular and cost-effective solution, and should cover the majority of your travels within London. However, you may want to explore other options.  

We calculated travel costs using three travel card options:

  • For 7 days
  • For 1 month
  • For one year

These are usually the most cost-effective options for their respective time periods.

Personal and leisure

These estimates are based on feedback from real Imperial students, collected during the Student Experience Survey 2022. Your own costs will depend on your lifestyle and activities, so always consider what your plans are for your studies.

Managing your money

Planning ahead and estimating costs is the best way to stay in control of your finances.

To help you, we have invested in a financial education platform for current and prospective students to engage in financial learning and access to budgeting tools. Learn more about Blackbullion on our budgeting page.

Start-up costs

As a new student, you may have additional start-up costs in your first year.

This may include things like accommodation deposits and flights. International students may need up to £1,500 for costs like these.

In Imperial-run accommodation for undergraduates, your study bedroom will have a bed, study desk, chair, wardrobe, shelving, desk lamp, curtains, chest of drawers, notice board, bookshelf/case.

However, you may need to buy other essentials such as bedding, crockery, cutlery and even some essential electrical items.

Don't forget that if you are planning to arrange initial short-term accommodation when you arrive in London, you will need to budget for this as well.