Living in the UK

How much does it cost to live in the UK and what other things should you be aware of.

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This information is provided by the
Student Support & Advice Team

Depending on where you are from, the cost of living in Lincoln may be higher than in your home country. This doesn’t mean it is unaffordable, but it is important to plan ahead and ensure that you will have enough money to pay for your tuition fees and ‘real’ living costs throughout your course, before you start. The sections below contain useful advice and information to help you plan your finances, both before you start your course at the University of Lincoln and during your studies. There are also sections below that have general information useful to you whilst you are studying.

How much you spend is a very personal matter and will vary depending on your individual lifestyle.

You should work out a budget that will cover your basic essential living costs such as food, rent, electricity, gas, water, as well as other non essential costs such as socialising.

PLEASE DO NOT rely on finding a job in the UK to cover extra living costs. The University of Lincoln does not provide financial support for international students and so you will need to make sure that you have enough money for all of your living costs before you arrive in the UK.

 

The UK government has introduced restrictions on student dependant visas on all courses except postgraduate research courses and PhD courses. This change came into effect for courses starting from 1st January 2024.

Further information can be found on UKCISA Dependants.

 

For a student visa for a single person you will need to show that you have money in your bank account to cover all of your tuition fees for a full year and at least £9,207 in addition to your tuition fees to cover your living costs whilst studying in the UK.

£9,207 sounds like a lot of money to live on but in the table below we have broken down different areas of expenditure to show you how much you may actually need to live in Lincoln for a year.

It is your choice where you decide to live. If you decide not to live near to the University you will need to make sure that you are able to attend all of your face to face lectures at Lincoln as required by your Student Visa.

You will also need to make sure that you know how much it will cost you to travel to Lincoln for your studies.

If you rent from a private landlord you may be required to pay between 6 and 12 months of rent upfront before you are able to move into your accommodation.

Estimated minimum living costs in Lincoln Monthly (average) Yearly (average)
Accommodation (private landlord- Single room in share house) £375 – £708 £4,500 – £8,500
Bills if not included in rent (electricity/gas/water/internet) £150 – £200 £1,800 – £2,000
Food and toiletries £170 – £200 £2,040 – £2,400
Mobile Phone bill £15 – £50 £180 – £780
Books and Stationery £25 £300
Clothing/Shoes £40 (average) £480
Socialising (societies/cinema/restaurants/gym) £150 – £200 £1800 – £2,400

For a student visa for a student with a partner you will need to show that you have enough money to pay all of your tuition fees for a year plus £9,207 for living costs for yourself and another £6,120 for living costs for your partner.

£9,207 and £6,120 (£15,327 in total) sounds like a lot of money to live on but in the table below we have broken down different areas of expenditure to show you how much you may actually need to live in Lincoln for a year.

**Please note that the University of Lincoln does not provide accommodation for couples**

It is your choice where you decide to live. If you decide not to live near to the University you will need to make sure that you are able to attend all of your face to face lectures at Lincoln as required by your Student Visa.

You will also need to make sure that you know how much it will cost you to travel to Lincoln for your studies.

If you rent from a private landlord you may be required to pay between 6 and 12 months of rent upfront before you are able to move into your accommodation.

Estimated minimum living costs in Lincoln Monthly (average) Yearly (average)
Accommodation (private landlord)- Depends on whether accommodation is furnished or unfurnished. £500 – £800 £6,000 – £9,600
Examples of travel costs if chosen accommodation is not in Lincoln
Gainsborough to Lincoln 4 days a week £140 £1,680
Newark to Lincoln 4 days a week £110 £1,320
Skegness to Lincoln 4 days a week £425 £5,100
Bills if not included in rent (electricity/gas/water/internet) £200 – £300 £2,400 – £3,600
Food and toiletries £200 – £300 £1,800 – £3,600
Mobile Phone bills £15 – £50 per person £180 – £780 per person
Books and Stationery £25 £480
Clothing/Shoes £60 (average) £720
Socialising – (Societies/cinema/restaurants/gym) £200 – £250 £2,400 – £3,000

 

For a student visa for a student with a family you will need to show that you have enough money to pay all of your tuition fees for a year plus £9,207 for living costs for yourself and another £6,120 for living costs for each of your dependents.

For a student with a partner and one child this would be £21,447 which sounds like a lot of money to live on.

In the table below we have broken down different areas of expenditure to show you how much you may actually need to live in Lincoln for a year.

**Please note that the University of Lincoln does not provide accommodation for students with families and the availability of private accommodation for families in Lincoln is very limited.**

Because of this you may need to look for accommodation outside of Lincoln. Some nearby towns and cities within commutable distance of Lincoln are;

  • Gainsborough
  • Grantham
  • Mansfield
  • Newark
  • Nottingham
  • Retford
  • Skegness
  • Sleaford
  • Worksop

Please remember that whilst it is your choice where you decide to live, if you decide not to live near to the University you will need to make sure that you are able to attend all of your face to face lectures at Lincoln as required by your Student Visa.

You will also need to make sure that you know how much it will cost you to travel to Lincoln for your studies.

Private landlords may require payment of between 6 and 12 months of rent upfront before you are able to move into any privately rented accommodation.

Estimated minimum living costs in Lincoln (family of 3) Monthly (average) Yearly (average)
No Accommodation available from University of Lincoln N/A N/A
Accommodation (private landlord) £650 – £1,000 £7,800 – £12,000
Examples of travel costs if chosen accommodation is not in Lincoln
Gainsborough to Lincoln 4 days a week £140 £1,680
Newark to Lincoln 4 days a week £110 £1,320
Skegness to Lincoln 4 days a week £425 £5,100
Bills if not included in rent (electricity/gas/water) £350 – £450 £4,200 – £5,400
Food and toiletries £250 – £400 £3,000 – £4,800
Mobile Phone Bills – Per person £15 – £50 £180 – £780
Books and Stationery £25 £480
Clothing/Shoes £60 – £80 (average) £720 – £960
Socialising £200 – £250 £2,400 – £3,000
Child Care – Nursery fees for under 5s (each child)  – 5 days x 39 weeks £40 – £60 per day £7,800 – £11,700
Child Care – School aged child – School term time (each child) – 5 days x 39 weeks £10 – 20 per day £1,950 – £3,900
Child Care – School aged child – School holidays (each child) – 5 days x 13 weeks £40 – £60 per day £2,600 – £3,900

There are many ways to find accommodation to rent in Lincolnshire.  Please be aware that the majority of private rental properties will be ‘unfurnished’ and so you will need to budget for buying furniture such as beds, chairs, tables etc, as well as bedding, cutlery and crockery.

Before you sign for any rental accommodation please make sure that you are happy with the property, the location and the amount of rent. Rental contracts are legally binding and so once you have signed you will be liable for the rent for the whole of the contract period, even if you decide to leave the property.

Please remember that it is your choice where you live but if you decide not to live near to the University you will need to make sure that you are able to attend all of your face to face lectures at Lincoln as required by your Student Visa.

You will also need to make sure that you know how much it will cost you to travel  to Lincoln for your studies and take this into account when looking at the cost of renting.

  • Single Accommodation – If you are coming to Lincoln without dependants the University of Lincoln Accommodation department can help you. More information can be found on the University’s International Accommodation page.
  • Couples Accommodation – The University of Lincoln does not provide rental accommodation for students with partners and you will need to find your own accommodation in the private sector when you come to Lincoln. Further private rental accommodation information can be found on the University’s Privately Rented Accommodation page.
  • Family Accommodation – The University of Lincoln does not provide rental accommodation for students with families and you will need to find your own accommodation in the private sector when you come to Lincoln. Further private rental accommodation information can be found on the University’s Privately Rented Accommodation page.   It is important to remember that when you are looking for family accommodation, it will not be classed as ‘student’ accommodation and so you will need to ask for ‘family’ and not ‘student’ rental properties.

Private landlords will often ask for a UK Guarantor. A guarantor is someone who promises to pay the rent if the tenant does not. As an international student, it may be impossible for you to have a guarantor, so be prepared for landlords or letting agents to ask you to pay 6 to 12 months of rent in advance.

If you are coming to Lincoln with dependants (family), please watch the video below which highlights some of the factors you may wish to consider:

Please find the links from the above video below:

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/lincoln

https://www.onthemarket.com/to-rent/property/lincoln

https://www.zoopla.co.uk/to-rent/property/lincoln

https://www.your-move.co.uk/properties-to-rent/lincoln

https://www.spareroom.co.uk/flatshare/lincoln

UKCISA – international student advice and guidance – Planning your housing

Some of the towns and cities within commutable distance to Lincoln are;

  • Gainsborough
  • Grantham
  • Mansfield
  • Newark
  • Nottingham
  • Retford
  • Skegness
  • Sleaford
  • Worksop

If your children are young, you will probably have to look after them yourselves as domestic help is hard to find and very expensive. There are private day nurseries which take children under school age but many have waiting lists and the costs are high.

The Lincolnshire County Council have links to daycare facilities and nurseries for children under 5 years of age.

Early years education – Lincolnshire County Council

There is also an independent nursery based on the University of Lincoln Brayford campus site called The Marina.

Children in the UK are legally required to attend school from the ages of 5-16, and remain in either education or training until they are 18.

Children between 5 and 16 years can attend government primary and secondary schools in the UK, as long as they are here as your dependants. You will not have to pay for this. However, schools may sometimes refuse places to children if they consider their stay in the UK will be too short, or if the schools have no free places.

To find out what schools are nearby, see the Lincolnshire County Council information –

Schools and education – Lincolnshire County Council

One of the conditions of your Student Visa is that you attend every timetabled event, unless your School has agreed in advance that you may have authorised absence.

Because of this rule, your Student Visa also requires that if you bring your children to the UK then your partner, if you have one, must also be in the UK. This is so that your partner can look after the children while you are studying.

Although your partner is allowed to work, you must remember that your studies are the reason for you and your family to be living in the UK.  This means that your partner’s priority must be to look after the children whilst you are studying, rather than working. It is not acceptable for you to miss classes to provide childcare unless it is an emergency.

Some students and their families also decide to live with family or friends outside of the Lincoln area.

In all of these situations it is still your responsibility as a student to make sure that you attend all of their timetabled classes. Not attending has serious implications for your Student Visa.

Under UK law a student is required to take 2 weeks off from their studies after giving birth.

If you are a student and you are pregnant, it is very important that you talk to the International Advice team as soon as possible. If you think you will need more than 2 weeks absence due to pregnancy, you may need to interrupt your studies. This will mean that you and your dependants will need to leave the UK. When you are ready to resume your studies, you, and your dependants if you wish, will have to apply for new visas to return to the UK. 

Being born in the UK does not automatically make a baby a British citizen. The baby needs to have a parent with British citizenship or settled status in the UK in order to be a British citizen.

If your baby is born in the UK but is not a British citizen, it is quite lawful for him or her to remain in the UK without making an immigration application. However, the baby will need immigration permission and a passport to re-enter the UK after any travel abroad, and for babies born to students, there are a limited number of situations where you can apply for a baby to be your dependant on your visa.

From April 2015 babies born in the UK are not entitled to free healthcare from the age of 3 months unless it is emergency treatment. In order to access healthcare for your baby, you will need to make an immigration application before the baby is 3 months old and pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.

To make any immigration applications on behalf of a child, you’ll need to get a national passport or travel document for the child from the relevant embassy, consulate or issuing authority in your country.

More information about applying for a visa for a baby born in the UK can be found on the UK Council For International Student Affairs (UKCISA) Dependents webpage.

You can also contact the International Advice team at the University of Lincoln for further information and advice.

Work rights are a condition of your immigration permission. This means it is very important that you are clear about what you may and may not do. You must always follow any restrictions.

Working hours in term time must not exceed 20 a week, and you can work full time outside term time.

Week” means any 7-day period starting on a Monday. Keep detailed records of your working hours. This is especially important if you work irregular hours. It is also important if you have more than one employer including an employer outside the UK. This is because employers may not know about work you do elsewhere. You are responsible for ensuring that you do not exceed your weekly working hours.

Term time” means the period when your student sponsor expects you to be studying. “Outside term time” means any other time. For example, the period before your course starts and after it ends, and holidays (vacation). You can usually find term dates on your college’s website or in your course information. You must provide this information to your employer.

Always check the information on your immigration document. If it says “No work”, you must not work. If you think this is a mistake, you must get it corrected before you take any employment. Reporting a problem with your BRP.

There are also certain types of work that you must not do whilst on a Student Visa. Further details of these can be found here: What work can you do?

 

You can work full time when you have completed your course and it is no longer term time. You should not start a permanent post. This means a job without an end date.

If you travel during this post-study period, you need to show on re-entry that you will either

  • do what you say you want to do and leave the UK before your immigration permission expires, or
  • submit an application to extend your permission in the UK before your current permission expires.

You should carry any relevant documents with you in your hand luggage.

If you are going to be applying to the Graduate Route and want to travel outside of the UK between your course ending and your Student Visa expiring, you must wait until you have returned to the UK to make your application. Travelling with a pending application.  This is because any travelling outside of the Common Travel Area automatically withdraws your application.

When you make your Student Visa application, the Home Office uses the currency conversion rate on the date of the submission to check that you have enough money to pay your full tuition fees and living costs whilst studying in the UK.

However, it has become clear in the last few months that due to issues both in the UK and other countries, some currencies are losing their value against the British pound and this is then causing financial difficulties for students whilst they are in the UK.

Because of this you may wish to consider paying your tuition fees as soon as possible so that any currency fluctuation does not impact on your ability to complete your course and apply for further immigration permission such as the Graduate Route visa.

If you decide to pay your fees in instalments instead, we strongly recommend that you transfer your money into a UK bank account so that any currency fluctuation does not impact on your ability to pay your tuition fees.

Please note, the University is unlikely to consider any financial support, including possible fee waivers, due to currency fluctuations.

The University will not provide a student with their final certificate and will not confirm completion to the Home Office if the student has a tuition fee debt at the end of their studies.

 

Once you have successfully completed your course and this has been confirmed to the UK Home Office by the University of Lincoln, you can make an application for a Graduate Route visa.

The Home Office will make a full assessment of your eligibility but below are some of the conditions that have to be met to make an application.

  1. Successful completion of the full course shown on your CAS.
  2. Confirmation of successful completion whilst you still hold a valid Student Visa.
  3. Graduate Route applications can only be made in the UK.
  4. Dependents have to already be on your current Student Visa and physically in the UK when you make a Graduate Route Visa application.

If you are going to be applying to the Graduate Route and want to travel outside of the UK between your course ending and your Student Visa expiring, you must wait until you have returned to the UK to make your application. Travelling with a pending application.  This is because any travelling outside of the Common Travel Area automatically withdraws your application.

Further information about eligibility for the Graduate Route can be found here: Graduate Immigration Route

You can also find further Graduate Route information on the University of Lincoln website – Graduate Route Visa

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