Thinking about your living costs is an important part of planning for university life. The cost of living can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle, budget and spending habits. To help, here we provide a summary of indicative costs, to be used as a guide only.

Single students

(per year based on 50 weeks, excluding tuition fees)

  • Accommodation: £4,500 - £7,800
  • Food: £2,250
  • Travel: £400 - £600
  • Books: £500
  • General Expenses*: £2,900
Total: £9,650 to £11,600 per year

* General expenses may include social and leisure activities, telephone calls, laundry and clothing.

Couples and Families

If your partner or your family will be joining you at the University, you must also consider expenses such as the additional costs of accommodation, food or childcare.

This is an estimate of monthly living costs to use as a guide, including accommodation, but excluding childcare.

  • Couple: £2,000 (Accommodation: £740)
  • Couple with one child: £2,500 (Accommodation: £830)
  • Couple with two children: £2,700 (Accommodation: £1,020 - 1,125)
  • Couple with three children: £2,800 (Accommodation: £890 - £1,590)

Additional Guidance


Weekly food for one person estimate £40-£50

For those based at the Cranfield campus, there is a small shop located on campus and large supermarkets in Milton Keynes and Bedford. If you are studying at Shrivenham, there are supermarkets a short distance from the campus in the villages of Shrivenham and Watchfield, and in nearby Swindon. All major supermarkets have a home delivery service.

Clothing and laundry

Weekly laundrette for one person £5-£8

Winter clothing estimate for one person £350-£450

If you live in a country with a warmer climate than the UK, you may wish to bring additional clothing for the winter months.

If you do not have a washing machine you will need to budget for visiting a laundrette.


Students living off campus will need to budget for travel costs to the campus each day, whether you are running your own car or using public transport. If you plan to use a bus service regularly, you can save money by purchasing a weekly or monthly ticket. At Cranfield there is the Cranfield Uno, a subsidised bus service for students living off campus in the Bedford and Milton Keynes areas.

Telephone and Internet

If you live off campus, you may choose to have a landline telephone which will also enable you to have access to internet facilities. The costs of telephone and internet facilities vary, so it is a good idea to compare prices before you choose which company to use. You may choose to use a mobile phone either on a 'pay as you go' basis or through a monthly contract.


Annual TV license fee: £154.50

If you have a television, you must purchase a television license.

Council tax

If you are living in private, rented accommodation, you may have to pay Council Tax, a charge that each local government makes for services to the community, such as policing and fire services, road and street lighting, rubbish collection and park maintenance. To find out if you have to pay Council Tax you can visit the Government website here.

Alternatively your Student Advice Centre will be able to assist you with Council Tax enquiries.