The cost of studying English in the UK

When asking yourself how much it will cost to study English in the UK, a useful English expression comes to mind – how long is a piece of string?

In other words, there are so many factors to consider when working out how much it will cost that it is impossible to reach for one figure. By looking at each element individually however, we can get more of an idea about where most of our money will go.

Firstly, and probably the largest figure, is the cost of the course. This is easy to work out through the schools’ prospectuses. A part-time course of anything from six hours a week can begin as low as £30 per week. This figure obviously rises depending on the number of class hours. Some of the most popular courses are those offering around 20 class hours a week and can vary in price between £150 - £300 per week, depending on the number of weeks of the course. For full-time immersion courses, the cost can reach as high as £1,000 per week.

Secondly, check that materials such as textbooks and audio materials are included in the course. If not, these will need to be added into your budget and can be as much as £50. In addition, are exam fees included in the course fees, or do you need to pay for those separately? As an example, the Cambridge First Certificate (FCE) currently costs £90. Depending on the length of your stay in the UK, residence costs can also mount up. If you choose to lodge with a family, a good way of extending your use of English outside of the classroom, expect to pay between £70 and £150 per week. This does, however, include all meals and usually a cleaning and laundry service. If you decide to stay in student accommodation, expect to pay from £50 to £80 per week, depending on whether all or some meals are included.

A Bed & Breakfast charges around £25 per night, but as the name suggests, only breakfast is provided and you would have to pay for lunch and evening meals. Hotels are another option: comfortable, yet much more expensive. You may feel your time will be dominated by classes, yet your free time is also an important factor when budgeting. The UK is not a cheap country, although it has become very accessible to Europeans with the current exchange rate between the Pound and the Euro. However, you will probably find that many things are more expensive in the UK than in your own country.

Public transport is not so heavily subsidised as in some other countries, and if you are staying a distance from your school, you daily travelling costs can soon mount up. Eating out is also considered fairly expensive. Expect to pay anything from a minimum of £20 for a meal, not including drinks.

The area of the country you are studying in will greatly affect the amount of money you spend in your leisure time. London is considered not only the most expensive city in the UK, but also one of the most expensive in the world. If you are studying in the north of England, or even Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you will find that you money goes much further.