Cost of Living in Glasgow

Regardless of whether you are simply considering to study in Glasgow or if you have already received your acceptance letter, you must be wondering  “how much money will you need to live comfortably in the city”. Despite the fact that Glasgow is one of the most affordable cities to live in the UK, students, especially international students might still find it to be a little more expensive as compared to their home country. Not only do the students need to maintain a tight budget every month, they also need to adopt various measures to cut down their daily expenses. This blog lists down a few tips for saving money along with the various essential and non essential expenses which determine the cost of living in Glasgow for students.

What is the estimated annual living cost?

Although the cost of living of an individual primarily depends upon the sort of lifestyle one chooses to adopt, on an average, students must expect an annual expenditure of £13000 to £14000 (excluding tuition fee). Students have to consider a number of factors while calculating their budget. These factors may include:

  • Rent
  • Tuition Fee
  • Transportation Cost
  • Amount to be spent on food and other necessities
  • Cost of books and Course material
  • Amount spent on entertainment and leisure activities

Now, the amount spent on one’s entertainment purposes such as going for a movie or a concert or eating out can significantly impact the total budget. Students who choose to spend reasonably in their spare time can end up saving a lot of money.

Cost of Student Accommodation in Glasgow

cost of living in glasgow for students
333 Bath street

Relatively speaking, the cost of student accommodation in Glasgow or student housing Glasgow is a lot lesser than many other urban cities. As per a report by Numbeo, rent in cities such as London is around 151.52% more than the rent in Glasgow. When it comes to student accommodation in Glasgow or student apartments Glasgow, the rent depends on majorly three things- 1) Distance of the Glasgow uni accommodation from the university and which part of the town it is located in, 2) How big the room is and whether one decides to share the room or live privately and 3) The apartment and community facilities available for the students. Most of the decent student accommodation in Glasgow or student flats Glasgow fall in the range of £105 to £180 per week. This rent is inclusive of utility bills which reduces the monthly expenditure.


If you are a Scottish student or an EU undergraduate, Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)  will most likely cover your tuition fee and might also offer supplementary grants and loans. The SAAS offers support to Scottish students regardless of their financial condition.

If you are an international student, your tuition fee will depend on the programme you undertake at your university.  The tuition fees for international students at the University of Glasgow starts from £16,970 per annum. 

Transportation Cost

cost of living in glasgow

Glasgow has many coach and bus operators, the most popular one being FirstGroup. Students from 16 to 18 years of age can avail various discounts and concessions available on bus services. FirstBus offers a scheme where students will need to pay £400 annually and can enjoy unlimited travel across the city. Students can also avail discounts on their bus journey using their Young Scott cards and City Link Student Discounts

For rail travel, students aged 16-25  can get a Student RailCard for £30 and get upto ⅓ off on their travel.

Cost of food and other necessities

cost of living in glasgow for students
A supermarket in Glasgow

The cost of food depends on your choice of either cooking your own meal or eating out. If you choose to cook for yourself, you’ll end up saving a lot of money. Glasgow has a number of affordable supermarkets. One such budget supermarket is Lidl where you can buy in bulk and the cost of buying groceries, toiletries, cleaning products and other necessities is approximately £100-120 per month for a student. Some food shops like Roots,Fruits and Flowers offer student discounts as well. Daily essentials like milk (1lt.), bread (500g) and a bottle of water can cost you £0.89, £0.87 and £ 0.80 respectively. Cost of eating out in Glasgow at an inexpensive restaurant can be roughly around £12 and a meal at McDonalds can cost you £5.55 . 

Cost of books

The cost of books and printing comes to around £100 per semester. This is because most if not all of the core textbooks are usually available in the college library and can be issued by students. Even if the  students want to purchase some course texts, they can get it from the Students’ Representative Councils(SRC) which sells second hand books. Students can also sell their used textbooks to SRC and make money out of it.

Entertainment and Recreation

Estimating the amount of money students spend on social activities or night outs is not easy as it is highly individualistic. Socializers might spend upto £150 on clubbing, concerts, pubs and drinks. 

Students who are into sports and fitness can get a University of Glasgow Sports membership which gives them access to fitness classes, gym facilities, indoor-cycle studio and swimming-pool. This membership costs a minimal amount of £132 per academic year, which is around £11 per month. Similarly, Glasgow Caledonian University’s ARC Health and Wellbeing also offers a range of membership offers. Students who are not a regular at the gym can choose to pay £4.20 each time they use the gym facilities.

To conclude, students can comfortably survive in Glasgow with a monthly expenditure of roughly £1000( excluding tuition fee).


Is Glasgow expensive for students?

Glasgow is an excellent choice for students searching for a low cost of living while attending university. Glasgow is 43% less affordable to live in than London (according to Expatisan). There has never been a better moment to study in Glasgow.

Is Glasgow cheap for students?

While studying in Scotland is not cheap, it is less expensive than many other places in the UK and surely less expensive than London. In fact, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen are frequently ranked as the inexpensive student cities in the United Kingdom.

Is Glasgow a good city for students?

Glasgow was placed 34th in a list of the finest student cities, according to recent rankings – here’s why we think it’s the spot to be for students. Every academic year, students from all over the world go to Glasgow to study because of the high-quality education provided by the city’s several colleges and institutions.

Where do students live in Glasgow?

Finnieston may be your best choice if you’re seeking a suitable location close to the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde. The location is ideal for University of Glasgow students since it is located between the major commercial centre, Kelvingrove Park, and the River Clyde.

Looking for your perfect student accommodation?

Looking to study abroad? Searching for the perfect student affordable accommodation? Choosing the right accommodation for a university that’s thousands of miles away can be, say the least, a difficult experience. We can help.

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