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Undergraduate Study


Living costs

'Living costs' cover whatever you need to pay for, excluding tuition fees, while you're at university. For example, accommodation, food, course costs/study materials, personal expenses and transport.

To help you with your financial planning and to give you an idea of how much your living costs might be, we’ve worked with the Cambridge Students’ Union to carry out a detailed survey of our students to find out how much they’re spending while living in Cambridge.  

We’ve used the findings from the survey to prepare some estimated monthly living costs. The survey looked at the full range of student spending and took into account that students have different lifestyles.  We've tested the results in a variety of ways to make sure they’re a reliable indicator of living costs at Cambridge. 

The table below is intended to give you a general idea of indicative monthly costs, using the figures reported by our undergraduates in the survey. The costs should be enough for most students to cover their monthly outgoings and take into account projected inflation for 2024-25. 

Monthly living costs 2024-25





Personal items


Social activities


Study costs



Total £1,216

The amount you'll need each year will depend on how long you're living in Cambridge. Most students will only be in Cambridge during term time (approximately 9 months) so you should need around £10,950. For students staying all year round, £14,600 should cover living costs. We've rounded these figures up to the nearest £10. 

Please note that maintenance rates are set more than a year in advance based on inflation rates at the time. This means the cost of living may have risen before you arrive in Cambridge. These costs were calculated in May 2023 according to the Bank of England inflation forecast at that time. They are intended to be indicative and will be reviewed in November 2023. 


Most Colleges offer a range of accommodation to suit your preference and affordability. The weekly rent and the length of your accommodation contract will vary depending on your College choice – minimum contract lengths in 2022-23 range from 27 to 39 weeks. Please see individual College websites for details about accommodation costs, contract lengths and additional charges.

See the Accommodation webpage for general information about accommodation.


Colleges provide basic self-catering facilities as well as cafeterias/dining halls. Some levy a separate charge towards the running costs of the College kitchens – a Kitchen Fixed Charge which ranges from £258 to £625 per year in those Colleges that make such a charge. Some Colleges also have a minimum meal charge, which is paid in advance and provides credit for meals bought in College (see individual College websites for details).

  • Individual meals typically cost £4-£7.
  • Many Colleges have regular 'formal halls' (three-course dinners) that are also great value, usually at around £10-£16 at most Colleges.

Additional course costs

These costs are in addition to tuition fees and living costs and will vary depending on your course but may include you having to pay for your own:

  • personally-owned equipment (eg calculator, lab coat)
  • printing
  • study materials (eg paper, pens, books)
  • travel costs (eg field or dissertation research trips)

The University’s numerous libraries and IT facilities help to keep your costs down, and many Colleges and some departments offer grants to help with particular costs (see individual College and department websites for details).

There are some general course costs that apply across all courses. Details of these are included on our study costs page. You can find details of additional course costs specific to your chosen course on the relevant course entries.

Personal expenses and transport

What you spend on food, clothing, transport etc depends on your lifestyle. However, there are lots of free recreational facilities plus loads of College-based and student-run activities that don’t cost very much. What’s more, Cambridge is a small place so transport is cheap or free – most students walk or cycle and there’s a ‘Universal’ bus service that offers discounted fares to students.

College fees

Unlike overseas fee status students and Islands students (from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man), Home fee status students who are eligible for public support don't normally have to pay an additional College fee, unless they're studying for a second undergraduate degree (affiliated students). More information about College fees is given on the international fees and costs webpage.