Cost of Living

About Aberdeen

Cost of Living

Aberdeen is 1st in the UK for affordability thanks to our lower living costs (QS Best Student Cities 2022)

You should budget approximately £55 per week for personal expenses, such as clothes, travel, sports and other social activities, and approximately £50-£60 per week for essential items such as food and toiletries. For books and stationery, you could expect to spend up to £500 over the academic year. However, reading materials can often be found at the University’s Library or accessed online through your Campus Moodle account once you are a student.

Don’t forget that with your National Union of Students (NUS) card or with free to register student discount schemes such as UNIDAYS and Student Beans, you can benefit from student discounts and offers in many shops, restaurants and cinemas.

Estimated Living Costs 2023-2024*

Please note that these amounts are estimates and will vary depending on your course and the social activities you take part in.

*Costs vary in line with inflation out with the University’s control. These figures are provided as a guide and we encourage you to review actual costs using sites such as Budget and Funding Calculator or UCAS: Managing Money.

Estimated monthly costs

These are the estimated lower and upper costs of living in Aberdeen.

The cost of living can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle, budget and spending habits. These costs are broken down per month and you can use this to calculate your estimated budget based on your duration in Aberdeen.

If you are required to pay tuition fees, please note that these costs are not included:

  • Rent (private 1-2 bedroom): £547 to £780 (Source: City Lets)
  • Food Shop: £200
  • Water & Energy: £110 to £150
  • Mobile Phone & Internet: £40 to £70
  • Personal Care: £220
  • Printing/stationery, photocopying and textbooks: £40 to £60

Total per month: £1,157 to £1,480

University accommodation and prices

We are committed to providing safe, secure and affordable accommodation to our students. Our flats have been designed with students' needs in mind.

We know that there is more to university life than studying, so our flats cater for more than your academic needs. Each study bedroom is equipped to provide a private place to relax or revise, and each flat contains a communal living area where flatmates and friends can socialise. Out-of-hours cover is provided at most accommodation sites by RGU’s ResLife Team and they also support students’ wellbeing by planning a comprehensive social calendar of activities and events throughout the year.

We offer standard and en-suite rooms across several convenient locations. RGU accommodation offers fixed rate prices for the duration of your contract, and includes utility bills and internet costs, thereby offering excellent value for money and an easy way to plan your budget. Where RGU Accommodation provides a TV in the communal area of the flat, the cost of a TV Licence is covered in your rent. However, if you intend to use a TV in your own room, or stream on another device, you will need to cover the cost of your own TV licence.


Food costs count for a significant part of your budget. This will vary on your tastes and dietary needs.

Most major supermarket chains have stores in and around Aberdeen. Many of these are close to the central area of the city. Many of these are close to the city centre, or, easily accessible on the main bus routes.

  • Tesco
  • Lidl
  • Aldi
  • Asda
  • Iceland
  • Morrisons
  • Sainsbury's
  • Farmfoods

Aberdeen is a cosmopolitan city with many specialist and international shops and restaurants. Meat, fruit, vegetables, spices and other products from around the world can be found close to the University and throughout the city. Halal foods and Kosher foods are available from both specialist stores and some larger supermarkets.

International Food Stores

  • Harmonie Ventures Ltd (African and Caribbean)
  • Matthews Foods Ltd (Asian)
  • Grosik European Mini Market
  • Spice of Asia
  • The Polski Sklep
  • Rice N Spice
  • Bismillah City Spice Shop

Locally Sourced foods

  • Rosemount Market
  • Gourmet Cheese Co.
  • Aberdeen Farmers Market

Initial one-off costs

When you begin university, there will be some one-off costs to consider. It is important to plan for these in your budget where necessary.

  • Temporary accommodation - Around £50 to £100 per night.
  • Deposit for accommodation - Usually equivalent to one month’s rent but it can vary.
  • Furniture - If you rent an unfurnished flat you will need to purchase your own furniture.
  • Bedding Packs - Bedding packs can be purchased at your accommodation site. Alternatively, there are several companies including UniKitOut who offer an online purchase and delivery service for bedding and kitchen items.
  • Insurance - Contents insurance is included in RGU Accommodation rent. In private housing, you will need to arrange personally.
  • Internet and phone installation - £30 to £50, you can compare prices via comparison websites when reviewing internet, mobile, phone providers.
  • TV Licence - £169.50 per year (from 1 April 2024). This can be paid in instalments.

Additional costs to consider

Depending on your lifestyle and living arrangements there maybe additional costs to consider. It is important to plan for these in your budget where necessary.

  • Travelling - Travel costs to Scotland will vary. By planning in advance, you are more likely to secure lower rail/air fares.
  • Free bus travel - for under 22's using a National Entitlement card or Young Scot card.
  • Bus fares (First Bus Aberdeen) – Student FirstDay ticket for unlimited journeys with a valid student iD card from £4.30, FirstWeek passes from £18.60 and FirstMonth passes from £63.
  • Internet/TV package - £35 to £70 per month, there are good deals for students during fresher’s week with packages at a reduced price.
  • Clothing - £0 to £50 per month, dependent on requirements.
  • Gym membership - RGU SPORT is free for current students/up to £40.
  • Childcare - £138.70 per week for a part-time nursery place for a child under 3 years old. Or £124.41 per week for a childminder.


If you are coming to Aberdeen with a family, there will be additional financial considerations you should research. This includes securing family size accommodation, feeding and clothing dependants, and importantly childcare.

Children generally start school in Scotland between 4 and 5 years old. The school a child will attend is based on their address and should be taken into consideration when looking at family accommodation in Aberdeen.

Since August 2021, all three and four-year-old children and eligible 2-year olds, are entitled to 1140 funded hours of ELC per year. This is funding offered by Aberdeen City Council.  Families can access up to 1140 funded hours of ELC at a local authority nursery and from private nurseries, playgroups and childminders in partnership with Aberdeen City Council to deliver high quality ELC.

There are very few ‘pay as you go’ nurseries. For most a contract is signed with a fixed number of hours each week stated and payment required in advance. Many also have waiting lists, so this should be investigated prior to beginning your studies.

Student Budget Calculator

You can use this online tool to help you plan a budget for your time at RGU.

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