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 stationary, you should expect to spend up to £500 over the academic year.

Don’t forget that with your National Union of Students (NUS) card, you will benefit from student discounts and offers in many shops, restaurants and cinemas.

Estimated Living Costs 2022-2023*

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 outwith the University’s control. These figures are provided as a guide and we encourage you to review actual costs using sites such as Student Budget Calculator.

Estimated monthly costs

There 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.

Please note these costs do not include your tuition fees.

  • Rent (private): £508 to £700
  • Food: £200
  • Water & Energy: £110
  • Mobile Phone & Internet: £40 to £50
  • Personal Care: £220
  • Printing/stationery, photocopying and text books: £40 to £60
  • Total per month: £1,100 to £1,340

University accommodation and prices

We are committed to providing safe, secure and affordable accommodation to our students. Our flats have been designed with student needs in mind. Residents have access to staff or Residence Assistants (RAs) to offer advice, assistance and support 24 hours a day.

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.

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.


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.

  • 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. There is also a regular International Food Market held in the city centre. 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 Smak
  • Rice N Spice
  • Bismillah City Spice Shop

Locally Sourced foods

  • Haig’s
  • 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 80 per night.
  • Deposit for accommodation - Usually equivalent to one month’s rent but it can vary. Our University accommodation requires a fixed £250 sum, which is a rent advance rather than deposit.
  • Furniture - If you rent an unfurnished flat you will need to purchase your own furniture.
  • Bedding Packs - Can be purchased from the university but also online through UniKitOut.
  • Insurance - In university accommodation it is included in your rent. In private housing, you will need to arrange personally.
  • Police Registration - £34, if you are required to register with the police on arrival in the UK it will be clearly indicated in your passport.
  • Internet and phone installation - £30 to £50, you can compare prices via comparison websites when reviewing internet, mobile, phone providers.
  • TV Licence - £159. If you watch TV in your accommodation this licence is required on an annual basis. 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.
  • Bus fares – Day passes from £4.20, week passes from £17 and month passes from £57.50.
  • 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, dependant on requirements.
  • Gym membership - Free 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 a consideration when looking at family accommodation in Aberdeen.

For children younger than school age, childcare is self-funded by the parents. As an example, a full-time nursery place for a two-year-old is £262.16 per week, meaning that nursery costs around £52 per day. Part time child care is approximately £138.70 per week for children aged two to four.

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.

Top tips for living on a student budget

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