We understand that committing to studying overseas is both a big financial commitment as well as of your time. We're here to guide you on how to plan your finances and what to expect when you get to RGU.
RGU offers all direct entry, self-funding international students a discount on their fees to help with this initial stage. There are various funding opportunities for international students through scholarships and companies we have partnerships with in the UK and in many international countries.
Tuition fees are set in relation to the type of course you are studying. For example, due to the materials required, laboratory based courses are often more expensive than class based ones. Fees for Overseas Students also differ from fees for UK and European Union students.
Fees are listed on all course pages:
Paying Tuition Fees
We have an instalment plan to help spread the cost of paying your tuition fees. Please remember to include your Student Reference Number/ ID when making any payments or bank transfers.
Detailed information about paying your tuition fees:
The bank-to-bank transfer service allows students, their families or their sponsors the opportunity to send bank-to-bank transfers for payment of tuition fees in local currency for international students.
Paying your fees via our payments platform
International students can pay their fees using Robert Gordon University’s payments platform powered by our partner Western Union Business Solutions. This allows you, your parents and sponsors to pay GBP student fees in the currency of your choice and provides you with a simple and secure way to initiate a payment.
How it works?
Simply select the country you are paying from, what are you paying and your preferred method of payment. Enter your student details, following the payer details. If you pay via bank transfer, get your payment instructions to your bank (at branch, online or via phone) and make your payment. You can track your payment status through every step.
Benefits for you:
- Pay international fees by bank transfer or online payment options
- Convenient payment methods including AliPay, TenPay, UnionPay, Trustly, Sofort, etc
- NO transaction charges from Robert Gordon University or Western Union Business Solutions
- Peace of mind that your full payment is received by Robert Gordon University
- Favourable exchange rates compared to most banks
- Track your payment step by step
- Intuitive, mobile friendly interface for a seamless payment experience
- Multi language platform: French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Indonesian, English, Spanish and Hindi
- Customer support service to help you in every step
Should you require a refund of your deposit or tuition fees, complete the form:
It is hard to predict your exact cost of living, as this varies from person to person. However, we have created a rough guide to help with your planning.
The things which are going to vary your cost of living will be:
- The type of accommodation you chose
- Tuition fees (see our how to pay section)
- Applying for a Visa (international student may require this)
- If you plan to take a part-time job or not
- How much socialising and travelling you want to do whilst at Robert Gordon University
As with relocating to any new place, once you are here you will learn where to find the best deals for buying food or clothes; what day it is cheapest to go the cinema etc. Aberdeen is a very student friendly city, so there are lots of special offers geared towards the student market, such as meal deals in restaurants and bars.
Many students find it helpful to have a contingency or emergency budget. This is in case they find it difficult to find a part time job or incur an unplanned expense such as contents insurance for your belongings or a television license for your property. According to research by UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) student finance is the number one concern for International Students, with many of the students who took part in their research saying that they underestimated the cost of living.
It is important to be realistic about your expected costs for your time at Robert Gordon University, as we want you to have the best experience possible. Preparing a sensible budget will allow you to focus on your studies and enjoy your time in Aberdeen.
There is no restriction on bringing money into the UK. However, you must declare to UK Customs if you bring more than the equivalent of €10,000 (approx. £8,000).
This includes currency, travellers cheques and bankers drafts. If you are planning to bring some of your own currency, check first that you are permitted to take it out of your country, and secondly that it can be changed in the UK.
There are many disadvantages with bringing large amounts of cash in to the UK. The most obvious problem is safety - if your cash is stolen, it is gone for good.
However you will need to bring some cash (£200 - £300) with you in order to meet day to day expenses, at least for the short term.
The best and safest way to bring money is to either bring Sterling travellers cheques or arrange two bank drafts:
- one payable to The Robert Gordon University for your fees, with your student number and name on the back or as the reference details, and
- one for your living costs, payable to your own name
Bringing bank drafts is one of the safest ways of bringing money to the UK. The down-side is that you will need to set up a bank account before you can receive the money. In addition to this, drafts can take up to two weeks to clear in your account (depending upon the bank). You should therefore bring some of your living costs as a mixture of cash and travellers cheques until your main draft clears.
As an International Student it may be possible for you to work in the UK whilst you are studying, but your nationality will determine what conditions you need to meet so that you can work in the UK. The visa stamp on your passport will indicate if you are allowed to work or not.
As an adult student with a suitable visa:
- You are allowed to work part-time during term time, up to a maximum of 20 hours a week and full-time during vacations
- The work you do must not fill a full-time permanent vacancy (other than on a recognised Foundation Programme), and you can not be self-employed
Due to Aberdeen being a good sized, thriving, social city, there are lots of opportunities for part time employment in restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, cinema and theatres. Some students also chose to take a part time position which relates to their career ambitions, so will take office or agency work such as web design or PR/marketing positions.
In the UK, there is a minimum wage system which attempts to regulate payment for all employees. Find out the current National Minimum Wage from the DirectGov website.
At Robert Gordon University, we have an excellent Careers Centre that can help our students locate and prepare for applying to a range of local part time jobs whilst you are studying. Our Careers Centre can also help with career planning and how to prepare for the graduate employment market.
You can find full information about working while studying from our Student Services department.
Short Term Emergency Loans
You can apply to the University for an Emergency Loan if you suddenly find yourself in financial difficulty.
As these funds are extremely limited, the maximum loan that can be made is capped at £600. Short-term emergency loans are available on a discretionary basis to assist students with an immediate financial crisis. Short-term emergency loans are not grants and must be repaid nor are they a solution to long term underfunding or cash-flow problems.
This fund is available to international students who have had a change in circumstances since starting their course which have resulted in them having financial difficulties.
Students are advised to speak to Student Finance before making an application.
Application forms can be obtained from the Student Help Point in the Health & Social Care building.
Download our advice on your finances and Tier 4 visa applications: