Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina
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If you are looking for a low cost university in UK for international students, you have come to the right place. There are many options and you should consider all of them.
The UK is known for having some of the best universities in the world. It has a vast number of universities and colleges that cater to international students from all over the world. The cost of studying in the UK can vary depending on whether you choose an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. For instance, an undergraduate course will cost around £10,000 per year while postgraduate courses will cost more than £12,000 per year.
There are many ways that you can reduce your costs while studying in the UK. One way would be to look at low-cost universities in the country. These universities offer quality education at affordable prices but they do not compromise on academic standards or quality standards set by their respective institutions.
Another way would be to apply for scholarships offered by different organizations and bodies such as Student Finance England (SFE) and British Council Scholarship Scheme (BCSS). These scholarships are awarded based on merit and ability to pay tuition fees among other things such as accommodation costs while at university
Cheapest Universities in UK for International Students
Studying in the UK comes at a very high price. Some students may dream to get a British degree, but still, seek to get the very best deal in terms of money. In the UK there’s a countless number of Universities each with different tuition fees and other expenses, and to a certain degree, everyone seeking an affordable option will likely find one. And what’s even better, this is not done at the cost of your degree.
Following a governmental decision that came into power in 2017, British universities are allowed to charge home students with tuition fees up to £9,250. At the same time, universities independently set their tuitions’ policy for international scholars.
Fairly, this is a high amount of money and for many may not be affordable. Knowing that the UK is one of the most expensive countries to live, imagine taking into consideration other expenses that come into play in your life as an international student. For most of us, this would turn the studying in the UK on an impossible mission.
There are universities in the UK, which charge the same minimum £9,250 for international students as for the home students.
Note: Universities are enlisted according to their undergraduate’s course tuition fees
List of the Cheapest Universities in UK for International Students:
University of Stirling, Stirling – £13,650
Founded in 1967 the University of Stirling has built its reputation upon excellence and innovation. For its prospective students, it offers a high-quality education and a wide spectrum of study programs. Despite being a highly reputed, the University of Stirling is definitely one of the cheapest universities in the UK. Undergraduate students at this university will be charged £12,140 in a Classroom-based course and £14,460 for a Laboratory-based course. Tuition fees at the postgraduate level are divided into bands (A, B, C*, D) and vary between £13,650 and £18,970.
Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh, East Lothian – £13,000
The campus of the Queen Margaret University is located just six minutes by train far from the wonderful city of Edinburgh, in the seaside town of Musselburgh. For those who love the sun, this city is a place to be, because it is the sunniest area in Scotland. At this university, you’ll find a wide range of study programs. The tuition it carries is fairly low in comparison to the British standard. For the upcoming academic year, 2018/19 international students at the undergraduate level will be charged with tuition fees between £12,500 and £13,500, while those at the postgraduate level will be charged much less.
Southampton Solent University – £12,500
The Southampton Solent University study programs are sought after by numerous international scholars. Its student population consists of students coming from almost 100 nationalities. The followings are tuition fees for international students in the 2018/19 academic year
Full-time undergraduate fees:
- Bachelor’s degree £12,500
- Foundation Year/Certificate £11,000
- Higher National Diplomas/Certificates (HND/HNC) £11,000 (additional registration fee may apply)
Full-time postgraduate fees:
- MA: £12,500
- MSc: £13,500
- MBA: £15,000
- Full-time postgraduate research: £12,500
University of West London – £12,000
The University of West London enjoys a worldwide reputation as an excellent university. As such qualitative university, in this year’s Guardian University Guide 2019 it is ranked 50th. Its outstanding education and research are carried out on its modern campus that consists of brilliant facilities where everyone can improve. However, with its fairly low tuition fees, the University of West London is one of the cheapest Universities in the UK. In most cases, the tuition fee for the 2018/19 academic year at this university is £12,000.
Leeds Becket University – £12,000
Based on the biggest financial district aside from London, and the vibrant city of Leeds, this university defines itself as a university with clear educational ambitions. Their goal is to equip scholars with an exceptional level of education and skills that will guide their way toward the future. The University runs a number of partnerships with different organizations and companies around to ensure its students get the best opportunities to find a good job after completing their studies. Currently, the university boasts over 28,000 students coming from almost 100 countries of the world. In addition, the Leeds Becket University has some of the lowest tuition fees among all British universities. At this university, you’ll have to pay as follows
- Undergraduate (most courses) – £12,000
- Postgraduate (most courses) – £11,500 – £12,500
- Research – £12,000 (may change in 2019/20)
Teeside University – £11,825
The reputation of the Teeside University is both nationally and internationally recognized. Through its rich scheme of study programs and high-quality teaching and research, the university guarantees to offers its student an exceptional education. Its reasonable tuition fees make this university still more attractive to international students. The 2018/19 academic year for an international foundation program will cost £9,750. For a full-time undergraduate course, you will have to pay £11,825 per an academic year. At the postgraduate level, there is much diverse tuition fee scheme. It starts at £5,875 in a part-time distance learning research degree and it ranges up to £17,000 in the Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Wrexham Glyndwr University – £11,750
Established in 2008, the Wrexham Glyndwr University is one of the youngest universities in the whole UK. But, regardless of its very short history, this university is highly valued for its quality of education. Besides, it is a university easily affordable because it carries considerably low tuition fees for international students. The tuition fees for the 2018/19 academic year at the University of Glyndwr will be as follows:
- Undergraduate – £11,750
- Postgraduate – £12,500
University of Bedfordshire – £11,500
The University of Bedfordshire established in 2006, as a blending of the University of Luton and De Montfort’s University, two Bedford’s University campuses. The institution enjoys a global appealing, hosting more than 20,000 students coming from over 120 countries. Besides being this highly reputed and valued university, it carries affordable tuition fees for the international students. According to their actual tuition fee policy, international undergraduate students will have to pay £11,500 for a BA or BSc degree program, £12,000 for an MA/MSc degree program and £12,500 for an MBA degree program.
University of Cumbria – £10,500
The University of Cumbria opened its doors just ten years ago and today it counts 10,000 students. Their clear long-term aim is to prepare its students to be able to give their fullest potential and seek a successful career. Although it’s such a qualitative university, the Cumbria University is one of the cheapest in the UK. The tuition fees it charges for international students, changes depending on the type and the academic level of your course. At the undergraduate level, an international student will have to pay between £1,554 for a Presessional English (6 weeks) to £15,500 for BA (Hons) Social Work and Health Pre-registration Program. At the postgraduate level, the tuition fees may range from £3,500 (Young people Community and Society) up to £15,500 (Nuclear Security Management, Ecosystem Services Evaluation).
University of Chester – £9,250
The University of Chester opened its doors in the far year 1839. Throughout this long history, the university has created a unique identity of a quality higher education institution. Their aim is to prepare students to gain the necessary skills which later will help them build their academic career and help their local communities. A degree at this university comes at a very affordable price. Depending on the type and the level of the course of your choice, these are the tuition fees you’d expect at the University of Chester as an international student
- International Foundation Program – £9,250
- Bachelor’s degree including Foundation – £9,250 Year 1 – £11,950 Years 2-4
- Undergraduate – £11,950
- UG Pre-Reg Nursing Pathways – £9,250 + £3,000 placement
- Postgraduate – £12,000
- MBA – £12,250
- Research Degrees – MRes/MPhil/PhD (Lab-based) – £16,228
- Research Degrees – MRes/MPhil/PhD (Classroom-based) – £16,635
Which Top UK Universities Have the Cheapest Tuition Fees for International Students?
If you want to study in the UK, unfortunately it doesn’t come cheap – around £12,200/US$16,120 is needed for living costs alone (and that’s if you don’t study in the more expensive London).
Domestic/EU students can now be charged a maximum of £9,250 (~€10,830) for an undergraduate degree, while international undergraduate tuition fees vary considerably.
So, if you’re on a budget and looking for more affordable options, here are the 10 cheapest UK universities for international students, based on data from the Reddin Survey of University Tuition Fees 2018/19, conducted by The Complete University Guide. All fees are for overseas students who started in 2018.
Of course, these fees are still high – but luckily there are plenty of scholarships available.
=8. University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Annual international tuition fees: £11,000 (~US$14,540)
If you want to study in Wales, the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David could be ideal, offering the cheapest tuition fees for international students in the country. It’s another young university, founded in 2010 through the merger of some of the oldest universities in Wales, the University of Wales, Lampeter (UWL) and Trinity University College (TUC).
=8. Plymouth Marjon University
Annual international tuition fees: £11,000 (~US$14,540)
Also featuring in the joint eighth among the cheapest UK universities in 2018/19, Plymouth Marjon University (known as Marjon for short) is a small university located just outside of Plymouth in southwest England. As well as boasting a green, leafy campus, Marjon offers small class sizes and all programs involve work placements of some degree.
=8. Buckinghamshire New University
Annual international tuition fees: £11,000 (~US$14,540)
Buckinghamshire New University is the third institution to be tied for third place among the cheapest UK universities for international students, and is split across three campuses in High Wycombe, Uxbridge and Aylesbury. It’s a good option for those who want to be close to the sights and attractions of nearby London, without spending too much on tuition fees.
7. Ravensbourne University London
Annual international tuition fees: £10,800–13,500 (~US$14,300-17,700)
Another good option for those with their sights set on studying in London, Ravensbourne University London, a small institution in East Greenwich, is currently ranked within the top 150 of the QS World University Rankings by Subject for art & design, and was awarded a ‘Silver’ in the UK government’s Teaching and Excellence Framework in 2017.
6. University of Sunderland
Annual international tuition fees: £10,500 (~US$13,440)
Another of the cheapest universities for international students is the University of Sunderland, which has its roots in the Sunderland Technical College (founded 1901) and gained university status in 1992. As well as its two campuses in Sunderland, the university has a site in London, and recently opened a Hong Kong campus.
The University of Sunderland has also been awarded an overall rating of 4 Stars in the QS Stars rating system, which provides a detailed look at which universities rate highest in areas such as facilities, graduate employability, social responsibility, inclusiveness, and more. A full breakdown of its QS Stars rating by category can be found on the university profile.
5. University of the West of Scotland
Annual international tuition fees: £10,600 (~US$14,000)
The University of the West of Scotland is the most affordable university in Scotland for international students, and is the largest modern university in Scotland, with around 16,000 students spread out across five campuses: with one each in the Scottish towns of Paisley, Hamilton, Dumfries and Ayr, as well as a campus in London.
4. University of Cumbria
Annual international tuition fees: £10,500 (~US$13,440)
In the northwest, the University of Cumbria is another young university offering lower tuition fees than many other universities in the UK. Formed by a merger of previous universities in 2007, the university is continuing to grow academically as well as geographically.
3. University of Suffolk
Annual international tuition fees: £10,080 (~US$12,900)
The next of these cheapest universities for international students in the UK is also one of the youngest, with the University of Suffolk only 12 years old (having been founded in 2007). The university has just over 5,000 students, again with a large proportion of female students. It has five sites, with its main campus in Ipswich.
2. Royal Agricultural University
Annual international tuition fees: £10,000 (~US$13,200)
Placed second for the lowest tuition fees is the specialized Royal Agricultural University, the oldest agricultural college in the English-speaking world (founded in 1845). It’s located in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, a market town with fascinating Roman origins.
1. Coventry University
Annual international tuition fees: £9,000-12,600 (~US$11,900-16,650)
Concluding our look at the cheapest universities in the UK is a new entrant, Coventry University, which has fees as low as £9,000 for international undergraduates (in contrast, at the UK’s highest-ranked university, the University of Oxford, international undergraduate fees start at £24,750 per year). Ranked 571-580 in the QS World University Rankings® 2019, Coventry is one of the fastest growing UK universities, with around 31,700 students. It also achieved a ‘Gold’ rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework in 2017, and 97 percent of students are in employment or further study six months after graduating.
With this guide, you’ll be able to find a low-cost university in the UK for international students. The British Isles are a beautiful place to study, and it’s easy to understand why so many international students choose to study here each year.
The best way to make sure that you get the most out of your time studying abroad is to choose an institution that offers quality education and reasonable costs. In this article, we’ve broken down some of the best options for international students looking for a good value.
If you’re interested in learning more about studying abroad in the UK or other countries, feel free to reach out! We’d love to help you find a program that will align with your academic goals and budget requirements.