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Cost of living in Nottingham

Nottingham is based in the Midlands, which is the cheapest region to live as a student in England (National Student Money Survey 2023). Managing your money can help you thrive at university and make the most of life in Nottingham – here’s how.

A student wearing pink, searching through a rack of shirts and coats in a Nottingham clothing store.

Living costs

Your tuition fees are a big part of the expense of going to university, but you also need to plan for rent, food, travel, and everything that student life at NTU has to offer.

Full-time home undergraduate students can apply for a government Maintenance Loan and receive up to £9,706, depending on your circumstances. That's alongside the Tuition Fee Loan. If you won't be receiving a maintenance loan, there are other ways of covering your living costs.

Regular expenses

How much you spend depends on your own lifestyle and choices, but the below serves as a rough guide to what your outgoings might look like as a student at NTU*.

Food and housekeeping costs, per week: £30 - £50

Weekly rent in university-allocated accommodation (including bills and internet): £103.32 - £183.54

Single bus journey (student): £2
Single tram journey (student): £2.20

Coin-operated washing machines: £2

Hot lunch in a University café: £2.25 - £4.50

UCycle bike hire: £49 per academic year

Student TV Licence: £159 per year

Student cinema ticket: £5 - £7.99

Gym membership: £13.99 per month

*Based on selected fees for the 2023/24 academic year.


Managing a lump sum of money for the first time can be a daunting prospect, especially when you need to make it last. It’s important to budget carefully and to be well-prepared, and we recommend starting with a weekly budget.

Follow these steps when creating your budget:

  1. Divide your income for each term across the number of weeks that it needs to last. What income do you have? When do you receive it?
  2. Set up a second bank account and transfer your weekly or monthly allowance. This helps reduce the danger of you overspending.
  3. What expenses do you have? Remember to include small costs as these can easily add up.

Download our budget worksheet for an easy way to plan your budget over the whole year.

Studying through the cost-of-living crisis

Find out how we can support you through the cost-of-living crisis, and how you can make your funding go further.

Accommodation costs

A student sat reading on his blue halls of residence bed. Behind him are neatly organised shelves.

Accommodation is a big expense for most students. You’ll want to find accommodation where you can comfortably live and study for the full academic year. Here are some things to consider when choosing your accommodation.

What can you afford?

Think carefully about what you can afford. The student finance calculator shows how much student Maintenance Loan you will receive. University-run halls of residence costs cover bills, whereas some private accommodation might not.

You may also be required to pay a large instalment at the start of term one alongside your deposit, so make sure you check what payments are involved before making your decision.

Rent instalments

Rent payments are not always split into equal amounts, so make sure you know how much you owe and when. NTU accommodation usually provides 44-week contracts, while private landlords may expect a full year of rent, whether you're there or not.


Think about where the accommodation is, how close it is to the university and how much travel will cost you. If you live locally, you may be thinking about commuting. There are many factors to consider here, including the impact on your maintenance loan.

Have a look at our Accommodation guide for more information. You can also contact our Accommodation Services team for advice on fees, as well as guidance on choosing your new home.

Great ways to save money

Students are the beating heart of Nottingham, and many of the businesses here have regular student offers. Remember to always ask about student discounts and deals in shops, restaurants, leisure activities, and more.

Additional discounts are available by signing up for UNiDAYS and TOTUM accounts.


UNiDAYS is a discount website that is available for free to students worldwide.

Visit the UNiDAYS website


TOTUM offers more discounts through their card and app and is recommended by the National Union of Students.

Visit the Totum website

Save on student travel

Discounted bus travel

Nottingham’s bus routes and trams offer discounted student travel. See more on the NCTX website.

Visit the NCTX website

Student tram travel

Season tickets for students are available to save on tram travel during each academic year.

Visit the Nottingham Tram website

16-25 Railcard from Trainline

A 16-25 Railcard is a discount card that makes train travel cheaper for students.

Visit the Trainline website

Commuting students

If you’re relatively local to NTU, commuting — rather than living in our halls of residence — can be a great way of keeping your costs down.

Any questions?

If you have any further questions, please call +44 (0)115 848 2494 or email the Student Financial Support team.