Nottingham – a cost-effective place to live

Great news if you’re going to be studying at NTU – according to the 2016 NatWest Student Living Index, Nottingham is one of the UK’s most cost-effective student cities. All the same, we know that you’ll have to keep a close watch on your wallet while you’re a student, and it’s important to know exactly how far your money is likely to stretch.

Nottingham is one of the UK’s most cost-effective student cities.

Natwest Student Living Index, 2016

Study coffee student union

To give you an idea about living costs in Nottingham:

The exact costs will depend on your course, and a range of other factors. But as a general guide, we think you’ll need about £8,000 each year to cover your costs, on top of tuition fees.

Example living costs*

Estimated cost


University residences

Private shared house or flat

Private residences

£80 - £160 per week (some bills included)

£65 - £100 per week (bills not included)

£80 - £170 per week (bills usually included)

Bills (electricity, gas, water)         £40 - £60 per month

Food (cooking at home)

£40 per week

Internet connection

£18 per month

Books for course

£100 - £150 per year

Gym membership (annual)


Travel (around Nottingham)

£15 per week

TV licence

£145.50 per year


from about £130 per year**

*This table only covers your most basic needs, of course. Remember to factor in other miscellaneous costs such as your mobile phone, your social life, clothing and toiletries.

**You’ll get free basic contents insurance if living in University-allocated accommodation.

Female students shopping

Quick money-saving tips for your time in Nottingham

  • Use your NTU Student Card on campus and when you’re out and about in Nottingham for excellent discounts. You may also want to buy an NUS Extra Card for average savings of over £500 a year.
  • Get yourself a student bank account. Big banks love enticing new students with offers of freebies and 0% overdrafts.
  • Nottingham’s buses and trams offer great discounts for students – take advantage of them! Find out more on our travelling around Nottingham page.
  • For travelling to and from home, make sure you take advantage of cheap train and coach deals for students. A student Railcard or Coachcard will get you a third off normal fares, and keep an eye out for rail companies’ own student promotions and discounts as well. And always try to buy your tickets well in advance – this usually makes them cheaper.
  • Learn how to cook! You’ll save money if you cook at home for yourself and your friends most of the time. And don’t forget there are lots of little tricks you can use to save money at the supermarket. Bulk buy with your housemates, shop around a bit to find the best deals, and remember that evenings can be a particularly good time to go food shopping – that’s when supermarkets often mark down fresh produce they want to get rid of by the end of the day.
  • When you do order a takeaway or eat out, take advantage of the many student deals and discounts available in Nottingham. Remember to ask if there’s a discount for students – they aren’t always clearly advertised.
  • Consider getting a part-time job. The minimum hourly wage in the UK is £5.55 (age 18-20), £6.95 (age 21-24) and £7.20 (age 25 and over). Read our working as a student page for lots of guidance and tips for finding a job in Nottingham.
  • Say goodbye to buying expensive software. Microsoft now offer their Office package, including Word, Powerpoint, Excel, and OneNote to students for free!
Always ask if there’s a discount for students – they aren’t always advertised.

Nottingham – a cost-effective place to live

Published on 16 January 2017

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