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Money matters, costs and budgets – University of Reading

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Money matters, costs and budgets

All students

How can I fund my studies and is there any help available?

The Student Financial Support Team can provide help and advice on:

  • Statutory (Government) funding from Student Finance Authorities such as Student Finance England (SFE)
  • Loans (e.g. Professional Career Development Loans [PCDLs], US Direct Loans [part of the US Federal Student Aid Programme], Canadian student loans
  • Bursaries (e.g. Reading Bursary, National Scholarship Programme [NSP]) and scholarships [various]
  • Budgeting and money management

See below, call 0118 378 7430, or email for more information or specific queries.

Living costs

What else will I have to pay for?

Clearly, living costs are an important part of budgeting for your degree.  Accommodation costs £100-£160 per week in University self-catered accommodation, inclusive of bills. This will amount to around £4,000-£6,400 a year: our standard accommodation contracts (40 weeks) cover all three terms plus the Christmas and Easter vacations, so you can stay in halls during the holidays and leave your belongings there securely. For more information about the cost of accommodation in our halls of residence or in private accommodation in Reading, please see the links below:

You will also need to budget for food, travel and entertainment, as well as some additional costs for course materials such as books. Costs vary from student to student, depending on your interests and lifestyle. As a rough guide, you might typically expect to spend between £80 and £140 a week, which adds up to between about £2,480 and £4,340 across the academic year.

If you are an international student, you should also budget to cover the cost of your visa application and the Immigration Health charge, and make an extra allowance of up to £600 for other expenses on arrival.

We recommend taking the following aspects into account when planning your weekly budget:

Item Cost per week

Accommodation costs vary across campus, but the typical cost for en-suite accommodation in halls starts at around £100 per week, with premium en-suite accommodation rising to around £160 per week*.

Prices will vary for private accommodation and usually cover a full 12 month period.

*depending on contract length


£44 per week

(may vary if you are in a self-catered or catered hall)

Mobile telephone £5.50 per week
Travel £14 per week
Books and stationery £12 per week
Entertainment £27 per week
Clothing and personal care £16.50 per week
Total £219 - £279 per week

Please note the amounts above are based on a single person.

Managing your money

Wondering how you can have a great time at university, without concerns about money? Don't worry: we have plenty of support to help you budget effectively.  Managing your money is a crucial skill to master when you are studying, and may be a new one for you. So we're here to help if you need us.

Speak to our Financial Support team

When you are a student at Reading, you can find the Student Financial Support team through the main student helpdesk, located at the heart of campus. Advisers are available all week, and can offer support on a wide range of issues, from fees to scholarships to short-term loans. Student Financial Support drop-in advice sessions are held from 9.30am-12noon every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during term time. There are also hardship funds available if you are struggling.

Speak to our Student Union Advisors

You can discuss any financial concerns with the Student Union's Specialist Money Advisers, one-to-one and in confidence.

Search for funding

Select from the options below to see the bursaries, scholarships and other sources of funding available:

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Job Shop

How can I supplement my income?

The University Job Shop, located right on campus, is the place to find part-time and vacation work. Our friendly, professional staff can help you find a suitable job to match your skills and interests. We can help with applications, CVs and interviews too, whether you are looking for your first job or a more specialist role.

And in Reading itself, there are many opportunities to work with employers from cafes to shops and from bars to Reading FC. If you want to work while you study, Reading is an ideal place to be.

‘Being a student ambassador for the University has been one of the best things I've done since being here. Not only does it allow me to earn a little cash during term time, I have developed a number of skills doing the job, from giving talks about student life to communicating with a diverse range of people: skills which will be vital in the future.’

Anna Barkaway

BSc Biochemistry


Student_laughingFinancial Support for new full-time undergraduate students in 2015-16


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