Cost of living

The cost of living crisis in the UK is likely to impact all of us. From energy bills to food costs, prioritising your money is more important now than ever.

We know that students with experience of the care system, disabled students, those with health conditions or caring responsibilities, and international students may face particular challenges. If you are worried about how you’ll manage to pay for everything you need to, we have a range of guidance and support to help.

Read more about how the University and the Students' Union are supporting students during the Cost of Living crisis.

Loans, bursaries and funding

Direct financial support is available to those students who meet the required criteria. If you are in danger of struggling financially and fear that it may affect your studies, please contact our team and read on to discover more about the loans, bursaries and funding available.

We update these pages regularly at the start of each new academic year, so if the current year's submission is closed for new applications do check back regularly.

Advice, guidance and resources

For those students who need some advice and guidance to help them manage and balance their finances, the University and the Student Union provide a range of different guidance for you. Don't forget you can always chat to the Student Services Hub at any time should you have concerns, difficulties or looking for guidance.

Finding a job

Across the University there are a range of different job opportunities that are available for our students to help support you financially during your time at Essex, and also prepare you for your future career after you graduate. From working within one of our catering outlets to helping our students settle in to their accommodation with our Residence Life Team, there is something for everyone.

How much does University cost? 

Beyond the academic fees you’ll pay for your programme, the other main costs are living expenses. Where you choose to live will play a big part in determining how much money you’ll need while you’re studying at Essex.

An estimate of living costs for a typical Essex student is shown below. The figures are intended as a guide only and will vary depending on individual lifestyle, circumstances, and assume you live on campus.

Undergraduate costs (estimation)

Undergraduate students attend for 39 weeks a year at our Colchester and Loughton Campuses, and at least 42 weeks a year at our Southend Campus (the number of weeks varies by course).

Living cost Colchester
per year
Southend
per year
Loughton
per year
Accommodation (2022 entry) £3,890 to £9,274
Colchester accommodation
£5,960 to £7,909
Southend accommodation
£5,787 to £9,014
(estimate for a 12-month private contract)
Food (at £30 - £50 per week) £1,252 - £2,087 £1,348 - £2,247 £1,252 - £2,087
Books and course materials £647 £647 £647
Clothing, toiletries etc. £533 £574 £559
Local travel £348 £375 £535
Leisure / socialising £1,097 £1,177 £1,151
Miscellaneous eg mobile phone, insurance, laundry, unexpected costs, emergencies £1,009 £1,086 £1,031
Total £8,776 - £14,995 £11,167 - £14,015 £10,962 - £15,024
Average £11,886 (over 39 weeks) £12,591 (over 42 weeks) £12,993 (over 39 weeks)
Average weekly cost to budget for £305 £300 £333

Postgraduate costs (estimation)

Postgraduate Taught

Postgraduate students attend for 50 weeks a year.

Living cost Colchester and Southend per year Loughton per year
Accommodation (2021 entry) £4,987 - £11,890 £5,787 - £9,014
(estimate for a 12-month private contract)
Food (at £30 - £50 per week) £1,637 - £2,675 £1,637 - £2,675
Books and course materials £835 £835
Clothing, toiletries etc. £653 £685
Local travel £445 £685
Leisure / socialising £1,406 £1,476
Miscellaneous eg mobile phone, insurance, laundry, unexpected costs, emergencies £1,293 £1,357
Total £11,256 - £19,197 £12,462 - £16,727
Average over 50 weeks £15,227 £14,595
Average weekly cost to budget for £305 £292

Postgraduate research

There are additional expenses (.pdf) to be expected by postgraduate research students.

International students

If you are applying for a Student visa to study in the UK, you'll need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds in place to cover your tuition fees and living costs in line with the requirements outlined in the Immigration Rules. The amount of money you must have available for living expenses depends on the length of your course and differs from the information above.

Note: If you have dependants, your cost of living will be considerably higher and vary based on your choice of accommodation and the size of your family.

Student Services Hub
Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.