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Funding for International Students

Find out about our possible fee reductions or discounts for overseas students below.


Northumbria University offers a range of possible fee reductions or discounts for overseas students.   

As an international student you are not eligible to apply for student loans in the UK. Therefore it is important to think carefully about how to manage your money well to avoid experiencing financial difficulties. There is important information on this page to help you. 

To avoid currency fluctuations, we advise that you transfer the funds that you evidenced for maintenance as part of your visa application, into a UK bank account as soon as possible to ensure you continue to have access to this money throughout your course.

If you are new to the UK, you should bring with you enough money to cover your immediate needs or ensure that you can access funds from your account in your home country.

You should open a bank account when you arrive in the UK to help you to control your finances. To avoid currency fluctuations, we advise that you transfer the funds that you evidenced as part of your visa application, into your UK account as soon as possible to ensure you continue to have access to this money throughout your course. 

You should conduct your own research into banks before choosing to open an account.  Some banks allow you to open an account online, others you will have to visit the branch to open an account. If you are opening an account in branch, please ensure you have the following before visiting the bank:

  • Evidence of your identity (normally your passport).

  • A “bank letter” which you can generate from your MyNorthumbria account 'letter requests'. You must specify which bank you wish to open an account with. (Please note that you can only get this letter once you have enrolled on your programme).

Banks require evidence of your overseas residential address - Agency or PO Box overseas addresses are NOT acceptable. Proof of identity such as a driver's licence which shows your overseas residential address may be helpful.

In addition, if you are studying here on a programme of less than six months, it is normally not possible to open a student bank account at first. Instead, you should be able to open a basic bank account, which you may then be able to upgrade to a student bank account when you have started on your degree programme. When selecting a bank for your UK stay, consider factors like accessibility, fees, and benefits. Explore our guide on choosing your student bank account to make an informed decision that suits your needs during your time at Northumbria University.

For further information please see UKCISA – Opening a Bank Account

Budgeting is the process of calculating how much money you have during a particular period of time and planning how you are going to spend that money. It is important to set yourself a realistic budget as early as possible so that you can plan your money for the year. When making a budget, do not rely on earnings from a part-time job, as such work is temporary and often subject to change.

We have partnered with Blackbullion, a financial wellbeing platform to help you develop money skills, confidence and maximise opportunities. You can create an account before you join Northumbria to engage in ‘Preparing for Uni’ learning pathways and to use their budget calculator. Once you are a student here, change your account over to your student email and you will gain access to all the learning pathways covering student life, budgeting, earning, investing, saving and many more.

You can get an idea of the cost of living and studying in the UK from the British Council, although keep in mind that costs will differ for everyone and will depend on your accommodation choice, lifestyle/hobbies and any other financial commitments you have.

Remember to budget for:

  • Course fees.

  • Accommodation

  • Utilities – gas, electricity, water (if not included in your accommodation cost). The National Student Accommodation Survey 2023 found energy bills cost an average of £85 per month for students.

  • Food and other essentials. In the UK there are a range of places you can shop for groceries; discount supermarkets (Aldi, Lidl), larger supermarket chains (Asda, Co-op, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsburys), high end supermarkets (Marks and Spencer, Waitrose), local markets selling fresh produce, speciality stores and smaller convenience stores (these tend to be more expensive).

  • Transport – if your accommodation is not close to university, you will need to budget for transport. If using public transport, look for discounted travel for students.

  • Internet.

  • Mobile phone.

  • TV License.

  • Insurance – basic contents insurance will cover the contents of your accommodation in case of loss or damage. You can also get additional cover for your possessions when you are out and about by adding this to your contents insurance or buying separate personal protection or gadget insurance.

  • Health costs – although you pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your immigration application, you will still need to pay towards the cost of prescriptions, dental care, and eye care in the UK.

  • Childcare – there are a variety of different types of childcare in the UK, including pre-school nurseries for children from 0 to 5 years old, childminders and after school clubs for school age children. Costs vary, but as a guide, the average cost of putting a child in a nursery part-time for 25 hours is £148.63 per week for children under two, or £144.01 per week for children aged two to five. The average weekly cost of after-school clubs is £67.42. (*figures taken from the Coram Childcare Survey 2023).

  • 15 hours free childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds - all three and four-year-olds living in England are entitled to the universal entitlement of free childcare in the UK, irrespective of the immigration status of the child or their parent(s). This is 570 hours per year (equivalent to 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year).

  • Leisure pursuits and hobbies.

Don’t forget that you can benefit from a range of discounts in some shops and restaurants by showing your National Union of Students’ card (NUS card). All students who are currently enrolled at Northumbria University are able to get an NUS card form the Students’ Union reception.

When looking for accommodation in the UK, you should do some research to ensure it meets your own individual needs and budget. We have produced a handy guide to get you started.

Where to live?

Newcastle Campus

For students studying at our Newcastle campus, there are several towns outside of the city that have good transport links and are approximately a 45-minute commute by public transport.

These include:





North Shields



You can view their locations on a map here and find information about public transport in and around Newcastle on the Nexus website.


London Campus

Public transport in London, including the London underground makes it a very accessible place. Liverpool Street Station is just a 7-minute walk away from the campus.

You can view locations within approximately a 45-minute commute by public transport on a map here and find information about public transport at Transport for London.

If you will be bringing dependants, especially dependant children, with you whilst you study in the UK, you will need to consider additional requirements, including the availability of childcare or schools in the area you plan to live. Northumbria University does not offer student accommodation for families so you will need to rent privately.

It is advisable to book short term accommodation so that you can come to the UK and make the necessary arrangements for them, prior to bringing your children here. You can find short-term accommodation on Spare Room. Alternatively, you can book into a local hotel or hostel. Hostels tend to be cheaper but may not be suitable for families.

There are a variety of different types of childcare in the UK, including pre-school nurseries for children from 0 to 5 years old, childminders and after school clubs for school age children. Northumbria University Nursery is based at the at the City Campus in Newcastle and students can use this facility if there are places available. For childcare facilities in your local area please visit GOV.UK where you can carry out a search based on your postcode.

If your children are aged between 5 and 16, they can attend government primary and secondary schools in the UK, as long as they are here as your dependants. You will not have to pay for this. However, schools may sometimes refuse places to children if they consider their stay in the UK will be too short, or if the schools have no free places. You can find out more about choosing schools here.

  • Don’t carry around large amounts of cash as it can be risky. Find other methods for paying for goods such as by cheque, direct debit or debit card.

  • Keep your bank statements in a safe place. If you wish to extend your visa while you are in the UK you will be required to show them as evidence of funds.

  • Keep a record of money in your account. If you receive money and you don’t understand why, or if money seems to be “disappearing” from your account then please notify your bank and the police immediately.

  • Don’t accept money from someone you don’t know. They may be criminals asking for your help so that they can launder money through your bank account thereby hiding their identity and criminal activities. You will place yourself at risk if you accept this money. Notify the police if someone approaches you to give you money or asks you to look after their money.

  • Don’t allow anyone else to use your bank account. There should be no reason for anyone else to use your account. Allowing someone to use you bank account will place yourself at risk. Your bank may become suspicious that you are money laundering or aiding someone else to do so, which is a criminal offence. If someone approaches you requesting to use your bank account, notify your bank and the police immediately.

  • Do manage your money carefully as finding sources of funding for your studies once you have come to England is very difficult.

  • Don’t ignore bills or financial problems because they won’t go away. If you don’t understand a bill or a letter, or if you are concerned about your finances then come and speak to an adviser.

  • Do pay your Tuition Fee on time. If there is a reason why you may not be able to pay your fees on time then contact University Finance through your student portal.

  • Don’t lend large amounts of money to friends because they may not pay you back and there is very little you can do to recover your money.

  • Do consider taking out contents insurance to cover you belongings.

  • If you have any questions or concerns then please contact the Welfare, Immigration and Funding Team through your Student Portal or at any Ask4Help point, or contact University Security on (0191) 227 3999. The number for Northumbria Police is (0191) 214 6555.

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