Cost Of Living In Edinburgh As A Student
7 min

Cost Of Living In Edinburgh As A Student

7 min
Uploaded on
Dec 28, 2022
Last updated on
Mar 14, 2023
Uploaded on
Dec 28, 2022
Last updated on
Mar 14, 2023
Cost Of Living In Edinburgh As A Student
Know the capital needed for Scotland's capital

Back at home, we had our parents bargain for us and teaching how to budget. But living alone means we would have to finance and manage to budget?! (Screams in Gibberish!). Breathe. You can do this! Edinburgh is more than the birthplace of Harry Potter. It is home to some of the fine institutions and some of the best music festivals you can witness. If you’re moving to this city, you are going to have the time of your life. To help you out, we have curated this extensive blog with a complete breakdown of the average cost of living in Edinburgh.

About Edinburgh

Edinburgh is Scotland's capital city and is known for being one of the most captivating cities globally. The Forth Bridge, Scott Monument, and Edinburgh Castle are located there and are renowned for their breathtaking structural beauty. There are numerous historical sites with an extensive past. It is one of the thriving cities in Europe due to its amazing rock formations, rustic structures, and an extensive collection of mediaeval and classic architecture. It compensates for the city's tourism attraction.

Tuition fees in Edinburgh

As a student, paying your tuition fees will be one of the major expenses when you budget your cost of living in Edinburgh. As a result, this is a crucial factor to take into account when creating your budget. The top universities in Edinburgh are listed in detail below, along with their tuition costs.

University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh was granted by King James VI in 1582 and it began operating officially in 1583. This university is one of the oldest universities in Scotland, and it is a vital part of Edinburgh as it is Scotland’s primary intellectual hub. Here is an average breakdown of the university’s tuition fees so you can better understand the cost of living in Edinburgh for students.  The average tuition fee of this university is £1,820 for local tuition, £9,250 for domestic tuition and £23,300 for  International tuition.

Edinburgh Napier University

According to Times Higher Education's World University Rankings, Edinburgh Napier University is placed number 401. It is a top university in Scotland for graduate employability and offers work placements for several of its degrees. Edinburgh Napier, in collaboration with the Edinburgh College of Art, has a great reputation for film education. The average tuition fee for an undergraduate degree is £6,500

Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt University is a public research institution in Scotland and was established in 1821. It was formerly known as the School of Arts of Edinburgh and is currently the first mechanics institute in the world and the eighth-oldest higher education institution in the UK. The average tuition fee for an undergraduate degree is £9,000.

Queen Margaret Univeristy

Queen Margaret University was founded in 1875. The School was founded as a female-only institution with the dual objectives of expanding women's access to higher education and enhancing the nutritional status of working-class families. After 1972 the college broadened its range of courses. The average tuition fee of this university is £1,820 for local tuition, £6,750 for domestic tuition and £10,700 for  International tuition.

How can you save on tuition fees in Edinburgh?

Tuition costs are essentially a requirement for students, so there isn't much you can do to negotiate a lower price. Applying for financial aid or scholarships is the best way to lower your cost of living in Edinburgh. In the UK, numerous scholarships are available, including the Chevening Scholarship. Additionally, you can check if you qualify for financial help at the university of your choice.

Cost of Edinburgh student accommodation

The choice of student accommodation in Edinburgh you choose will also play an important role in your cost of living in Edinburgh. You have the liberty to choose if you want to live on-campus or off-campus. There are other choices for private rentals and purpose-built student homes (PBSA). PBSAs are residential communities created with students' needs in mind. PBSAs come fully equipped and with all utilities. If you're looking for affordable and functional housing in Edinburgh, PBSAs in Edinburgh is your best option. 

Your cost of living in Edinburgh will vary depending on the location of your student housing and the type of room that you choose. This will have an impact on your Edinburgh living expenses.

How to save on living costs in Edinburgh?

You can choose to live in a double occupancy room or share a flat with a few roommates to save the cost of utilities and shared domestic expenses like food and wifi in your cost of living in Edinburgh.

Cost of travel in Edinburgh

Another big component of your total cost of living in Edinburgh will be your travel expenses. Students in Edinburgh find transportation and travel to be quite convenient due to the city's efficient transportation infrastructure. The town is renowned for its transportation options, which include rental bikes, buses, and trams. Leading bus firm Lothian Buses runs more than 50 different bus routes throughout the city.

Students may easily and cheaply get about Edinburgh on Lothian Buses, which also operate to Midlothian and East Lothian. Buses leave Waverley Steps for a special night service every ten minutes. Use this service to return home after a night out because it is safe and will save you a lot of money on cab fares. Approximately £1.70 will be spent on a one-way ticket. Think about purchasing a $55 monthly pass.

Scotland's second busiest train hub, Edinburgh Waverley, can accommodate more passengers than Glasgow Central.  

An average taxi ride will cost you £19. (Basic Tariff - 8 km)

How to save on your travel expenses in Edinburgh?

You can consider walking and cycling as your travelling options so that you can save money while being fit and environmentally conscious. If you intend to travel occasionally, you might also think about getting combo passes, or special term passes. Many public transit companies provide significant travel discounts to university students. You can benefit from any discounts to cut your cost of living in Edinburgh if there are any. Purchasing a 16–25 or 26–30 Railcard for £30 annually can also be worthwhile. You will profit from an average annual saving of £192 as well as exclusive partner discounts on outings, travel, theatre, and other activities.

Food and Groceries

No matter if you eat to live or live to eat, food and groceries are an important part of your cost of living in Edinburgh. The prices of your food and groceries will highly vary according to your taste and preferences, but here are rough estimates of food and groceries in Edinburgh:

You can check out these restaurants in Edinburgh if you don't wish like cooking someday.

How can you save on your food and groceries expenses?

Making your meals yourself will significantly reduce your food expenses and your cost of living in Edinburgh. Cooking simple meals yourself might induce a new love for it in you. Along with that, you can plan your meals ahead and make a grocery list, buy in bulk when it's cheaper, use coupons and take advantage of store sales and promotions, buy produce in season and limit how often you eat out or grab takeout.


You need to consider and include in the price of essential utilities when calculating the cost of living in Edinburgh. The cost of your utilities will vary depending on where you live and how frequently you use these items, but they are necessary for your home to function properly. Depending on where you live, some of these expenses might already be covered by your rent:

How to save on utilities when living in Edinburgh?

Your cost of living in Edinburgh might be greatly reduced by living in a shared apartment. You can reduce your typical monthly living expenses in Edinburgh by turning off the lights and making sure that the heat and air conditioning are turned down when you leave your apartment.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Exploring a new city or a country is one of the biggest perks of moving out. You will have to cater for the miscellaneous expenses you will encounter in your cost of living in Edinburgh. Edinburgh hosts one of the busiest and most buzzing entertainment activities in the UK. The Edinburgh International Festival and the Hogmanay street party are two renowned annual events in this city. The tourist sites in Edinburgh are must-sees! In addition to these, students in Edinburgh can have a great time at one of the city's many bars, restaurants, or pubs. The basic cost of living in Edinburgh for amusement and recreation is listed below:

 For a full look into the city guide, check out our Edinburgh Student City Guide

How to reduce the cost of miscellaneous expenses while living in Edinburgh?

Finding cheap alternatives to the things you want to enjoy is one of the best ways to save on miscellaneous expenses. Another thing you can do is ask yourself if you really need this or want this. Needs cannot be pushed aside, but wants can be put on hold for a while. Thrifting your clothes can also be an excellent way to save on your cost of living in Edinburgh. 

This blog covered almost everything you needed to know about the cost of living in Edinburgh. Even though we may not have included every price, we hope that this blog has given you a general idea of what to anticipate when you start to plan out your cost of living in Edinburgh and start planning and creating a budget.