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Cost of Living in Manchester for Students: Your Ultimate Guide

6 min
Uploaded on
Jul 22, 2023
Last updated on
Jan 18, 2024
Uploaded on
Jul 22, 2023
Last updated on
Jan 18, 2024
Cost of Living in Manchester for Students: Your Ultimate Guide | Amber
It's about the quality of life!

When you hear the word Manchester, the first thing that probably springs to mind is football. While the red devils are no doubt one of the city’s most recognisable features, Manchester has much more to offer its residents than just football. The city is home to some of the top universities in the UK. If you’re moving to the city for your education, congratulations! To make your transition as smooth as possible, we want to help you out with a full breakdown of the cost of living in Manchester for students. 

About Manchester

Located in the north of England, Manchester is a big metropolitan city with a population of over 500,000. The city is known for having a rich cultural history known for the success it saw during the Industrial revolution. Since then, the city has become a hotspot for students, home to some great universities like the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford. 

Cost Overview

Calling all adventurous international students! Manchester beckons with its affordable living costs, giving you the perfect opportunity to plan your expenses and conquer this vibrant city. Compared to its UK counterparts, living in Manchester as a student offers an enticing blend of affordability and quality living. To comfortably navigate this student-friendly haven, it is recommended that you set your monthly budget between £1,456 and £1,644. From accommodation to daily essentials, expect to allocate funds wisely. Embrace the social scene without worrying about your wallet – a refreshing pint in a local pub can be savored for a mere £3-£4. Transportation won't drain your budget either, with a monthly bus pass ranging from £40 to £60. So, embrace the adventure and embark on living in Manchester as a student odyssey with confidence, knowing you can thrive within a reasonable budget. Wondering where this budget will take you? Let's dive into the expenses you'll encounter on your thrilling Manchester journey. 

Common Expense and How to Save On Them 

Grocery Expense

Some people eat to live, and others live to eat. Whether you’re the former or the latter, the bottom line is that your food is important, and we can’t leave it out when discussing your cost of living in Manchester. Food prices will vary depending on your taste and preferences but on average; your food costs should cost you around £50-£200 per month.

How can you save on your food expenses?

You should make as many meals at home as possible to lower your cost of living in Manchester. You'll find that eating out will quickly drain your bank account. At first, it might be difficult to fit cooking into your daily schedule, but after some time, it'll be much simpler, and you might even find a new hobby!

Travel Expense

Another big component of your total monthly cost of living in Manchester will be your travel expenses. The city has a range of public transport options that students can choose from. Here is a breakdown of the average price of transport in the city, so you can plan out your Manchester living costs. 


Manchester is a fairly large city with a lot of traffic, which is why the trams are sometimes quicker to get around the city by avoiding the street traffic. The present system mostly runs on former commuter rail lines converted for light rail use. 


With over 50 bus companies operating in the Greater Manchester region, over 80 per cent of public transport journeys in Greater Manchester are made by bus. Traveling by bus is a great way to reduce your cost of living in Manchester for students.

How to save on your travel expenses in Manchester?

Set up a routine of walking to get where you need to go so that you can get fit and save money! You might also consider purchasing combination passes or special term passes if you plan to travel somewhat frequently. University students can receive substantial travel discounts from several public transportation providers. If there are any discounts, you may take advantage of them to lower your Manchester living costs. 


Your choice of student apartments in Manchester will also significantly impact your overall cost of living in Manchester for students. There are numerous possibilities for student apartments in Manchester from which you can select. You have the option of living either on-campus or off-campus. Private rentals and purpose-built student housing are also options (PBSA). PBSAs are residential complexes designed with the requirements of students in mind. PBSAs include all utilities and are completely furnished. PBSAs are your best choice if you're seeking practical and comfortable student apartments in Manchester. Check out these varieties of PBSA student accommodation amber provides.

The average Manchester living costs will vary depending on the location of your home and the type of room that you choose.

How to save on living costs in Manchester?

To cut down on your cost of living in Manchester for students, you can opt to stay in a double occupancy room or share a flat with a couple of roommates to bring down the cost of utilities and shared household expenses like food and wifi. 

For a full look into student apartments Manchester in the city check out our Manchester Student Housing Guide

Food Expense 

Indulge your taste buds in Manchester, a culinary playground brimming with delightful eateries! While familiar chains like Pizza Express, Zizzi's, and Nando's grace the city, don't miss out on the unique local gems. Get your fix of extraordinary dining experiences at Trof, Curry Mile, Sweet Mandarin, and Gusto. However, if you're aiming to save some pounds, unleash your inner chef and cook up a storm in your student apartments Manchester. Manchester offers affordable food ingredients that won't leave a dent in your wallet. Ready for a rough breakdown? Brace yourself for the enticing world of budget-friendly culinary adventures!

Personal Care/ Clothing Expense

When it comes to personal care and clothing, Manchester offers a diverse range of options to suit every style and budget. Whether you're in search of fashionable attire or grooming essentials, you'll find it all within reach. With such a range of options, Manchester ensures that you can maintain your personal style without breaking the bank. So, go ahead and express yourself confidently, knowing that you'll find affordable personal care and clothing options to suit your needs! Let's delve into the cost breakdown to help you plan your shopping ventures:


This dynamic city offers a myriad of wonders to explore. Immerse yourself in retail therapy heaven at the eclectic Northern Quarter, where quirky shops and vibrant nightlife collide in a perfect fusion. Experience the pulse of live music and unwind in chilled bars under the starry Manchester sky. But the adventure doesn't end there! Engage your senses at the legendary Manchester Arena, revel in the vibrant atmosphere of The Printworks, delve into fascinating exhibits at the Manchester Museum, and indulge in laughter at the renowned Comedy Store. Now, let's delve into the captivating costs of a quality night out in this city that never sleeps!

University / Tuition  

As a student in the city, a big chunk of your cost of living in Manchester would go into paying your tuition fees. Therefore, this is an essential element to consider when planning out your budget. Here is a comprehensive list of the top universities in Manchester, along with their tuition fees. Here’s is an average tuition fee of the top colleges and universities in Manchester like the University of Manchester:

How can you save on tuition fees in Manchester?

As a student, tuition fees are more or less mandatory expenses and there isn’t too much you can do to get them to reduce their prices. The best way to reduce your Manchester living costs is to apply for scholarships or financial aid. There are several scholarships offered in the UK, like the Chevening Scholarship. You can also see whether or not you’re eligible to apply for financial aid from your chosen university. New to the city? Here’s a list of 30 things you can do in Manchester

That was everything you needed to know about the cost of living in Manchester for international students. While this may not have covered every expense possible, we hope that this blog has given you some idea of what to expect as you plan out your Manchester living costs and start creating a guide to budgeting for students.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Cost of Living in Manchester for Students: Your Ultimate Guide
6 min
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