Living and study costs

At university, you'll need to think about ways of managing your money. Your student loan will be your main source of income so it is a good idea to plan ahead and work out as best as you can your study and living costs while at university.

Cost of living

Understanding the cost of living will be beneficial to budgeting and managing your money. As well as the cost of tuition fees, a single student will need around £10,000 - £11,500 to cover living expenses for a full calendar year although you might be able to make savings in some areas, for example, if you go home to parents in the holidays, costs will be less. To help you budget, we've made a rough monthly guide to living expenses in Glasgow.

Accommodation £550
Energy bills £50 / £60
Food / Household goods £180
Local Transport £40
Social activities £120
Telephone / Internet £50
Clothes £70
Books/ Printing £40

Total Monthly Expenses


Travel Expenses

Travelling to and from university can be expensive and take up a large part of your monthly budget. To save money on travel it is best to plan ahead and work out what is the cheapest and best option for you.

Public Transport

Often buying weekly/monthly tickets works out cheaper, take a look at the travel options below

  • Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) - Cheapest of all is the 10 week zone card for unlimited travel by rail, subway, most buses and some ferries in Strathclyde.
  • Citylink - Best for students travelling from outside the Strathclyde area, for example Stirling, Falkirk and Perth. Check the Citylink website for current discount offers and savings.
  • ScotRail - A young person's rail card is available to all students. This gets 1/3 off all rail travel nationwide. To apply go to the young persons rail card website.
  • First Bus - They offer options for students. Check the First Bus website to see which offer best suits your travel needs. See the list of offers available to Caledonian students.

Driving your car

If you planning on driving to university, remember to take into account not only the parking, but also the fuel costs , road tax, insurance and if any unexpected repairs pop up! Parking in the city centre can be expensive, check out the car parks close by and if you are driving, think about car sharing!

SAAS funded students

  • There is a contribution element of £350 towards travel costs included in your Student Loan.
  • Nursing and Allied Health students can apply for help towards placement travel if eligible.
  • If you are having difficulty meeting the costs of your travel to and from GCU, or you have exceptionally high travel costs, you can apply for extra help towards travel through the Discretionary Fund.
Insurance tips for Students at University

With nearly two-and-a-half million students planning to start or return to university in September, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is urging students to make sure their valuables are insured and to protect their belongings against theft or damage as the new year kicks off.

  • Check your parents’ and university’s policies – it may be possible for an existing home insurance policy to be extended to cover possessions at university, or, there may be an insurance cover already in place in student halls. Check to see if there are any limits on the value of your possessions and if so, consider taking out a separate policy. If you are staying in privately rented accommodation, make sure you keep your door locked, and remember to not leave anything valuable behind outside of term time.
  • Shop around for the best deal – when it comes to buying any kind of insurance, it is always worth shopping around to find the best deal that works for you and ensure that the cover you are being offered is adequate.
  • Don’t leave valuables unattended –avoid leaving valuables like laptops unattended when you are out and about, as this increases the chance of theft.
  • Consider marking and hiding your valuables – hide your valuables at home and when your room or property is unoccupied, keep your valuables away from view. Security mark your valuables with your details or register them on, a police-supported national property register, to help police identify them if they do go missing.
  • Lock your windows and doors – if you are moving into student halls, to minimise risk, remember to shut your windows and lock the door when you are out of your room. For those moving into private accommodation, make sure your front and back doors are strong and secure, with good quality locks.