Top of main content

Funding a degree in the UK

Coming to the UK as a student has many benefits, but there can be high costs and you might need to manage money across multiple countries or regions.

Most international students at UK universities pay annual tuition fees of between £10,000 and £20,000, according to the 2021-2022 Reddin Survey.

But fees are only part of the equation. According to the 2022 Student Money Survey, living costs are another £924 a month on average, an increase of 14% since 2021. This figure will vary depending on the university and location – in London, the average is £1,089 a month.

There may be extra costs to consider on top of this too, such as flights to see family. To get a visa, international students also need to prove they have enough money to support themselves and pay for their course. 

Ways to fund your education

When the time comes, it may be possible to work while studying in the UK. This will be subject to the conditions of your visa. Here are some other ways to cover the costs.


If you’re able to start early and can get into the habit of making regular contributions, saving may help you pay for the degree without going into debt. Different savings accounts can have different benefits, so make sure you find the right one for you.


If you’re a parent preparing to fund your child’s degree and still have several years until they’re due to start university, you might want to consider investing. However, investing carries the risk of losses while offering the potential for higher returns. So, you could get back less than you invested. 

It’s also important to have money set aside for emergencies before you consider investing. Find out more about saving vs investing. To invest with HSBC UK, you need to be a resident in the UK.


Another option is to borrow money, as long as you're confident you’ll be able to keep up with repayments. 

You can also discuss funding opportunities with universities, the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) or the British Council, if you’re not sure you’ll be able to cover the costs. Some students may be eligible for a scholarship.

Making international payments

If you’re going to be making regular international payments to a family member, it’s worth thinking about how to make this simple and cost effective. Exactly how much and how often you’ll be transferring money may determine the best way to do it.

An international money transfer gives you the flexibility to transfer a set amount at a set time and at regular intervals. You may also be able to link global accounts with some international banks. For example, HSBC Global View and Global Transfers allows you to see all your international HSBC accounts in one place and quickly send money between them without a fee.