Cost of living in Winchester

Cost of living in Winchester

Your main item of expense is likely to be rent, whether that is for University accommodation or through renting privately.

Student housing 

University Housing on campus

The price of accommodation ranges from £79 - £175 per week depending on the type of accommodation that you choose.

Utilities (gas, water, electricity, internet) are included in the rent.

Some accommodation options include catering.

Learn more about our student accommodation

You will need to budget for contents insurance (average £2 a week). If you use your parents' contents insurance, check the terms of the cover carefully and ensure it covers any valuables such as laptops, bikes and musical instruments.

You will need a TV licence if you have your own TV, watch live or record live television programmes through a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, computer, or games console. This reflects the changes to the TV licensing law made in September 2016. However, you may be able to claim a refund on your licence if you have a full three months left on it at the end of the academic year and you won't use it before it expires. Please see www.tvlicensing.co.uk for further information.

Private Rentals

A recent survey (June 2015) of students renting in the private sector in Winchester conducted by the Winchester Student Union showed that rents averaged at £86 - £105 per week.

Utility bills (gas, water, electricity, internet) are not always included in the rent in the private sector, so you may need to allow £15-£20 per week for these.

You will normally be required to supply a security deposit and pay one month's rent in advance in order to secure a property. You may also have to pay an arrangement fee.

You will need to budget for contents insurance (average £2 a week). If you use your parents' contents insurance, check the terms of the cover carefully and ensure it covers any valuables such as laptops, bikes and musical instruments.

You will need a TV licence if you have your own TV, watch live or record live television programmes through a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, computer, or games console. This reflects the changes to the TV licensing law made in September 2016. However, you may be able to claim a refund on your licence if you have a full three months left on it at the end of the academic year and you won't use it before it expires. Please see the TV Licensing website for further information.

Full-time students are exempt from paying Council Tax even if they are sharing accommodation with non-students.* Part-time students are not entitled to Council Tax exemption. Further information regarding this can be sought from the University's Housing Services.

* Please note that if you share accommodation with a non-student and they fail to pay their Council Tax, you may be liable to pay as a joint tenant.

There are other costs you may need to consider: 

Other costs

Study materials

Most courses will require you to purchase textbooks and other course materials.
We give a guideline cost of approximately £10 a week for study materials. This will vary according to the course you are studying and whether you need to undertake field trips, placements or project work.

The University library is well-stocked meaning that it is not always necessary to purchase every recommended textbook. You may also be able to source second-hand copies of many texts.

You may want to purchase a laptop for personal study but the University has a huge number of computers available for use and many of these can be booked 24/7.

Other costs will include printing, photocopying, memory sticks, binding and specialist printing.

Additional costs specific to the course you are studying can be found on the relevant course pages.

Travel

Although most students live on campus for their first year of studies, travel costs need to be considered for subsequent years of study. You will also need to budget for trips home.

Car costs and parking

Students who live in University halls are not permitted to park on campus at any time. Please see the Parking Regulations on our intranet once you have enrolled for exemptions to this.

If you choose to commute from home or rent a property outside of Winchester, you will need to allow for travelling costs to and from University.

Students who live more than 5 miles from campus can apply for a parking permit. The cost is based on vehicle CO2 emissions and a permit currently costs up to £130 per year (Parking Regulations). Parking on campus is limited and the University cannot guarantee a parking space for permit holders. Students are encouraged to use public transport whenever possible.

Students are able to obtain a discounted rate for the Park & Ride scheme allowing them to park for £1.50 a day.

If you need to travel to University by car, consider car-sharing wither with fellow students or through a scheme such as Hantscarshare.com

Other questions regarding parking can be directed to the Parking Office: +44 (0)1962 827117

Cycling

If you plan to cycle, you will need to budget for insurance for your bike and a strong security lock. The University has extensive cycle storage facilities on campus ranging from cycle hoops, covered shelters and bikeaway lockers.

Public Transport

Season tickets are available for Stagecoach bus travel within Winchester City. Further details are available on the Unirider website

You will also need to budget for trips home. A 16-25 Railcard will give you a third off most off-peak train fares. Similarly, National Express offer a Young Persons Coachcard saving you a third on standard fares.

Check with the bank when applying for a Student Bank Account, as a railcard is often offered as a benefit when opening an account.

Food and related costs

This is where you can really tailor your costs according to your budget.

Food

Costs will vary depending upon how you shop and the choices you make, but on average, students spend £25 a week on food. (National Student Money Survey 2016)

Try to club together with housemates and do one big grocery shop between you. Compare prices between brands and stores.

Preparing your meals from scratch will work out cheaper than purchasing ready meals. Make sandwiches and a flask of coffee rather than buying purchase food and drink on campus.

Mobile phone

There are many options available according to the phone you choose and whether you have a contract or not. Shop around for the deal that you can best afford to suit your needs.

Socialising and Leisure costs

Again, these will vary depending upon the choices you make but the National Student Money Survey 2016 found that students spend on average £15 a week.

The Winchester Students Union offers a range of events throughout the academic year.

There is a huge range of bars and restaurants in Winchester, many of which offer discounts to students.

The University has a gym which offers preferential rates to students.

Saving money

Here are some tips for saving money. You may be able to reduce your spending across a number of areas in order to reduce your outgoings. 

Money saving tips

Share the cost of food with flat/housemates or friends and try cooking communally

This way you can take advantage of the cost savings of buying larger quantities. You can also club together and get shopping delivered to your accommodation to cope with getting the larger items back to your home.

Make your own food for lunch rather than purchasing food and drink on campus

Making a sandwich and bringing a flask of coffee or a water bottle to campus will save you pounds every day.

Get to know how much things cost and compare prices between stores and within a store

The cost of a loaf of bread varies from 40p for a loaf from the major supermarkets' basic range to over £1. Shop according to what you can afford.

Think about how much you spend on household bills

If bills are not included in your rent, take meter readings when you move in and give them to the respective utility companies, asking them to set up a new account for you. This should ensure that you aren't liable for bills left by previous tenants. You may be able to take advantage of a discount on bills if you pay by Direct Debit.

Turn electrical items off when you are not using them and unplug items once they are fully charged.

If your heating is controlled by a thermostat, turning it down by one or two degrees can save pounds.

Do as much of your work using the PCs on campus to save charging your laptop battery.

Students are exempt from Council Tax

If you are a full-time student living alone or with other students, you don't need to pay Council Tax. If you live with a non-student then you are still exempt from Council Tax. However, if the non-student does not pay their tax you may be liable as a joint tenant.

Buy a season ticket for public transport and consider a 16-25 Railcard or Young Persons Coachcard for longer journeys.
If you use public transport regularly then it is probably worth investing in a season ticket rather than paying individual fares. Season tickets are available for Stagecoach bus travel within Winchester City. Further details are available on the Unirider website

A 16-25 Railcard will give you a third off most off-peak train fares. Similarly, National Express offer a Young Persons Coachcard saving you a third on standard fares.

Walking and cycling are the cheapest forms of transport and keep you fit at the same time

If you plan to cycle, you will need to budget for insurance for your bike and a strong security lock.

Look out for second-hand textbooks

Students often sell their course books once they have finished with them. Many advertise on the intranet. Remember that the library has a good stock of course materials and it may be worth borrowing some books rather than purchasing them.

Take advantage of Student discount schemes

An NUS Extra card costs £12 a year and allows you to take advantage of valuable discounts in the high street and online.

Register with Unidays to receive notification of offers and discounts both on the high street and online.

It's always worth asking if a store offers a student discount – many do without advertising the fact!