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Hidden living costs for postgraduate students in the UK

There are many costs that people do not budget for because they don’t crop up in day to day life, or are specific to certain students. If you want to make sure you’ve covered all your bases, then you need to consider these items as they could add to your overall costs .


If you are registered on a postgraduate course in the UK then you are entitled to care from the National Health Service (NHS), which is free of charge. This means you do not need to worry about the cost of seeing a GP or a trip to the emergency room at the local hospital. However if you need medication, then unless you meet certain exemptions you may be liable to pay for the cost of your prescription. Currently a prescription is £7.65 unless you fulfil the exemption criteria or live in an area of the UK where you do not have to pay for prescriptions, for example in Wales.

Dental Care

Hidden living costs - medical care

Basic dental care in the UK is free for people who are registered with an NHS dentist, however NHS dentists are few and far between these days so this is certainly for the minority of cases. Even if you are registered with an NHS dentist you will still have to meet certain dental costs, however it’s not easy to get registered with a NHS dentist so you may well have to pay for even more expensive private treatment.


If you have any dependents living with you between the ages of 5-16 years old then you are legally required to place them in school. State education is free in the UK, although you will be required to meet certain costs such as school uniform and school dinners. If you have younger children then you may need to budget for daycare, for example nursery or a child minder, which can be expensive, especially in London.

Disabled Students

If you suffer from a disability then be aware that there may be additional costs involved, such as upkeep for wheelchairs and other issues. However discrimination against the disabled in the UK is wholly illegal, so if you suspect that the fees are being levied on you unfairly, then consult with administration at your university.  


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