9 Cheap Universities in United Kingdom for International Students

It is fairly common knowledge that the United Kingdom is one of the world’s most popular study destinations for prospective students. The UK is geographically composed of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. Each part of this large country has its own distinct cities and subsequent aesthetics and experiences.

It has a multicultural, diverse, and rich society thriving with a fine blend of culture, faith, tradition, and history. From the strong transport links and awe-inspiring architecture to the widely varied cuisine and bustling arts scene, it is truly a country that is worthy of considering for one’s future.

To this end, for these very tempting reasons, the UK periodically attracts well over 500,000 students to the country on an annual basis. It comes as no surprise that the UK draws in so many prospective students, only second in place to the United States.

Universities in the UK are of world-class excellence in academics as well as research. A degree from an institution of higher education in the UK is well recognized by employers and academics worldwide. Students have access to cutting-edge facilities during their studies and gain the opportunity to thoroughly challenge their knowledge, skills, and applied thinking.

An added advantage is that university degrees in the UK tend to be slightly shorter than in other countries, which helps to reduce overall tuition costs.

Seeing as the UK offers some of the best university education in the world, students cannot help but wonder if studying in this country comes at a high cost. Worry not, in this article, we present a collection of British universities with some of the cheapest tuition fees.

We hope this will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of finances in the UK and cheap universities in the United Kingdom.

How much does it cost to study in the UK?

This will depend on the university that the student is applying to as well as the location and the student’s personal preferences. In terms of tuition, international (non-EU) Students will typically expect to pay tuition fees from £10,000 up to £33,000 per year, depending on the course of study.

When considering accommodation and living costs, this can rise from £12,000 to £18,000 per year. Cities like London have a higher cost of living compared to smaller cities like Loughborough.

Although the living expenses can be expensive, it is possible that international students study in the UK for free. It can be difficult and takes a lot of planning, but it is possible. If you are interested, check out How to Study in the UK for Free (8 Steps).


Is admission competitive to universities in the UK?

Students (for undergraduate courses) are required to apply through the UCAS online application form. Typically, admission is competitive for most universities due to their high standards of academics.

The course that the student is applying to further affects this; courses such as law and medicine are especially competitive, which means that many students are applying to get into the same program. All universities in the UK strongly focus on strong academics as well as extra-curricular activities carried out by the student.

Applying to Universities in the UK can be a bit difficult especially if you don’t have information. We cover the application process, application materials, and student visa application in our article on How to Study in the United Kingdom for International Students. If you want complete info, you should check that out.


Are international students eligible to work during their studies?

It can be a very tempting and beneficial idea to consider working during studies. Fortunately, international (non-EU) students are eligible to work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time and work full-time during vacation periods.

This will definitely help with funding, especially if students are considering options to budget or earn money while studying.


Affordable Universities in Countries Near United Kingdom

There are many affordable universities in countries near the United Kingdom. If you are interested, visit the list below:


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Cheap Universities in the United Kingdom

1. Coventry University

Located in the city of Coventry in the West Midlands of England, Coventry University is a public university. Established in 1843, the university was originally a Polytechnic and a School of Design which has now expanded into a large institution of higher education that provides education for well over 31,000 students. This cheap university in the United Kingdom has its main campus in Coventry with a satellite campus in London which offers programs in Management and Business.

Four faculties constitute the academics of the university with different schools that each provide their own degrees and courses. Collectively, Coventry University offers more than 130 undergraduate degrees and over 100 postgraduate courses for its students. Foundation degrees, diplomas, and short-term courses are also offered.

The university has been consistently ranked highly in the league tables; the QS rankings have placed Coventry University in the top 600 universities in the world. The university also has a high international student population, with over 31% coming from outside the UK.


2. Royal Agricultural University

Founded in 1845 as the first institution of agriculture education in the English-speaking world, the Royal Agricultural University is a public university that is located in the city of Cirencester in Gloucestershire. It gained its status as a university only recently in 2013. As its name suggests, the university focuses on providing high-quality agricultural education; over 30 land-based undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and courses of study are offered to the students.

Currently, the university has a student population of around 1500 in total. Academically, the courses are offered through the Schools of Agriculture, the School of Real Estate & Land Management, the School of Business & Entrepreneurship as well as the School of Equine.

The university has also been ranked as one of the safest universities in the southern area of England. Furthermore, it ensures students receive the best in terms of facilities and students have access to cutting-edge amenities for this reason.


3. University of Suffolk

Located in Suffolk in East Anglia, the University of Suffolk is a public research university. It is one of the most recent additions to the higher education system of the UK as it was established in 2007. The university is academically comprised of 5 main campuses of which the main campus is located in Ipswich with additional satellite campuses in Ipswich, Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds, and Yarmouth.

6 major schools constitute the academic organization of the university; including the schools of law & social science, health sciences, psychology & education, science/technology & engineering, the school of arts, and the school of business.

This cheap university in the United Kingdom has a student enrolment of over 5000 students who have access to over 70 different courses and degrees of study. Students also have access to the student union which is governing support body for the population and also manages more than 50 student organizations.

With its intensive research profile, the University of Suffolk has been ranked among the top 100 universities in the UK.


4. University of Cumbria

The University of Cumbria is a public research university that is primarily located in the city of Carlisle in the Northwestern region of the United Kingdom. Although the university was affirmed in 2007, its roots date back to the early 19th century as a School of Arts. I

t has now expanded into a global institution that provides education for over 9000 students in its population. The headquarters and main campus are located in Carlisle with additional campuses in Lancaster, Ambleside, and Workington.

Five specialist departments manage the academic profile of the university; these include the Institutes of Business, Health, Arts, Education, and Science. Over 100 multidisciplinary courses and degrees are offered through these departments.

Students have access to a thriving students union that manages and oversees the operation of multiple societies and sports clubs. Several of the sports teams including rugby, hockey, and football are regularly represented during the annual British Universities and Colleges Sports league.


5. University of the West of Scotland

Formerly known as the University of Paisley, the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is a public research university. Its origins can be traced back to the late 19th century. Located within the Southwestern region of Scotland, the university has several campuses spread throughout the region including the towns of Paisley, Dumfries, Ayr, and Blantyre. It also operates a satellite campus in London.

The university currently has a student population of over 15,000 students. It has a candid reputation for offering prominent vocational training in addition to the wide array of undergraduate and postgraduate programs that are offered.

Six major schools oversee the academic profile of the university and provide well over 100 different degrees for its students. Furthermore, it has a rapidly growing doctoral student population due to its increasing shift towards building a strong core research facility in the region.


6. University of Sunderland

Located in the North-eastern region of Sunderland, the University of Sunderland is another public research university. Founded in 1901, the university only recently gained status from a municipal training college to an elite university with a current student enrolment of over 13,000.

This one of the cheapest universities in the United Kingdom operates and manages campuses in Sunderland, London as well as a recently established international campus in Hong Kong.

5 major faculties oversee the academics of the university and provide a wide array of disciplines for the students to study in. To this end, the university has been consistently ranked among the top 100 universities in the United Kingdom.

Research is a key point of the university with more than a quarter of the annual research carried out in the university being classed as ‘internationally excellent’.


7. Staffordshire University

Based in the city of Staffordshire, the Staffordshire University is a public university that was founded at the start of the 20th century as means of providing industrial education to students. The university has expanded into a world-class institution that offers degrees of study to over 15,000 students currently.

Staffordshire is mostly reputed for its research-intensive science departments; the departments of psychology, biosciences, and molecular biochemistry are especially recommended and classed at high ranks due to their work. The university has subsequently been classed among the top 1000 universities globally as well as the top 100 universities in the UK.


8. Plymouth University

Plymouth University is another public university located in the city of Plymouth in South England. With its origins traced back to the early 19th century, the university currently has a student population of well over 23,000.

Academically, this cheap university in the United Kingdom is composed of 5 main faculties including the arts & humanities, business, health sciences, and natural sciences.


9. University of Bolton

The University of Bolton is a public research university located in the city of Bolton in Greater Manchester. Founded in 1982 (and gaining its status as a university in 2004), it is one of the premier institutions of higher education in the UK. The university maintains a high research profile and focuses on delivering intensive, vocationally focused degrees and programs of study.

Currently, the university has a student population of over 7000 with up to 15% of the students coming from around 70 countries in the world.

With its main campus located in Bolton, the university oversees and provides superior facilities to its student community. The accommodation offered by the university is one of the best of its kind in the Northern UK.

Furthermore, the university has academic centers in the Ras-Al-Khaimah (UAE) and Colombo (Sri Lanka) with additional international partnerships connected to a range of universities in the world.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the UK Scholarships Page!