Top 5 Cheapest University Picks in the UK 2024 (Updated)

cheapest university in UK
Photo by Lina Kivaka

Studying at any university in the UK is always costly, but that hardly translates to giving up on your dreams–not when there are still a couple of options to explore. By this, I mean trying to look for the cheapest university options in the UK. This may sound too good to be true but they really do exist. And lucky you, I have gone through the stress of doing the underground work for you. After a ton of research across the net and speaking to friends presently schooling in the UK, here are some of the cheapest schools in the UK. This also contains some insightful tips to help you navigate applications and the onboarding process in these universities.

Just to give you a sneakpeak of what to expect as you scroll through this list, here is a quick look at the top 5 cheapest university options in the UK.

  • University of Chester
  • University of Cumbria
  • University of Bedfordshire
  • Teesside University
  • Leeds Beckett University

With that out of the way, let’s start with the basics…

What Is the Minimum Fees for International Students in the UK?

Here are details from a research I carried out.

In 2021/22, the annual tuition cost for international undergraduate students in the United Kingdom began at £11,400 (US $14,130). This increased to as high as £32,081 (US $39,770) in 2023/2024. In the same light, the other fees in this section have already been affected by factors like inflation and so on.

So moving on, during that session, tuition expenses for undergraduate medical degrees ranged from £9,250 ($11,470) to £67,892 ($84,170).

However, most universities’ costs for the bulk of topics ranged between £10,000 and £20,000 (US $12,400 to $24,800).

Annual tuition expenses for international postgraduate students ranged from £6,500 (US $8,060) to £51,360 (US $63,670).

Postgraduate medical degrees ranged from £7,500 (US $9,300) to £54,500 (US $67,560).

MBA fees ranged from £8,500 (US $10,540) to £63,000 (US $78,100).

However, like with undergraduate fees, most are within a specific range. In 2021/22, the bulk of postgraduate courses at most universities cost between £12,000 and £25,000 (US $14,880 to $30,990).

Here is a table to give you a quick overview.

Type of degreeTuition fees (£)Tuition fees (US $)**

So, with this, you can make an educated guess regarding the minimum fees for international students in the UK.

Now, let’s look at the top 5 cheapest universities in the UK.

Top 5 Cheapest University Picks in the UK

These options will help you bag those degrees without having to break your bank account.

#1. University of Chester

The University of Chester was established in 1839 and has a remarkable reputation for providing exceptional higher education. According to my research real-time from students, this college provides affordable degree programs, making it a popular choice among overseas students. Tuition fees for overseas students typically vary from £9,250 to £14,000 per year, bolstering the University of Chester’s reputation as one of the UK’s most affordable higher education schools.

#2. University of Cumbria

The University of Cumbria was founded in 2010 and now has around 10,000 students enrolled. Here is what is surprising about this option; despite its reputation for high-quality education, the University of Cumbria is known for its affordability, making it one of the most cost-effective options for overseas students seeking higher education in the United Kingdom.

The University of Cumbria is well-known for its excellent instruction and support services, in addition to its affordability. It also goes above and beyond by providing a variety of scholarships and grants to international students with financial constraints. As part of the the government’s contribution, there is a ten million pounds annually, opening the door to countless opportunities for those seeking an education at this institution’s five campuses.

Meanwhile, tuition rates at this college vary depending on the type and level of your selected course. International students can expect tuition fees for undergraduate programs ranging from £2,100 for a 6-week Pre-sessional English course to £16,400 for the BA Social Work and Health Pre-registration Programme.

#3. University of Bedfordshire

The University of Bedfordshire was founded in 2006. It is a top choice for foreign students because it is very affordable and has a diverse student body from over 120 nations. Notably, this prestigious college combines its outstanding reputation with tuition fees that are reasonable for overseas students.

So, if you are an international undergraduate, you can expect to pay between £9,425 and £14,500 for a Bachelor of Arts or Science program. If you are going for Master of Arts or Science courses, you should be looking at between £9,490 to £14,600. This is basically why the University of Bedfordshire is an appealing option for those looking for a quality education without breaking the bank.

#4. Teesside University

Teesside University is one of the cheapest options for overseas students in the UK. With roughly 28,000 students from 120 countries, this university has received both national and international prominence. Teesside University stands out for its affordability, making it a top choice for people looking for high-quality education without breaking the bank.

Undergraduate and postgraduate full-time studies start at £15,000 each academic year. Part-time distance learning research degrees begin at £5,875, while the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program costs £17,000. Teesside University, with its affordable tuition and a strong reputation for academic excellence, is an appealing option for overseas students looking to further their studies in the United Kingdom.

#5. Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett University is located in the city of Leeds, which has one of the UK’s largest financial centers outside of London. Notably, this prestigious university stands itself as one of the most affordable options among British universities, making high-quality education available to everybody.

Its reputation is particularly shining as a result of its strong relationships with top players in numerous industries and well-known organizations. Tuition prices range from £16000 to £17500 for roughly 28,000 students, who come from over 100 countries throughout the world.

Benefits of Studying at the Cheapest University in the UK

Choosing a cheap university in the UK has a number of advantages. According to my research, here are a couple of them:

  • You Get Lower Tuition Rates: This is the most obvious perk on the list. Cheap colleges in the UK charge lower tuition fees than other institutions, easing the financial strain on international students.
  • You Get Lower Living Costs: Affordable universities are frequently located in low-cost areas, allowing students to save money on housing, food, and other expenses.
  • You can experience diversity: Affordable institutions in the UK attract students from all over the world, allowing international students to have a diverse and multicultural experience.

Tips for Studying at an Affordable University in the U.K.

Studying at an economical university in the UK can be difficult, but it is doable. Here is a couple of helpful tips to assist you maximize your experience in the UK:

  • Apply for scholarship and grant opportunities.
  • Live in shared accommodation to minimize the expense of living.
  • Cook your own meals instead of eating out.
  • Use public transportation rather than private transportation.
  • Take advantage of student discounts and perks.

Funding Opportunities for International Students in the UK

International students in the UK have many funding alternatives, including:

  • Scholarships: International students in the UK can apply for a variety of scholarships, including those supported by the government and those granted by institutions and other organizations.
  • Student Loans: International students can apply for student loans to help them pay for their studies in the UK.
  • Part-time work: International students can supplement their income by working part-time while studying in the United Kingdom.


Studying at a cheap university in the UK can help you save money on tuition and living expenses. However, overseas students must be aware of the problems they face when studying at low-cost universities in the UK, such as the quality of education, student support services, and the availability of accommodation and activities.

It is also critical to conduct research and ensure that the university you choose best fits you. The universities mentioned in this article have a reputation for excellence and provide high-quality education. If you want to study in the UK but are concerned about the expense, these universities are worth considering.

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