Cost of living support and information for current students

We recognise the anxiety caused by the current economic situation and the real impact it will be having on some of you. As the cost of living rises, we want to update you about the support we are putting in place and also to pull together useful information about where existing support is available. While we cannot control the causes of the rising cost of living, there are many sources of help and support for you.

We have worked with our Student Union to identify what we can be doing to provide funding to those who most need it and put measures in place to help you keep costs down. All of this is to help you to continue to enjoy and succeed in your studies.

Financial support

  • We are doubling the Winchester Learning Support Fund (our existing hardship fund). The Winchester Learning Support Fund is open now for eligible students facing financial difficulties. It is open to students who are registered as ‘Home – UK’. 
  • In addition to this fund, we have created a new Winchester Living Costs Fund to help students cover an unexpected cost. All enrolled students (Home and International) are eligible to apply. It is opening at the end of October and details of how to apply will be included in advance.
  • Students on nursing, physiotherapy, dietetics and occupational therapy courses can apply for the NHS Learning Support Fund which may include a training grant of £5,000 per year, parental support of £2,000 per year, money back on excess travel and temporary accommodation while on practice placement, and the ‘Exceptional Support Fund’ for students experiencing financial hardship. More details can be found on NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF) | NHSBSA. If you would like further support you can email There are also resources on Canvas to help you complete the expenses claim forms.
  • If you are undertaking a Teacher Training placement and are unsure of what expenses you can claim, please email who will be able to advise.
  • The University and the Student Union will be working together to run Money Advice sessions in November to help with budgeting, understanding money, bills, direct debits and dealing with debt. Further information to follow.
  • In the meantime, if you want to get in touch about financial support please do email us at
  • Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) SupportDSA is a non-means tested support fund, aimed at providing students with needs access to specialist support. This could include Specialist Study Skills support, Specialist Mentoring and Assistive Technology and training to use it.
  • Digital Access Scheme: Students who are unable to engage with their course due to lack of digital access and financial hardship may apply to the University to access a long-term loan laptop for the duration of the 2022/23 academic year. For further information, and to apply, please email Students and Money.


On-campus provisions

  • The campus is always available for students to find a safe and warm environment in which to study. You are always welcome to make use of the campus, and will find 24/7 access to the Learning Café and West Downs Library throughout the winter months. You can also charge your phone and laptop on campus at any time.
  • We have installed new Microwaves for you to use in the KKB on the King Alfred Quarter and Café Life in the West Downs Centre.
  • The University provides 240 laptops across campus for you to use on a self-service basis.


Food on campus

Our Food on Campus team have several things in place to help you save money whilst still enjoying food and drink across campus. This includes using WINPay for all transactions, joining the Kale Yeah loyalty scheme, tapping your ID card on the readers when you purchase a hot drink, and joining the cup deposit scheme in coffee bars.

  • £2.50 Food Bowls: From 10 October the Food Hall in the King Alfred Centre will be offering a value for money food bowl for just £2.50. Each day we will be offering a budget meal for anyone who wants a quick, inexpensive, but nutritious meal. Additionally, if it’s a plant based or vegetarian meal, you will also benefit from the Kale Yeah promotion of buy six get one free. What’s not to like?   
  • WINPay: Your University ID card is the key to edible credit which helps you save money at all Food on Campus outlets. Scan the app or top up your account to earn loyalty points, receive 3% back on each purchase and enjoy free food and drink vouchers. WINPay! (ensure you have the Intranet open in a browser before clicking on links). 
  • Kale Yeah: In addition to the WINPay points, the Food on Campus team are promoting the purchase of plant-based dishes across all outlets on campus, including sandwiches and snacks. To benefit from the Kale Yeah promotion just buy six products from the two promotions, and you will get a free stamp. Once you get six stamps we will reward you with a free meal, it’s as easy as that. Kale Yeah!
  • Free Drinks: Every time you buy a hot drink in our coffee bars just tap your ID card on the card reader and you will receive a loyalty stamp, collect nine and your 10th drink is absolutely free. Additionally, if you haven’t done so already, join our cup deposit scheme. For a one off investment of £1 (£2 from 3 October) you will never have to use or pay for a disposable cup again. Deposit Reuse Scheme 
  • Community Food hub: If you are on Snapchat, don’t forget to follow our “Free4all” account. Any surplus food we have left is placed into the three fridges across campus in the KKB, WDC level 1 Food Hall and the Learning Café. We then send out a message to all our followers. Be quick as it doesn’t usually stay in there for long!

Travel and transport

The University will not pass on cost increases on parking and park and ride permits, and will meet the additional payments by freezing costs for this academic year.

In addition to freezing the costs of parking and Park and Ride permits, the University has a range of discounts and ways of saving money on travel and transport to and from the University. You can find out more about these on this spreadsheet -  Commuting Travel Discounts 2022-23.xlsx

General advice and guidance

There are many organisations who can help you manage your cost of living, this is not a service provided by the University, but they can help you stay informed and up to date with the wider financial situation and gain access to money saving tips, discounts and offers.

  • Turn2Us grant information, support, and funding for students.
  • The Money Charity highlights savings and money-making opportunities for students.
  • StepChange Charity: 0800 138 1111 offers debt help and advice.
  • Citizens Advice Bureau: 0808 223 1133 offers a broad range of advice including support with managing your cost of living.
  • Save the Student pulls together student specific finance information and money saving vouchers.
  • National Debtline 0808 808 4000 offers debt advice and ways to pay less for you cost of living.
  • Money Advice Trust offers a number of resources including debt management.
  • Help for households from the Government. Although not directly targeted towards students, there are many Government funds to help with things such as childcare, energy bills, and housing, which you may be eligible to apply for.
  • OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away.


Student housing costs

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

University Housing on campus

The price of accommodation ranges from £90 - £202 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 for further information.

Private Rentals

Private rental rates vary depending on location and type of accommodation but expect to pay at least £125 a week, based on a 12 month contract.

Utility bills (gas, water, electricity, internet) are not always included in the rent in the private sector, so you may need to allow £40-£50 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 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 and Transport

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

Car costs and parking

New students will not be able to park on campus, except those who meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the Parking Regulations. You can access the Parking Regulations on the Intranet once you have enrolled.

The University offers a significantly discounted rate for the Park and Ride scheme, which is the cheapest option if you are looking to bring your car to Winchester. There are four Park & Ride sites in Winchester; the nearest bus stop is outside the Royal Hampshire County Hospital on Romsey Road, less than a five minute walk from both the King Alfred and West Downs Quarters.

Public Transport

Students are encouraged to use public transport whenever possible, and the University offers a wide range of discounts on local Bluestar buses, Stagecoach Unirider buses and South Western Railway season tickets.  See Travel and transport - University of Winchester for further details.

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.


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

If you are unsure about the best way to get to the University or have enquiries about travel by public transport please email Questions regarding parking can be directed to the Parking Office.

Food and related costs

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


Costs will vary depending upon how you shop and the choices you make, but on average, students spend £133 a month on groceries. On average students spend a further £66 a month eating out or takeaways. Obviously, wherever possible, try to cook for yourself and friends instead of going out or ordering on an app for food to be delivered.

 (Save the Student – Student Living Costs in the UK 2024)

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. It is often more cost effective in the long term to buy a reconditioned phone and a SIM only. Use discount apps to reduce your costs event further.

Socialising and Leisure costs

Again, these will vary depending upon the choices you make but the National Student Money Survey 2022 found that students spend on average £59 a month on socialising and going out.

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.

IT Equipment

Making decisions about what equipment to bring to University can be daunting. We have lots of PCs available on campus and 240 self-service laptops available for free, short loans – students find these very helpful for study and lectures. If you are thinking about buying a laptop, try to get the best one you can for your budget – unless you are expecting to use resource-hungry applications, most modern laptops with good memory and storage will do the job well and allow you to write up your notes and assignments. Get advice from your local PC supplier who will be able to talk through the different options. Remember that you may be carrying your laptop around so think about the weight of the device before buying.

For those who will be living in halls, you may want to bring a gaming device (lots do!) but note it has to be connected via cable to the network (not wireless).

Please don’t buy a wireless printer unless it can be connected by cable to the network as wireless printing is not possible.

Our IT Technicians can offer help with getting connected when you arrive.

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 which give discounts on fares.
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

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 TOTUM card costs £14.99 for one year or £24.99 for three years member ship and allows you to take advantage of valuable discounts in the high street and online. There is also a free digital membership offering less benefits. 

Register with Unidays and Student Beans 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!