Skip to main content

Living Costs

Cost of Living written on a yellow road sign

Living costs are typically much lower in the North of England than they are in the South, however, your own budget will depend on your lifestyle. 

Below we’ve included some key expenses with some example costs to give you an idea of how much money you will need. 


Both Durham City and Queen’s Campus are compact enough to walk or bike around. Certain bus services around Durham City are also free for Durham students. 

Students can also get discounted train travel with a 16-25 railcard, which can be purchased for £30. The rail fare between Durham City and Newcastle is around £6.00. Discounts are also available on other destinations including London, Manchester, Liverpool, and Edinburgh. 


Prepare for costs up to about £250. Although remember that there is no need to go out and buy every book on your reading list. There will be copies of all course books in the library. If you really want to have your own copy of the books, look out for cheaper second-hand versions on Amazon/eBay or from previous students selling their books. 


Depending on the college you are allocated to, you may be either fully catered (meals are provided in college every day) or self-catered (you must prepare all of your own meals). Typically, self-catered students should allow approximately £30 a week for food. See our overview of self-catered Colleges.

Private housing costs 

Durham: Expect to pay between £60-100 per week without bills or around £100-110 per week with bills included. Lower priced accommodation tends to be further from the city centre. If you choose to pay bills separately, expect to pay at least £15 extra per week on top of the house price. 

Stockton/Thornaby: £50 - £90 per week (bills usually included). 

Keeping in touch 

A mobile phone contract typically costs between £10 and £50 a month depending on what type of phone you opt for and how many minutes and texts you need. 

If you have a smartphone you can use What’s App, Skype, and Viber to keep in touch with friends and family for free as long as you have a wifi connection. 


Here are some typical costs of popular leisure activities: 

  • Cinema tickets – approximately £6 
  • Durham Student Theatre – Tickets for students approx. £6 
  • Local attractions: Durham Castle, free for Durham University students; Cathedral, free; Botanic Gardens, free for Durham University students; Oriental Museum, free for Durham University students. 
  • Meal out – students can dine for as little as £5-10 with student discounts in local restaurants and bars. For a standard meal out expect to pay between £5-10 for a starter, £10-15 for the main course, and around £5 for a dessert. 

Flags on poles

Durham University makes every effort to ensure that the information published on this page is accurate. However, the University cannot guarantee the information may not be altered owing to circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) change in Government policy, or change of law. Any changes will be incorporated into the University’s website as early as possible.