When deciding where to study, your first consideration will obviously be your courses. This, however, is often followed by cost. The UK offers many internationally acclaimed universities, with some locales more expensive than others. London, for example, is well known for being an expensive place to stay in, regularly ranking in the country's top 10 least affordable cities. Meanwhile, cities such as Preston rank in the top 10 for most affordable places in the UK, in particular when it comes to rent.
Student life shouldn't be expensive - but it can be. With the right budgeting and planning ahead, you can set yourself up for a debt-free life of success and leave university with a spring in your step at the end of your course.
Choosing the right university is important but choosing the right location can be vital. On average, UK students walk away from university with £45,800 of debt, according to the House of Commons Library. As scary as this sounds, it's entirely avoidable if you select the right place to study and the right accommodation, as well as budget early on.
Safe, bright accommodation that encourages learning but doesn't weigh you down with hidden costs is an important starting point. By our calculations below, you'll find that accommodation makes up for as much as 64% of your weekly expenditures - rising as high as 84% if you go for a more expensive place to stay. With student accommodation costs varying between a mere £75 per week and £300 per week, doing your research in advance is vital.
But how much money does a student really need per week when living in Preston? Let's break it down:
Student Accommodation: According to student blog UniAcco, accommodation prices range from around £400 to £1200 per month. This range covers everything from budget room-shares to fully equipped town houses, giving you a variety of choices when it comes to your ideal place to stay.
Brunel Court student accommodation in Preston is a fantastic choice with regards to affordability, with the cheapest room costing only around £300 per month. Luxury pod apartments, on the other hand, will set you back around £520 per month, which is still at the lower end of average.
This works out to an average of £102.50 per week when staying with our Brunel Court student accommodation. As this also covers your utility bills and free WiFi internet, it makes budgeting for your living space super easy.
Food & drink: Going out for a meal or ordering a takeaway in Preston is cheaper than in most other parts of the UK, according to a survey published by the Lancashire Post. In fact, it's a good 37% less than a night out in London would cost, ranking it 14th out of a list of the 32 cheapest cities in Great Britain.
Preston also boasts a great range of supermarkets, from high street favourites Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco to a diverse selection of smaller shops, including discount supermarket chain Heron Foods. The average cost of grocery shopping per person in the UK is £138.70 per month according to The Mindful Money Project.
This works out to an average of £32 per person per week, meaning if you choose to cook for yourself most days, you'll be able to save quite a lot of cash.
Entertainment: Entertainment in Preston is similarly budget-friendly, with a night of bowling, crazy golf and laser tag costing on average £14 per person, and movie tickets starting at £7.99. To compare, ticket prices for the same high street cinema chain tickets in London will set you back a minimum of £10.99 per person.
A 2019 survey also highlighted that a pint could be purchased in Preston for the cheapest price in the UK, at a minuscule £3.06, while the average London price at the time was £5.18.
If you're planning on going out with your friends on a weekly basis, you'll need to set aside at least £15-20. Eating out regularly will increase this further.
Travel & commuting: The commute either within or in and out of Preston is also amongst the more affordable in the UK. In 2022, an adult day ticket costs £2.10, compared with £4.50 for an adult day ticket in Edinburgh, and £5.50 in Manchester.
As a student in Preston, you'll fare even better: Using the Preston Unirider pass, for example, you'll get cheaper tickets throughout not just the city but all of Central Lancashire.
With a Unirider ticket used daily throughout the whole year, bus company Stagecoach predicts you could pay as little as £0.63 per day, which works out to a mere £4.41 per week.
Is Preston good for students?
Preston is a great place for students. There are plenty of things to do, from museums, art galleries and heritage properties to explore, through to sports, entertainment, and even a wildlife sanctuary. Avid exercise enthusiasts will enjoy jogging or biking along the River Ribble through Miller and Avenham parks. History buffs will love the Ribble Steam Railway, which offers rides on restored trains and an interesting museum.
As outlined above, there are a variety of reasons why student life in Preston is one of the most affordable in the UK, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious families as well. Our budget predictions mean you would need about £160 per week to live in Preston; this includes your accommodation, bills, groceries, commuting, and going out with friends. To put this into perspective, you'd need about £8,160 per year to lead a comfortable student life in Preston, while the average salary recommended for UK living is £20,000. In other words, choosing to live in Preston for your university studies will save you quite a lot of money if you budget well.
UCLan also regularly features in the QS World University Rankings, meaning you'll get an education you can really use in your future career. The university prides itself on offering employment-focused learning that will help you land your dream job in the future. There are over 300 undergraduate courses available, as well as over 200 postgrad programmes from which you can choose.
Preston is also a great city when it comes to cultural diversity, giving you insight into other cultures as you go through your student life. International students will feel right at home when relocating to Preston, while locals will be able to expand their thinking and make new friends from a variety of backgrounds.
Preston is also just a short distance from Manchester, Liverpool, and Leeds, and a mere three-hour train ride will get you to central London, while Edinburgh is 2.5 hours away using the same mode of transport. This makes Preston an excellent choice for those wishing to locate in a central area that allows you to explore the wider UK, perhaps ultimately find where you might like to settle post-university. International students will also appreciate that the quick commuter connections allow for easier travel, with cheaper flights generally being available from both Manchester and London.
Ultimately, if you are looking to settle in a city offering cultural diversity, a good university, affordable cost of living, and a range of extracurricular activities, Preston may be the choice for you.
Why Brunel Court?
Brunel Court is centrally located within Preston and just 10 minutes walking distance from the University of Central Lancashire campus. Preston railway station is also nearby, as are shops and local bars and pubs.
Brunel Court accommodation offers lots of choice when it comes to your ideal space: You may choose to opt for a basic Silver Room, a Gold Studio, or even a Luxury Pod Apartment, and several options in between. Pricing is incredibly competitive as you'll have read above, and payments are hassle-free.
You may opt for a tenancy term of 44 or 51 weeks, depending on whether you'd like to spend the summer at your accommodation in Preston or not. You could even choose to share accommodation with friends, provided you let us know at the time of booking and we have availability.
There are no additional or hidden bills: Your rent covers all power, heating, and water charges, and we offer free WiFi internet. Your only extra would be a TV license should you wish to use a TV in your accommodation.
Brunel Court offers excellent security for students, with a daytime maintenance and management team and night-time security and CCTV. Fire alarms and detectors are fitted throughout the property and tested on a weekly basis. We even liaise with the local fire brigade to host welcome meetings for new students, giving you all of the information you require to stay safe.
Brunel Court is the perfect place for students wishing to focus on their studies, who want to be located close to their new university, and who don't wish to spend a fortune on their cost of living. It's an affordable place to stay with plenty of options with regard to room or flat type, and you'll be able to make it your own comfortable space for the duration of your studies without breaking the bank.
If you are looking to study in Preston, consider the options within Brunel Court, which is located within close proximity to UCLan and offers a range of benefits including affordable rent, secure living, and comfortable space in which to experience student life. Why not contact one of our friendly advisors today to help you select your student accommodation? If you aren't sure what type of room to go for yet, or just have questions about the overall packages we offer, we're happy to answer any questions you may have.