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Housing & Utilities Costs

For more detailed information on living costs, visit the British Council website.


Rents in London are expensive compared to other parts of the country. Below is an indication of the average cost of a room (exclusive of bills) in the following types of accommodation. Rooms in central London can be more expensive.


Hostel: £15 – £30 per night.

Hall of Residence: £145 – £400 per week (bills included).

Hotel: At least £60 per night (more at peak times).

AirBnB: From £40 per night (book early to get the best price and availability). 


Room in a shared house: £400 – £1,000 per month (dependent on location). 

Studio flat: From £190 per week or more.  

1-bedroom flat  £250 per week or more.

2-bedroom flat: £300 per week or more.

These figures are a rough guide. Prices will vary depending on location and quality. 

Quick tip: 

The further out of central London you live, the cheaper it is likely to become. 


London is divided into 6 zones. The Royal College of Art is in Zone 1, in the centre of London. 

To view the underground map showing the different zones and for information regarding all methods of transport in London check the Transport for London (TFL) website.

7 day weekly travelcard fares with student discount (i.e. combined tube/bus ticket):

Zone 1–2: £23.80

Zones 1–3: £27.90

Zones 1–4: £34.20

Zones 1–5: £40.70

Zone 1–6: £43.60

Fares updated in March 2018 

(These fares are based on the Student Oyster card, including 30% student discount). 

If you have a 16–25 Railcard, you can add the discount to your 18+ Student Oyster photocard to get a 34% discount on off-peak pay as you go fares and off-peak daily caps on Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services in London. 

Visit the Student Oyster photocard section on the TFL website for more details of how to apply and the Student Union Office at the Royal College of Art if you need more assistance.

It is possible to reduce travel costs. A 7-day bus & tram pass for students costs £14.80. Many of our students cycle to College and there is the Santander Cycle scheme you may wish to use. 

Living Costs

Please see below a table of estimated costs for the average student during one academic year. Please note, your costs will differ depending on your situation and budget. 

                                       Per year (52 weeks)             Per week

Rent:                              £10,920                                        £210 (average)

Food:                                  £2,600                                          £50

Household goods:       £475                                              £9

Household bills:           £520                                              £10

Insurance:                       £86.32                                          £1.66

Personal items* :        £1,500                                          £28.85

Leisure items** :         £1,300                                         £25

Travel***:                        £1,237.60                                    £28.80

Course materials:       £2,800                                         £52

* Personal items include clothing, mobile phone bills, medical expenses, toiletries and other small personal items.

** Leisure items include hobbies, sport, entertainment subscriptions, social and cultural activities.

*** Travel can vary according to where your accommodation is located. 

Council Tax

Visit our Council Tax section for more information.


If you have a TV, you need a licence for it. One licence will cover all the sets in a single household if you have proof of a joint tenancy. 

The current fee for a colour TV licence is £147. Payment can either be made in full or you can spread the cost. 


The owner must insure the building you are renting, but this does not cover the contents. We strongly recommend you take out insurance for your belongings, especially computers and bicycles.

Endsleigh Insurance is a company that has one of its specialisms in the student market. So you may wish to seek a quote from them. 


If you need to store your belongings in between terms, or over the summer, you may wish to look at storage options.

LOVESPACE is a by-the-box storage company, and can cost just a few pounds per box per month, so you may wish to see what they can offer you. 


Student Support 

+44 (0)20 7590 4140

[email protected]