Cost of living

The cost of living in Manchester makes it a good option for postgraduate research students who want to study at a UK university.

Relative to other UK cities, Manchester is an affordable place to live; we consistently rate highly in student living surveys. This is something to bear in mind as you calculate the cost of essentials such as accommodation, food and books.

Although living expenses can vary greatly from student to student, the table below gives a breakdown of the essential living costs of an average Manchester student for one academic year.

The table below breaks down the estimated living costs for a full-time postgraduate student over an academic year (52 weeks). The figures are based on approximate costs for the 2020/21 academic year. These costs are intended as a guide only.

Estimated living costs 2023/24 for postgraduate students

CostPostgraduate year (52 weeks)Monthly cost (based on 52 weeks)
Accommodation (self-catered) £8,580 £715
Groceries £1,800 £150
Takeaways £636 £53

Transport (including local transport and travelling elsewhere) 

£576 £48
Going out and socialising £924 £77
Mobile phone contract/payments £252 £21
Clothes £498 £41.50
Health and wellbeing £312 £26
Course materials £312 £26
Holidays and events £354 £29.50
Gifts and charity £180 £15

Relatives or friends who you support financially

£52.20 £4.35
Total £14,476.20 £1,206.35


  • Accommodation figures taken from our accommodation website. This annual figure is based on our self-catered accommodation.
  • Grocery figures based on a weekly budget supermarket shop in July 2023 containing the items on this list.   
  • Transport costs calculated using Stagecoach student bus pass prices and an approximate allowance for other travel, assuming a student will travel home/visit friends. 
  • All other costs obtained from and their National Student Money Survey with costs increased in line with inflation as of April 2023.