Cheapest UK Universities for International Students - Rankings & Tuition Fees

Which UK universities have the most affordable tuition fees?
cheapest uk universities for international students

Here’s our full guide on the cheapest UK universities for international students. Our recommended universities below are ranked among the top 75 universities in the UK.

Table of Contents

Cheapest UK Universities for International Students - Rankings & Tuition Fees

The league table below displays the tuition fees for selected universities in the UK. The figures displayed below are the tuition charged for the universities’ undergraduate programmes in Engineering, unless noted otherwise.

UniversityCourseFees (Per Annum)UK RankingTEF rating
BathEngineering£23,400 9Gold
London School of EconomicsDoes not offer Engineering, fee for all courses£22,430*4Bronze
BirminghamFee for all intermediate courses£21,240*13Gold
Royal Holloway, University of LondonEngineering£21,000 24Silver
AberdeenEngineering£20,700 26N/A
SOAS University of LondonDoes not offer Engineering, fee for Economics courses£19,560*37Silver
City, University of LondonEngineering£19,380 57Silver
St George's, University of LondonDoes not offer Engineering, fee for all Biomedical Science courses£18,500*59Bronze
Goldsmiths, University of LondonDoes not offer Engineering, fee for Economics courses£17,050*68Bronze
Manchester MetropolitanEngineering£17,000 54Silver
University for the Creative ArtsDoes not offer Engineering, fee for Fine Arts courses£16,950*44Gold
LincolnEngineering£15,900 50Gold
Nottingham TrentEngineering£15,500 46Gold
Oxford BrookesEngineering£15,200 48Silver
KeeleDoes not offer Engineering, fee for all Single Honours with one laboratory science subject£15,000*56Gold
Sheffield HallamEngineering£13,995 67Silver
Central LancashireEngineering£13,700 70Silver
West of England, BristolEngineering£13,50064Gold
Harper AdamsFee for all courses£11,000*41Gold
Queen MargaretDoes not offer Engineering, fee for Media & Comms courses - special discounted rate for 2021/22£7,000*75N/A

Cheapest UK Universities for International Students

Tuition fees are an important factor when choosing a university. While studying in the UK typically comes at a high financial cost, today we’ll look at some good universities that will provide a solid foundation for your choice of studies for a reasonable price.

We chose universities ranked in the top 75 in the UK as it reflects good teaching, expenditures on facilities, high student satisfaction rates, among many other standards used for university rankings. We also chose the same subject for our comparison (unless noted otherwise). We’ve gone with Engineering for this list as it is usually indicative of the university’s tuition fees for Science-based and laboratory-based subjects. Tuition fees for these courses tend to be in the middle with library-based courses (English, Media Studies, etc.) on the lower end and Medical courses typically being the most expensive course available.

Note: Fees shown below are per annum for international students.

9. Manchester Metropolitan University - £17,000

Ranked 54th in the UK, the Manchester Metropolitan University is a great choice as it offers the opportunity to study in the city of Manchester. While its tuition fee of £17,000 per year is not the cheapest, we find that Manchester Metropolitan stands out as a good option as it provides a balance in university ranking, location, and tuition fees. Manchester is one of the most popular UK cities for international students as we have previously discussed in our special report Most Popular UK Universities among Malaysian Students.

8. University of Lincoln - £15,900

The University of Lincoln is a TEF Gold-rated university that is ranked 50th in the UK and among the top 150 universities in the world. Lincoln offers courses in Engineering at a reasonable £15,900 per year. While Lincoln is not a very big city, its central location allows for quick access to London, located about two hours away by train, and it is surrounded by a number of major cities such as Nottingham, Leeds, and Sheffield.

7. Nottingham Trent University - £15,500

Nottingham Trent University is ranked 46th in the UK and it offers students a city university experience at a reasonable tuition fee. Ranked 46th in the UK, the TEF Gold-rated university has been rated to have high teaching standards, good student satisfaction rates, and graduate employability. The university is located within walking distance of Nottingham’s city centre.

6. Oxford Brookes University - £15,200

Oxford Brookes University is a great option for international students as it is located in the city of Oxford and it is ranked among the top 50 universities in the UK. The university is ranked among the top ten in the UK for three subjects: Land & Property Management, Building, and Occupational Therapy.

5. Keele University - £15,000*

Keele University is widely known for its Medical programme but the university also offers many other programmes in the humanities and social sciences, and natural sciences.  Do note that the printed tuition fee of £15,000 is for single honours programmes with one laboratory-based subject as it does not offer Engineering courses at the moment.

4. Sheffield Hallam University - £13,995

Located in the city centre of Sheffield, the Sheffield Hallam University offers high standards of teaching in its affordable programmes. The university has a comprehensive welcoming package for international students which includes regional offices in five countries to address questions and provide support during application, free airport pickup services, and orientation programmes.

3. University of Central Lancashire - £13,700

The University of Central Lancashire has been featured on our website in various guides such as Top UK Universities for Nursing, Top UK Universities for Surveying, and Top UK Universities for Dentistry. We’ve recommended UCLAN for these subjects as we have consistently found it to be a great option which provides quality education at an affordable tuition fee. UCLAN definitely stands out as a tough competitor on our list.

2. University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE Bristol) - £13,500

Ranked 64th in the UK, UWE Bristol is a TEF Gold-Rated university that has been featured in our special report Most Popular UK Universities among Malaysian Students. UWE Bristol is one of the most popular universities among Malaysian students – it is not a wonder why, as the university is located in the city of Bristol, has great programmes, and all at an affordable tuition fee as well as a reasonable cost of living. Bristol is a great city for international students as it has been rated as one of the most livable UK cities and most amenities are within walking distance.

1. Harper Adams University - £11,000*

At the number one spot on our list is the Harper Adams University which is ranked 41st in the UK. All programmes at the Harper Adams University cost just £11,000 per year for international students. The university offers a wide range of programmes from its six departments: Agriculture, Animal Sciences, Business and Agri-food, Land and Environmental Management, Mechanical Engineering, and Food Sciences.

Notable Mention - Queen Margaret University - £7,000*

We’d like to make a special mention for the Queen Margaret University as it is currently offering six programmes at a specially discounted price of £7,000 per year for international students for the 2021/22 academic year. As the university explains on their website, due to Brexit, EU students have been moved to international student status which prompted the university to make the interim measure to offer the discount. International student tuition fees for programmes at Queen Margaret range from £13,000-14,500 in the previous year.

Interested in studying in the UK? Speak to one of our educational consultants at Britannia StudyLink today! Our services are completely free.

Cheapest UK Universities in London

UniversityCourseFees (Per Annum)UK RankingTEF rating
Goldsmiths, University of LondonDoes not offer Engineering, fee for Economics courses£17,050*68Bronze
City, University of LondonEngineering£19,380 57Silver
SOAS University of LondonDoes not offer Engineering, fee for Economics courses£19,560*37Silver
Royal Holloway, University of LondonEngineering£21,000 24Silver
London School of EconomicsDoes not offer Engineering, fee for all courses£22,430*4Bronze
University of the Arts, LondonDoes not offer Engineering, fee for all courses£22,920*51Silver
Queen Mary, University of LondonEngineering£23,950 35Silver
King's College LondonEngineering£28,050 20Silver
University College LondonEngineering£31,200 10Silver
Imperial College LondonEngineering£33,7505Gold

Goldsmiths, University of London - £17,050*

Living in London is vastly more expensive than other UK cities and so tuition fees for universities in the city tend to be expensive too. Among the universities on our list, Goldsmiths, University of London stands out as it offers programmes at just £17,050 – however, do take note that the displayed tuition fee is for Economics as the university does not currently offer Engineering programmes.

Most Affordable Top 30 UK Universities

UniversityCourseFees (Per Annum)UK RankingTEF rating
London School of EconomicsDoes not offer Engineering, fee for all courses£22,430*4Bronze
BathEngineering£23,400 9Gold
BirminghamFee for all intermediate courses£21,240*13Gold
Royal Holloway, University of LondonEngineering£21,000 24Silver
AberdeenEngineering£20,700 26N/A
Heriot-WattEngineering£19,792 29Silver

Royal Holloway, University of London - £21,000

Tuition fees at top UK universities tend to be around £25,000 – Royal Holloway stands out as it offers programmes at a reasonable £21,000 per year. The university is located just outside of London and it ranks as the 24th best university in the country. The suburban university has a myriad of programmes in the arts and humanities and it has a diverse student body with around 20% international students.

University of Aberdeen - £20,700

Located in the city centre of Aberdeen, Scotland, the University of Aberdeen is ranked among the top 30 in the country. One of the oldest universities in the UK, Aberdeen is well known for its Medical programme. The university ranks among the top ten in the UK for the following eight subjects: Medicine, Sports Science, Accounting and Finance, Linguistics, Law, E&E Engineering, Education, and Civil Engineering.

Heriot-Watt University - £19,792

Our top pick is the Heriot-Watt University – this truly global university is ranked 29th in the UK and it has five campuses including those in Malaysia and Dubai. The university has over 20% international students and the TEF Silver-rated university has been ranked among the top 10 in the UK for its programmes in Building, Town Planning, and Mechanical Engineering.

How To Apply To Study Medicine In The UK?

Step 1: Choose A University

The first step is to look for popular and high-ranking Universities in the UK that offer courses you are interested in. Refer to the table above to start your search. Here are some things to consider when applying:

  • Location
  • Employability/Graduate prospects
  • Fees
  • Entry requirements
  • University Ranking

Step 2: Preparations

Once you have narrowed down the search to your top five universities, the first step is to prepare necessary documents and forms. This includes school leaving certificates, exam results, the UCAS application form and a written Personal Statement, among other documents that may be required.

Step 3: Submit UCAS Application

The application process for UK universities differs from local universities as applications go through an organisation known as UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. UCAS handles all admission applications to UK universities, including those submitted by international candidates like you.

To ensure a better chance of getting accepted, it is important that you prepare all the necessary documents and fill out all forms correctly. We also recommend that you apply for multiple universities simultaneously to ensure that you get your preferred offers. Read our full guide on UCAS here

More about UCAS

The entire application process might be daunting and lengthy for some, so let us help you. Make a free appointment with us today for professional assistance in submitting applications to your prefered UK universities.

UK University Entry Requirements

Here are some of the common entry requirements and tests a student has to pass before being accepted at a UK university.

  1. English Language Test requirement – such as IELTS or TOEFL.
  2. Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland for Scottish Universities)
  3. Health checks.
  4. Entrance interviews.
  5. Personal statement. This is a supporting document and part of your application to a UK university. Usually, you will write about what you hope to achieve studying at the course, what you plan to do after graduating and why you are applying for this specific university.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tuition fees vary depending on the course and university ranking. Based on our curated list, the cheapest UK university that offers quality education is the Harper Adams University – fees are £11,000 pa for international students.

Most UK universities will require English language tests, criminal record declarations, health checks, entrance interviews and submission of a personal statement.

On the lower end, it costs around £11,000 to £13,500 per year for international students. For most UK universities, it costs around £18,000-25,000 depending on the city and course.

The UCAS deadline for most programmes is 15 January in the year of admission. The UCAS deadline for Oxford, Cambridge, and selected programmes including Medicine is 15 October.

Get Free UK Medical School Application Assistance

If you would like a free consultation on any step of the application process, contact us today or come visit us at our office in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Book an appointment with us now!

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