London – UK’s bustling capital – is more than just a center for business and culture. It’s also a major hub for education for local and foreign students alike. In fact, around half of the total percentage of international students in the UK are currently based in London.

While the city has a high cost of living compared to most UK regions, it does offer affordable education as long as you know where to look. The capital is home to many cheap yet renowned universities, and we will be looking at the low-cost institutions in London for overseas learners.

Affordable Universities in London for International Students

1. University of East London

The University of East London or UEL is a public institution founded in the year 1892 as the West Ham Technical Institute. UEL was eventually awarded university status a century after – like many UK universities at the time. With a tuition fee of around GBP 15,000 a year, its low-cost education attracts a lot of international students.

UEL is currently divided into three campuses, with the Stratford campus playing home to the School of Education and Communities, the School of Health Sport and Bioscience, and the School of Psychology.

The University Square Stratford, on the other hand, houses the School of Law and Social Science and the Institute of the Performing Arts. The campus library and student rooms are based on the Docklands campus.

Despite having a small student population of more than 10,000 students, UEL has a sprawling international community. To date, almost a third of the enrollees come from abroad.

2. Middlesex University London

Middlesex University London or MDX is named after the historic boundary of Middlesex, despite being located in northwestern London.

MDX first operated in the year 1878 as a teacher training college known as St. Katharine’s College. In 1992, it merged with other smaller institutions to form the MDX it is known today.

It is currently divided into three faculties – Arts and Creative Industries, Professional and Social Sciences, and Science and Technology. Under these facilities, it offers internationally acknowledged courses. Its effort to deliver exceptional education has been recognized by the international community, of which the school has been included as one of the leading universities in Europe.

MDX’s prestige is well-known to international students, as almost half of the university’s total population comes from the outside UK. And as a globalized institution, it also has opened international branches in Dubai, Malta, and Mauritius.

3. University of Greenwich

The University of Greenwich is a public institution with campuses in London and Kent. It first started as Wool Polytechnic in the year 1890, before it was renamed Thames Polytechnic in 1970. Eventually, it became the University of Greenwich following its merger with the Thames College of Healthcare Studies in 1992.

The university has campuses across London, including the former Old Royal Navy College – which is the location of the Business School and Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science. The Faculty of Health and Education, on the other hand, is situated in Avery Hill. Last is the Medway Campus, which is the home of the Faculty of Engineering and Science.

4. University of Westminster

The University of Westminster, one of the most affordable universities in London, was founded as the Royal Polytechnic Institution in the year 1838. It was the first polytechnic to operate in the capital, right until it became a full-fledged university in the year 1992.

The university currently has a main campus along Regent St., which is home to the Faculties of Law and Social Science and Humanities. Media and Arts students are based at the Harrow campus, while Architecture, Business, and Policy Studies students are situated at Marylebone. Some of the school’s laboratories, on the other hand, are situated on the Fitzrovia campus.

5. London South Bank University

London South Bank University is a public institution located in Elephant and Castle, London. Formerly the Borough Polytechnic Institute, it is one of the many UK schools that attained university status in the year 1992.

LSBU, which has a main campus in South Bank and a satellite branch in Havering, has a total of seven academic schools. This value-for-money school has numerous study programs including applied science, business, engineering, law, and health science to name a few.

LSBU is ranked as one of the UK’s finest, thus giving it a high degree of popularity abroad. Complimented by cheap tuition, LSBU has seen an influx of international students, which represent a third of the school’s total student population.

FAQS About Studying in London

What Are the General Requirements to Study in London?

Applicants need to have a GPA of at least 2.75 – although the higher, the better. Other requirements include academic transcripts and proof of English proficiency.

Depending on the university or program, additional documents may be required. These may include any of the following:

For competitive programs, prospective students may be required to submit an essay and/or will be invited for an interview.

What Are Accepted English Proficiency Exams in Universities in London?

There are many test providers for English proficiency and universities in London accept most of them. London Metropolitan University, for example, accepts IELTS or TOEFL iBT.

As for the University of East London, the university accepts several English proficiency exams: IELTS, TOEFL iBT, PTE Academic,  Trinity College London, Cambridge IGCSE, and Oxford ELLT.

Before taking any English proficiency test, it is highly recommended that you check with your chosen institution about what test providers they accept, their minimum score, and deadlines.


We hope you make use of this article once you plan to apply to one in the UK’s capital. If you are unsure of what study program to take, here’s a list of United Kingdom Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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