The UK remains one of the most popular destinations for education, having over 500,000+ foreign enrollees. The high demand for British education is not surprising though, given its quality education. Add to that, it also boasts of a multi-cultural environment with reasonable living and healthcare costs.

Although some British universities don’t come in cheap, many offer affordable tuition fees. So if you’re looking to study in the UK without breaking the bank, then make sure to consider these cheap universities in the UK.

What Are the General Requirements to Study in the UK?

Apart from a high school diploma, UK universities may require A-levels and/or certain grades and proof of English proficiency. Some may require an interview, as is the case in Oxford and Cambridge. Undergraduate applications are usually coursed through the UCAS portal.

Applicants for graduate levels, on the other hand, will need a bachelor’s diploma to apply. Depending on the university, requirements such as curriculum vitae, interviews, or entrance exams may be needed.

Check Also: United Kingdom Programs for International Students

Do You Need to be Proficient in English to Study in the UK?

Yes, of course. English is the primary language in the UK, so all of its universities deliver their courses in English. Examples include Oxford, which requires an IELTS of 7.0 and a TOEFL of 100, and the University of London system, which accepts lower grades of 6.0 for the IELTS and 87 for the TOEFL.

Affordable Universities in the UK for International Students

1. University of Chester

Founded in 1839, the University of Chester is the cheapest university in the UK for international students. It was established as the first teacher-training college in the UK. Ever since then, it has progressed into a world-class university with campuses in Chester, Warrington, and Shrewsbury.

To date, the university offers undergraduate and graduate courses through its seven schools. These are the Faculties of Arts & Humanities, Medicine & Dentistry, Science & Engineering, Social Science, Education & Children’s Services, and Health & Social Care. It is also home to the celebrated Chester Business School.

The university has one of the lowest foreign populations in the UK, with only 11% of its students coming from outside the country.

2. University of Stirling

The University of Stirling in Scotland was founded in the year 1967. Based in the Central Belt, it takes residence within the walls of the 360-acre Airthrey Castle estate. Because of this, the university is heralded as one of the most beautiful in the UK.

More than just having a breathtaking campus, this affordable university in Scotland is also known for its international degree partnerships. Apart from that, it also delivers traditional undergraduate and graduate programs through the Stirling Management School and the Faculties of Social Science, Arts & Humanities, Natural Science, and Health Sciences.

3. University of Greenwich

The University of Greenwich was founded in 1890 as Woolwich Polytechnic before it was eventually renamed Thames Polytechnic. It eventually adopted its current name and university status in 1993.

The university, which has campuses in Greenwich, Avery Hill, and Medway, is home to four schools. They are the Faculties of Liberal Arts & Science, Education & Health, Engineering & Science, and Business.

As one of the UK’s top universities, it also performs well in terms of responsible consumption, the life of the land, reducing inequalities, partnership for goals, and climate action.

4. University of Westminster

One of the cheapest universities in the UK, the University of Westminster started in 1833 as the Royal Polytechnic Institution – before receiving its university status in 1992. Currently, the university has campuses in Central London, Marylebone, Fitzrovia, and Harrow. It also operates a foreign branch in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The university is currently divided into 3 schools that oversee a variety of departments. These are the College of Design, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Westminster Business School.

Almost half of the student population comes from outside the UK. Many of them are drawn by the school’s prestige – and surprisingly affordable tuition.

5. University of Huddersfield

The University of Huddersfield is a public research institution situated in West Yorkshire, England. While it only formally opened its doors in 1992, it can trace its beginnings back to the Huddersfield Science & Mechanics Institute, which was established in 1825.

The university, which has campuses in Queensgate, Oldham, and Barnsley, is home to various academic departments. They include the Schools of Applied Science, Art & Architecture, Computing & Engineering, Business, Education & Professional Development, Human & Health Studies, and Music & Media.

6. University of Glasgow

Founded in 1451 through the Papal Bull, the University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is also one of Scotland’s four ancient universities, apart from being an integral part of the 18th-century Scottish Enlightenment.

The campus, which is situated in Gilmorehill, is home to the schools of Business, Dentistry, Chemistry, Computing Science, Critical Studies, Culture, Education, Engineering, Earth Science, Humanities, Interdisciplinary Studies, Law, Life Science, Math, Medicine, Language, Physics, Psychology, Social Science, and Veterinary Medicine.

7. University of Southampton

The University of Southampton or “Soton” is a research institution located in Southampton, northeast of England. It was opened in 1862 as the Hartley Institution under the University of London. In 1952, it was finally awarded full university status.

Southampton is organized according to five faculties that oversee several other academic units. These are the Faculties of Arts & Humanities, Engineering & Physical Science, Environmental & Life Science, Medicine, and Social Science.

More than 1/3 of Soton’s student population comes from the EU and other countries.

8. University of Bath

The University of Bath, which is an affordable university in the United Kingdom for international students, is a public educational institution located in Somerset, England with a branch in Swindon. It opened in 1886 as the Merchant Venturers Technical College and eventually received its university status in the year 1971.

The university is well known for its undergraduate and graduate programs in technology, mathematics, physical science, and engineering. These – among many other degrees – are delivered through its four Faculties, namely, Engineering and Design, Humanities and Social Science, Management, and Science.

9. University of Birmingham

Founded in 1852 as the Birmingham School, the University of Birmingham is a noted research institution in Edgbaston, Birmingham.

The university’s academic departments are categorized into the specialties of Arts & Law, Engineering & Physical Science, Life & Environmental Science, Medical & Dental Science, Social Science, and Liberal Arts.

10. University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is a public research institution based in the country’s fifth-largest borough. It can trace its foundation back to the Manchester Mechanics Institute, which was founded in the year 1924.

This affordable university in the UK, which formally opened its doors in 2004, is academically categorized into the Faculties of Biology, Medicine & Health, Science & Engineering, and Humanities.

More than 40% of the University of Manchester’s students come from all across the EU – and the world. Its high foreign student population is usually attributed to its reputation, as it is currently ranked one of the best in the UK.


We hope that this article on the cheapest universities in the UK was helpful. Make sure to also check out the United Kingdom Programs for International Students to know more!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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