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Sheffield Cost of Living: A Students' Guide

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Before accepting an offer at university or choosing to move to a new city, it’s important to know whether you can afford it. We’ve created a comprehensive guide to the cost of living in Sheffield to help prospective students considering their offers and those already studying there. 

Average Cost of Living in Sheffield for Students

While Sheffield is one of the largest cities in the UK, it is also one of the most affordable. According to Numbeo, the average cost of living in Sheffield is around 10% lower than the national average, and 22.8% lower than London. As the city is home to two popular universities, The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam, it’s no wonder that Sheffield has lots of discounts and deals students can take advantage of to help keep the cost of living lower.

Student Spending Costs

Students face lots of different costs from large sums such as rent and tuition fees to everyday expenses such as travel and food. To make sure that you can make your money last throughout the entire term, you need to carefully plan out your budget and think about lifestyle choices which could affect this, particularly if you’re solely relying on your maintenance loan for income. 

Tuition Fee Costs

The standard undergraduate tuition fee for students from the UK studying in Sheffield is £9,250 a year. This fee is likely to be more expensive if you are an international or postgraduate student. 

You can get a student loan to cover the costs of your tuition fees. You will only need to start paying back your loan after you’ve left university and are earning more than £27,660 per year (the current threshold). The amount that you’ll have to pay back each month will also depend on exactly how much you’re earning.

Accommodation and Cost

No matter what type of accommodation you choose to live in, rent is likely to be one of your biggest outgoings while you’re studying in Sheffield. There are lots of types of student housing in Sheffield so you’ll be able to find the perfect place, depending on your individual preferences, accommodation requirements, and budget limitations.

University Hall of Residence

Most students choose to live in their university’s halls in their first year, although some people then opt to stay on for extra years. The exact amount you pay will depend on the type of accommodation you choose. Are you staying in catered or self-catered accommodation? Do you have an ensuite or a shared bathroom? Are you staying on or off campus? If you’re on a tight budget, you can make strategic choices that will help to bring the cost of living in Sheffield down.

At the University of Sheffield, weekly rent in halls can cost undergraduate students anywhere between £130 and £209 per week. At Sheffield Hallam, you’ll be looking at paying between £91 and £191 to live in halls. You can see the exact breakdown of costs on your university’s accommodation page. 

Private Rented Houses and Rooms

In second year and beyond, most students will choose to live in a shared house or house in multiple occupation (HMO). You will privately rent these from a local landlord or property manager. While landlords renting to students in Sheffield often make special accommodations, such as offering tenancies for the duration of the academic year, they usually do not have any affiliation with your university. You’ll enter into a separate agreement with them and be responsible for paying your rent on time.

According to StuRents’ data, the average cost of a shared house in Sheffield is £105.23 per person per week (pppw) without bills or £106.55pppw including bills. 


If you prefer the style of halls living, but don’t want to live in university-owned accommodation, you can live in purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) in Sheffield. This sort of housing is built and rented specifically for students in your situation. In PBSA, you can either live in studio (with its own kitchen) or an individual room (with a shared kitchen). Both of these options are likely to have shared living spaces. Some PBSA also has additional facilities within the building, like gyms or games rooms. 

PBSA does tend to be slightly more expensive than shared housing in Sheffield. On average, PBSA in Sheffield costs £138.57pppw excluding bills or £152.38pppw including bills

Utility Bills

When you’re renting, you’ll need to pay for all your utilities, including gas and electricity, water, Wi-Fi, and a TV licence (if you need one). Find out more about which utility bills you should be paying as a student.

As a student in Sheffield, you can choose to rent with either bills included in the cost of your tenancy or with bills excluded. Choosing a bills included option does tend to be a little more expensive, as you’ll be charged a flat fee by your landlord every month based on estimated usage. If you rent without bills included, you can choose cheaper providers and keep costs down by limiting usage. However, you’ll be responsible for finding, switching and paying providers on time. 

The exact cost of your utility bills will depend on your usage and your suppliers. This will also be affected by if you’re living alone or sharing accommodation. If you’re sharing with lots of housemates, your usage will likely be higher but will be split between more people. As a rough estimation, it’s a good idea to budget at least £20 per week for utilities. 


Sheffield has a wide network of public transport, including buses, trams, and trains so it’s easy to get around the city. To bring costs down, you can get a student travel pass in Sheffield. With a Zoom Beyond 18-21 Travel Pass, you can get £1.50 single journeys on buses run by First, Stagecoach or TM Travel, or £2 trams anywhere in South Yorkshire. You can also get a TravelMaster’s 19-22 CityWide pass which applies to all buses and trams and costs £64.00 for 28 days. This is ideal for students who travel frequently! You can also save a third on fares for rail travel by getting a 16-25 railcard.

Of course, walking and cycling are brilliant, cost-free options for local trips too. 

You may also want to factor in the cost of taxis into your budget, in case you ever need to get them. (And let’s face it, who hasn’t treated themselves to a cheeky Uber after a night out every once in a while). Taxi apps like Uber and Bolt are available in Sheffield and are likely to be slightly cheaper than independent taxi companies in the city which have a basic tariff of £2.50 and charge an extra £1.38-£1.68 per kilometre. 


There’s no getting around it—food is an essential cost. How much you spend on food will depend on how much you eat out or order takeaways. Of course, it’s far more cost-efficient to buy your own groceries and cook at home than to go out to eat. Meal planning and meal prepping ahead of time are great ways to make sure that you buy exactly what you need for the week so you don’t overspend on ingredients that end up rotting in the fridge. 

If you do want to go out to eat, many of the chain restaurants in Sheffield offer student discounts, which will help keep costs down. You can also get a Pledge student card to enjoy discounts at independent restaurants.

Leisure and Entertainment

There’s lots to enjoy when you live in Sheffield from culture and sport to nightlife. These pastimes might seem ‘inessential’, especially when you’re putting together a budget, but it’s important to balance affordability with your enjoyment of uni life. There are still lots of ways to keep your cost of living down in Sheffield while still making the most of what the city has to offer. 

If you love a night out, make sure you’re taking advantage of all the different student nights Sheffield has to offer. These will usually offer discounted entry and cheaper drinks than standard club nights across the city. Don’t miss out on the D&B night at Tank on a Monday, ‘Skool Disco’ at Corporation on a Wednesday or ‘Pop Tarts’ at the University of Sheffield SU on a Saturday. 

You can also get student discounts at entertainment venues across the city. For fitness fanatics, there are great gym discounts to benefit from. Membership at The University of Sheffield’s gym is £37 a month for students with no joining fee, The Fitness Club is £20 a month, and PureGym is just £15.39 a month!

Top Student Saving Tips

Need more advice on how to save while living in Sheffield? These top tips will help you cut costs and live comfortably. 

1. Create a Budget

To avoid overspending, it’s a good idea to make a budget plan. You can do this by adding up your different sources of income and calculating your expenses by estimating how much you’ll spend on different areas of your life. You can use a budgeting spreadsheet to make things clearer or a finance app like Monzo to track your spending. 

If you need more advice, check out our blog on the best budgeting tips for students. 

2. Use Student Discounts

We’ve already mentioned quite a few different places in Sheffield where you can get student discounts, but there are far, far more to take advantage of! You can sign up for websites like Unidays and Student Beans or register for an NUS Totum card to find all the best deals. 

3. Utilise Free University Resources

Academic texts can be extremely expensive to purchase, and even subscribing to online libraries is pretty pricey. Luckily, both universities in Sheffield offer free study resources to their students. You can borrow physical books and texts from your library or access e-resources on and off campus. If you need a book for your work that your library doesn’t have, you can request it through the Inter-Library Request service. 

4. Buy Used Textbooks

If you do need to buy your own course materials, you can save a lot of money by buying them second hand. There are lots of second-hand bookshops dotted around Sheffield, or you can contact student services and ask them to point you in the right direction. 

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