Fees and costs of studying at Cambridge - view of the main entrance, Churchill College

The fees and costs of studying at Cambridge are normally broken down into expenses incurred for everyday living and studying expenses (normally called “maintenance”) and the direct fees required by the University (primarily, the “University Composition Fee”).

Living Costs (Maintenance)

One of the conditions you will have to fulfil before coming to Cambridge is a “financial condition” set by the University. You will need to confirm to the University’s Postgraduate Admissions Office that you have financial resources to cover fees, rent for your accommodation, and other maintenance needs (food, heating, clothes, books etc.) including those of any dependents, while you are at Cambridge.

The University provides a guideline to average, basic living costs (called “maintenance”) including food, accommodation, personal expenses, social activities etc. in the finance section of its website. You should take care to consider your personal situation and individual additional costs when you are considering your maintenance arrangements.

University Fee

The University Composition Fee covers the cost of teaching and supervision, and access to University and College facilities and support services. It is collected through the College and the total fee varies by course; this is adjusted for students taking courses part-time. There is a look-up for all courses and fees on the University website with wider information about the fees and costs of studying at Cambridge.

Self-funded students are normally required to pay for the academic year at least 14-days before arriving in Cambridge, and those who are funded by external organisations should provide a letter from the funder confirming the arrangement and details as soon as that is available.

College Account

When you join the College, you will have a College account set up to record charges and payments. Every student is provided with a University Card which provides for access across the University and various benefits including a facility to charge meals bought in College to your account.

You College account also provides a mechanism to pay for rent and other accommodation charges if you are living in College accommodation.


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Fees and costs of studying at Cambridge - view of the main entrance steps at night, with ducks, Churchill College.