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Money matters, travel & shopping

Money matters

Living in London can be expensive. You are recommended to read the information on living expenses for undergraduate and graduate students, so that you know what to expect.

You may find it useful to use the International Student Calculator, specifically developed to help you manage your money and build a budget for living and studying in the UK.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) also has some useful information about the cost of living in the UK.

Travelling in London

If you plan to travel in London regularly, it will be cheaper to buy a travel card. Travelcards allow you to travel on the underground, most local trains and buses whenever you wish. There are different types of travelcards available – day, weekly, monthly and annual.

If you are a full time student at UCL you can obtain a Transport for London (TfL) 18+ Student Oyster Photocard, which provides you with 30% discount of the adult rate for travelcards valid for a week or more. 18+ Student Oyster Photocard does not give you a discount on single fares or daily travelcards. All applications for 18+ Student Oyster cards are currently made online.

Once you have completed your online application, TfL will confirm your eligibility for the photocard scheme with UCL. If you are eligible, you will be sent your Student Oyster Photocard, an information leaflet and map within seven to ten days.

Travelling in London can be expensive. It is cheaper to travel by bus than it is to travel by train or the underground. You can only stop a bus at a bus stop and you need to remember to wave if you wish to stop the bus.

To save money and see more of London, try walking to places using a map.


Food Shopping - there are a number of big food chain stores in London. Some of the main ones are: Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, ASDA.

Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer have branches on Tottenham Court Road, located in close proximity to UCL Gower Street Campus.

Homeware Shops - these are shops where you can purchase bed linen, towels and furniture. 

Argos - many of the items sold in the shop can be collected from one of their many stores whilst others are only available for home delivery.

IKEA has fewer stores than Argos. There are four IKEA stores in London with the one closest to UCL Gower Street Campus being in Wembley. 

Some of the bigger Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons and ASDA stores also sell homeware items and furniture.

Clothes Shopping - Oxford Street is one of the best places for clothes shopping in London and is only a short walk away from UCL Gower Street Campus.

Page last modified on 23 oct 13 12:42