Living in London - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Living in London

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Living in London


Student Life

Living in London

The Courtauld is located in historic Somerset House on The Strand, right in the heart of London’s West End. One of the world’s most dynamic cities, London is a global hub for cultural, business, political, media, legal and sporting events that attract the best from around the world. This central location gives students easy access to some of the city’s best-known museums and galleries, including the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the British Museum (not to mention The Courtauld’s own gallery).

During Courtauld Connects some teaching may be relocated at times. Further information on this transformation project can be found here.

Cost of living

It is important to budget to ensure that you have enough money to live on while you complete your studies. Mercer’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey has consistently cited London as one of the most expensive cities in the world; however, London is very student-friendly, and your cost of living as a student will depend largely upon your lifestyle choices.

The UNIAID Student Calculator is a handy resource to help you plan your budget. Many retailers and entertainment venues will offer discounts or concession prices when you present your student ID.


£220 p/w

This amount is based on the average cost of rent at Duchy House and Intercollegiate Halls. Privately rented accommodation varies considerably but will often not include the cost of utilities and will sometimes require a more extensive transport budget.

See our Student Accommodation page for more information


£75 p/w

It is important to budget to ensure that you have enough money to live on while you complete your studies. Please find below estimated living costs for full-time students; however, the amount of money you will need depends mostly on your lifestyle choices.

There are many things you can do to help reduce your food budget; shop locally, buying your groceries in a group with flatmates, and preparing your lunch yourself rather than eating out.


£15 p/w per person in shared accommodation

If you are not living in student accommodation, you will likely be responsible for paying utility costs (gas, electricity, water and phone/broadband, if applicable), though properties are sometimes advertised inclusive of utilities. If you are living in a shared house, you should ensure that every tenant’s name is on each utility bill so that liability for payment is shared.

TV Licence

£150.50 – per year

If you are living in student accommodation and plan to have a TV in your room, you will need to purchase a TV licence (however, if you are living in a shared property with a communal TV, then the cost of the TV licence can be shared). If you do not have a TV licence, you risk legal action and a fine of up to £1,000.


£23 p/w or £88.40 p/m for a Zone 1-2 Travelcard (with student discount) – 2017/8 costs

Whilst most halls of residence and teaching facilities are within walking distance, London is a large city, and you will often find yourself needing to travel around quickly. As a student you are eligible to receive 30% off the cost of public transportation throughout London. Purchasing a Travelcard means that you can travel as often as you like within the zones for which you have purchased your Travelcard. If you do not plan to travel afield often, it may be more cost-effective to pay as you go and top up when travel is necessary.

Books, Supplies & Photocopying

£165 p/a as needed; £4 p/w for photocopying

The books and supplies you will need vary based on your course of study and any items you require for your research. The Courtauld is usually able to supply plastic folders for essay submissions.

Field Trips

 £250 p/a

Cost varies depending on the course and destinations. First-year BA students are not normally taken on trips abroad. The Courtauld provides a travel grant which contributes toward the cost of flights and accommodation.

Safety in London

London is an amazing, vibrant place to live and study, but of course shares issues regarding safety with any major city.

Public transportation is generally very safe, and the Transport for London (TFL) website has a helpful journey planner tool that can help you plan ahead when travelling around the city ( Ensure that any taxi you take is licensed, call a licensed local minicab service or use a safe taxi service app.

Be careful at cash points – ensure you keep your pin code hidden, and watch your possessions at all times, taking care to keep your important items in a closed bag.

Try to look confident and have an idea of where you are going before setting out – and avoid unlit paths, parks and shortcuts after dark. It is always best to take public transport if in doubt.

Other resources regarding safety:

London Metropolitan Police

Education UK

National Union of Students

Other Useful Information

If you wish to open a student bank account, you will need a letter from us to confirm your student status.  You may request this letter only at enrolment or later.

If you do not live in student accommodation, in order to claim your Council Tax exemption you will need to provide a letter to your local council stating that you are a full-time student. If you fail to provide this letter to your local authority, you may face legal action. You may request this letter only at enrolment or later.

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