Money matters

Cost of Living in Bradford for Students

Once you have accepted your offer of a place at the University of Bradford, it’s time to plan. What do you need to take? What will you need to buy? Here is the outline of the average cost of living in Bradford for students.
Cost of Living in Bradford for Students
Published on: 23 Oct 2023
Student accommodation

The roof over your head is likely to be your biggest expense while you’re a student in Bradford.

It’s the biggest expense for most of us, so making sense of accommodation will serve you well throughout your life.

The University of Bradford recommends setting aside up to £6,910 for a 42 week term or up to £8,305 for 51 weeks.

We would say that’s conservative for years 2 and 3.

Staying in halls will cost around that much but private student accommodation can cost more.

Unless you stay with Sanctuary Students that is.

Wardley House on Little Horton Lane costs from £80.50 per week and includes all bills.

No hidden fees, no unfair rent hikes and nothing more to pay.

Household bills

Household bills are the bane of everyone’s existence and not something you can usually avoid. There are exceptions though as you’ll see in a minute.

As a first year, the rent for your halls should include bills.

Once in your second or third year, bills may become your problem to sort out.

Bills can include gas, electricity, water, internet, insurance, Sky TV or whatever services you have in your student accommodation.

You should factor in around £120 per month for bills. That may reduce as energy becomes more affordable, but even without council tax, bills are expensive.

Unless you stay with Sanctuary Students that is. All bills are included in the rent.

Rent includes gas, electricity, water, WiFi/internet, cleaning of common areas, building amenities, security, CCTV and even contents insurance.

The rent you see is the rent you pay. No hidden fees, no extra costs and no unfair rent rises!


Food is another significant cost of living in Bradford for students.

Food costs are the same here as anywhere if you use supermarkets. Learn to use and love the local markets and you could save a lot of money.

Otherwise, we recommend factoring in around £50-60 per week for food.

Much will depend on how and how much you eat.

If you plan to cook for yourself, you could eat for around £50 per week if you shop savvy. If you plan to eat out or have food delivered, it will cost a lot more than that.


Travel is a harder cost to estimate as it depends entirely on how much you plan to travel and how.

Wardley House is in the city centre. If you stay with us, you can walk everywhere, including to the University of Bradford and Bradford College.

There are buses that go throughout the city and the outskirts that can take you wherever you need to go.

There is also a mainline train station that links Bradford to other major cities in the country.

Prices will range for both of those depending on how often you use public transport and where you go.

The University of Bradford recommends budgeting £15 per week for transport and we would say that’s reasonable.

Leisure and entertainment

Leisure and entertainment can be a significant cost of living in Bradford for some students and not so much for others.

How much you need to budget depends on how often you plan on going out and where.

Going out and enjoying yourself is all part of the student experience and isn’t something to be missed. But you’ll need to budget.

Go to student nights and club nights and you can have a great night out for not a lot of money.

Go to upmarket wine bars and clubs and you’ll spend a lot more!

Fortunately, Bradford has a ton of parks, galleries, museums and other venues that cost nothing to get into so you won’t have to spend money every time you leave home.

Study costs

Study costs include books, stationery, pens and all those little necessities you need to complete your course.

We don’t include the cost of the course here as that’s separate. We won’t include the cost of a laptop here either, as we’ll assume you already have one of those.

We recommend budgeting around £40-50 per month for costs. That will depend entirely on the course and how many books or notebooks you’ll need though.

Mobile phone and internet

Your mobile phone will cost the same in Bradford as it does at home. Whatever you pay now is what you'll pay for the remainder of your contract.

What happens after that is up to you.

If you don’t need a new phone, it’s probably cheaper to buy a SIM with tons of data, 5G and free calls and texts.

Paying for the handset is usually the most expensive part of a phone contract and you can easily avoid that if you don’t need the newest model.

Internet will usually be included in the rent while you’re in halls and an expense of up to £30-40 per month when you’re not in halls.

It’s included in the rent when you stay with Sanctuary Students!


Laundry is one of those everyday expenses that nobody gives much thought to, but you really should.

Your halls should have a laundry, so you’ll need to budget £8-10 for laundry detergent and that’s probably it unless they charge per wash.

Once you’re out of halls, it will cost the same plus a little water and electricity if your student accommodation has a washing machine.

If it doesn’t, factor in £5-15 for a service wash at a launderette.

Stay with Sanctuary Students and you’ll have access to a laundry room which will cost around £3 per wash.

Gym membership

Gym membership is an optional cost. Some students will regard it as essential while others will exercise in other ways.

The University of Bradford has Unique Fitness, its own gym. It costs between £100 and £160 per year depending on the type of membership you go for.

That’s significantly cheaper than a commercial gym in the city which can charge anywhere between £30-60 per month for membership plus setup fees.

Cost of living in Bradford for students

If you’re planning to study here, the cost of living in Bradford for students is cheaper than many other places in the UK.

Stay with Sanctuary Students and you can lower those costs even further. Comfortable student accommodation, no bills, fully inclusive rent, internet included and no extra fees.

No wonder Sanctuary Students student accommodation in Bradford is so popular!

Accommodation prices accurate as of July 2023.

Share the blog