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What is the cost of living in Sunderland?

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Sunderland is the second most affordable city in the UK, according to a 2018 ‘Graduate salaries in the UK’ survey conducted by Prospects Luminate. Living comfortably on a budget is much easier at Sunderland than other universities.

Sunderland house prices are lower than in other parts of the country, which means lower-cost private renting and university accommodation. Travel costs are low too – our two main campuses are within walking distance from each other and the centre of town. Typical monthly living costs Below are some typical monthly costs for a student living in Sunderland, to help you work out your own budget.

How much you spend is up to you and your budget - for this reason, we've provided three versions: a budget option, an average option and an expensive option. You can also use this online student budget calculator to help you put together a budget for living and studying at the University of Sunderland or try our PANDA budgeting tool.

ItemBudgetAverageExpensive
Accommodation £300 £420 £540
Travel £0 £8 £17
Food £100 £150 £200
Course materials £15 £32 £50
Clothes, toiletries and grooming £15 £45 £75
Social life £40 £95 £150
Miscellaneous expenses £15 £35 £52
Total monthly cost £485 £785 £1164

Living costs in detail

Accommodation: £300 – £540 per month

Rents vary depending on whether you choose university or private accommodation, the facilities available and the size of living area. University accommodation tends to include some utility bills with the rent, making them even better value for money.

The cost of our university accommodation starts from approximately £72 per week for a standard room in Clanny House.

Everyday travel: £0 - £17 per month

Sunderland is a compact city, and the two campuses and all university accommodation are within walking distance of each other. If you don't want to walk, the University also provides a free campus bus.

For trips further afield, a return train ticket to Newcastle is about £4, to Durham is about £9, and to Middlesbrough is about £10 (and with a Young Person's Railcard you can get an additional 33% discount).

Food: £100 - £200 per month

How much you spend on food is up to you. Cooking is the cheapest option, but there are plenty of restaurants and cafes in Sunderland with great student deals - look out for happy hours and 2 for 1 offers!

Course materials: £15 - £50 per month

Depending on your course, you may need to pay for field trips, specialist clothing or books. Remember that the University has 2 libraries, so you may be able to borrow all the books you need during your course. You may be eligible for a StudyPLUS award which will help you with your costs.

Clothes, toiletries and grooming: £15 - £75 per month

How much you spend on clothes, shoes and haircuts is, of course, a matter of personal choice. Just remember that your student card entitles you to an additional 10% discount from many shops in the city of Sunderland.

Social life: £40 - £150 per month

There are a huge number of social activities available in the University and the city. Here are just a few examples:

  • Empire Cinema ticket: around £6
  • Pint of beer in Sunderland city centre: around £2.85
  • Cappuccino in Murray Library: around £2.50

Our Gym membership costs are typically £130 for the full year.

 Other miscellaneous costs: £15 - £52 per month

  • Mobile phone: £5 - £30 per month
  • TV licence: £12 per month
  • Laundry and household items: £5 - £10 per month

For more information on budgeting and money matters, please contact our Student Financial Guidance Team on studentfinancialguidance@sunderland.ac.uk or 0191 515 2284.

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