As an international student, it’s vital that you organise your finances well in advance of your course start date so that your funding is in place before you arrive in the UK – both for your study costs and your living expenses.
After you have left your home country, it will be difficult to arrange financial support, and you cannot rely on being able to organise additional funding from the UK.
Remember that the UK immigration authorities will only give you permission to enter the country, or extend your existing visa, if you can show that you have the money to cover your annual course tuition fee and your maintenance costs. In addition you will need a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance of Study) to make your visa application and in most cases the University will want to see proof that you have the correct level of money needed for your visa application in the correct format before issuing this. If you are starting a new course, in most cases a CAS will also only be issued once you have made a deposit towards your course tuition fee.
For information about making a Tier 4 visa application and the requirements you must meet, visit our visa pages.
For information about fee deposits, visit the international student deposits page.
For more information about general living costs in London, visit our affordable London page.
University of Westminster scholarships
The University of Westminster offers a generous scholarship scheme for international students.
Our scholarships are normally awarded on the basis of three criteria: academic excellence, development potential and financial need. Competition is high for our scholarships and we receive many more applications than we can fund, so make sure you have explored other ways to fund your studies too.
For full details of our scholarships, visit our scholarships pages.
Note that you must have an offer of a place at the University before you can apply for any of our scholarships.
What other funding could I get?
UK funding options are extremely limited and we suggest you research options available in your home country.
For general information visit the UKCISA website.
US federal loans
US students interested in applying for Federal Student Aid will find more information on our US loans page.
If you are coming to study a course of six months or longer, you must get a Tier 4 General Student Visa from your home country before travelling to the UK.
If you are coming to study on a course lasting less than six months, you may be able to apply for a short-term study visa. Please be aware that this visa has greater restrictions than a Tier 4 visa.
Working in the UK during your course
Working part-time during your studies can provide much-needed extra income, as well as valuable work experience and skills development. But when planning your finances, bear in mind that you cannot rely on earnings from work to cover all your costs and you cannot rely on this income as proof of funds for a Tier 4 visa application.
If you are in the UK on a Tier 4 student visa and you are attending a degree level course, you will normally have the right to work 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during course vacations. This includes paid or unpaid work.
If you have a Tier 4 visa issued to attend a pre-sessional course only, you cannot work more than 10 hours per week in paid or unpaid work.
Your Tier 4 visa should specify the maximum number of working hours allowed. Check the work condition on your visa as soon as you get it. If you think it is wrong, contact Student Advice immediately for information about how to get it corrected.
If you have a short-term study visa, you are not allowed to do any work at all, paid or unpaid.
Working in the UK after your course
You may be able to apply for a Tier 2 (General) work visa if you have a job offer and the employer is able to sponsor you. If you are near to completing a PhD, you could consider applying for the Doctorate Extension Scheme. The University of Westminster also participates in the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. There are other types of Tier 1 and Tier 5 options available too. The Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visa is useful if you want to stay in the UK to do a period of work experience or short period of training.
Visit the UKCISA website for more details about the various options, or contact Student Advice.
Will I have to pay Council Tax?
It depends on your circumstances, who you live with and the type of accommodation you live in.
You do not normally have to pay while living in Student halls.
If you study part-time, your student status will not exempt you and you could be liable to pay Council Tax. Remember you cannot study part-time course while on a Tier 4 visa.
If you study full–time and rent private accommodation and your tenancy starts before your course begins, you will be liable to pay the Council Tax from the date your tenancy begins up until the start your full-time degree level course. This includes any time spent attending the pre-sessional English Language course as this is a short course and does not exempt you from paying. From the start of your full-time degree level course onwards, you should be exempt from paying because you are a full-time student but once your course ends, you become liable to pay the Council Tax again.