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Student cost of living hub

Student cost of living hub

We know that many of you are facing financial difficulties – including your utility bills, food prices, and transport costs - due to the rising cost of living.

The University of Leicester, together with the Students’ Union, is committed to supporting our community. Along with existing support, we have taken additional steps to help our all of our students. This includes undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students.

Our cost of living hub brings all of this together in one place, to help to make your student experience more affordable. In NatWest's Student Living Index 2023 Leicester was named in the top 10 most cost-effective university locations.

Financial support and advice

  • Our financial wellbeing toolkit (log-in required) provides information about paid employment, student bank accounts, Disabled Student Allowance, claiming benefits, budgeting calculators, tips on saving money, educational grants and our hardship funds.
  • The University of Leicester was one of the first universities to match the UK Research and Innovation’s stipend increase for postgraduate researchers. The stipend for the 2023/2024 academic year increased by 5.4% from £17,668 to £18,622.
  • Part time jobs are available through Unitemps – our official student recruitment agency. You can also apply for roles at other Unitemps branches, even if you are not a student there.
  • Access to our award-winning Careers and Employability Service is available to students (log-in required) and University of Leicester graduates, including support and guidance, as well as access to our online careers platform, My Careers. This gives you 24-hour access to hundreds of internships, graduate vacancies, careers appointments and event bookings.
  • Households where everyone’s a full-time student do not have to pay Council Tax. If you do get a bill, you can apply for an exemption. Find out more on GOV.UK.

Supporting your studies

  • We have plenty warm and safe study spaces for students on campus including in our library (24/7 during term time), Charles Wilson Building (24/7) and Freemen’s Cottages.
  • Borrow a laptop for free in our library loan scheme if you’re struggling to purchase your own.
  • Download Microsoft Office for free (log-in required) on up to five devices.
  • While you study you have access to Office 365 (log-in required) which includes University emails and calendar, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, as well as cloud storage on OneDrive to save, share and access.
  • Many computer programs are available to download for home use (log-in required) at no cost, or a discounted rate, for students and staff, including: EndNote, MATLAB and RefWorks.
  • We provide printer credit for new students.
  • Stationery essentials are available from just 39p in Delicious.


  • Travel for free between main campus and Oadby (The Village) on the University shuttle bus – just show your University ID. On Wednesday afternoons it also goes to Stoughton Playing Fields so you can cheer on Team Leicester.
  • The Hospital Hopper bus service is free for medical students.
  • free electric bus service connects the train station, bus station, Leicester Market, Highcross shopping centre, the Leicester Royal Infirmary, and more, operating every 10 minutes, Monday to Saturday, between 8.00am - 6.00pm.

Student life: food and drink

  • Providing more value through an inclusive £3.85 sandwich and wrap meal deal, with more vegan, halal and gluten free options. It is available from all of our main outlets on campus.
  • Value range and price reductions at Astrovan, Queens, Soul and Wholesome menus, including pizzas by the slice and lower priced loaded fries.
  • Milk alternatives are available in Library Café, Attenborough Café, Freemen’s Kitchen and Bar and ULSB Hub at no extra cost.

Student life: getting involved

Student life: health and wellbeing

Student life: offers and discounts

  • Use the UPAY quick payment system across campus to pay for your food, drink and retail purchases. You earn 5% in loyalty value for every £1 spend – you can then use your loyalty points to pay for food, drink, stationery and clothing.
  • Access hundreds of discounts for big name brands, online and in store, with the free TOTUM digital student discount card.

Student life: accommodation

  • Our University managed accommodation has all-inclusive rent which covers all utility bills, high speed Wi-Fi, basic rooms contents insurance (in most properties), lots of organised events and activities, and access to 24 hour support services.
  • Struggling to find a place to stay over the vacation? Book a place in one of our halls of residence during the vacations from £10/night. Email or visit our portal to find out more.

How to access urgent support

  • If you require support outside of working hours and it is urgent, you can contact Security on 0116 252 2023.
  • If you or someone you know are in physical danger or experiencing a medical emergency please contact the emergency services by dialling 999.
  • If you are experiencing difficulties on University maintained premises you can contact the Security teams for support. For emergencies please contact: 0116 252 2888. For general enquires email: or call Security on 0116 252 2023.
  • For urgent mental health advice and support in Leicester please contact the Central Access Point.
  • If you are unsure or worried about what you might be feeling or experiencing you should consider calling NHS Direct on 111 or your GP to make an urgent appointment.
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