Cost of Living in Scotland: A Guide on Expected Expenses

8 minute read

Scotland is home to some of the best universities in the world and offers a fantastic student experience like no other country. The average cost of living in Scotland is £1500. It is in the northern part of the United Kingdom and contains about one-third of the land area, which makes it the second-largest country in the United Kingdom. Many students consider Scotland their new university and living location. If you are deciding to relocate here, make sure you are aware of the cost of living in Scotland. 

In this blog, we have broken down the cost of living in Scotland in various aspects, such as transportation costs, average tuition fees, utility bills, monthly rent, grocery and meal costs, accommodation costs and more. Let’s dive right into our discussion without any further delay. 

Cost of Living in Scotland

£1500 is the cost of living in Scotland, which makes it 1.14 times cheaper than the average living cost in the United Kingdom. Scotland is ranked 1st best state and 8th most expensive country to live in the United Kingdom. Let’s now examine in detail the average cost of living in Scotland in various categories such as rent, utility, food, transportation, groceries, and more.

Cost of Transportation in Scotland 

Transportation in Scotland is incredibly easy and accessible, which makes the cost of living in Scotland easy. The various means of transportation in Scotland are local bus services, trams, rail services, ferries, express coaches, etc.

The costs of transportation in Scotland are shown in the table given below: 

Mode of TransportationCost of Transportation
 Local transport ticket£2.51
Monthly ticket for local transport£61.69
Taxi Ride (8 km or 5 mi)£14.23
Gas / Petrol (1 L or 0.26 gal)£1.51

Cost of Grocery in Scotland

The cost of groceries in Scotland depends on the lifestyle and type of food a person is having. A person can expect to spend between £400 and £500 per month on groceries. The table below lists the average grocery prices in Scotland:

Grocery NameGrocery Cost
Milk (1 L or 1 qt)£1.16
Bread( 0.5 kg or 1.1 lb)£1.19
Rice, (1 kg or 2.2 lb)£1.37
Eggs (12)£2.76
 Fruits (1 kg or 2.2 lb)£2.19
 Tomato,  (1 kg or 2.2 lb)£3.28
Potato,  (1 kg or 2.2 lb)£1
Onion,  (1 kg or 2.2 lb)£1

Cost of Rent and Utility in Scotland

The cost of rent and utility in Scotland has climbed significantly over the past year. You can expect to pay an average for basic utilities of about £200 per month, and the average rental price reaches about £840 per month. Here in the table, the average cost of rent and utility in Scotland is given:

Rent and UtilityCost of Rent and Utility
 1 bedroom apartment in City Center, (40 m2 or 430 ft2)£ 831.11
3-bedroom apartment in City Center, (80 m2 or 860 ft2)£ 1405.77
Utility Bill for one person(electricity, heating, water, etc.)£ 136.82
Utility Bill for a Family(electricity, heating, water, etc.)£ 211.88
Internet plan for 1 month unlimited at 50 Mbps+£ 30.65

Why Choose Scotland to Study Abroad?

Scotland is a land of fascinating cultural attractions and a rich history in literature, philosophy, poetry, and art. It is well known for producing some of the world’s most influential inventors and engineers, such as James Watt for the steam engine, Thomas Newcomen for the bicycle, Alexander Graham Bell, and many other legends. 

Scotland is an ideal place for pursuing higher education. Here are some of the main reasons listed why you should study in Scotland:

High-Quality Educational Environment

Scotland is home to some of the world’s best universities, such as the University Of Edinburgh,the University of St. Andrews, the University of Glasgow, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Strathclyde, and many others. With such great universities, you might expect the cost of living in Scotland to be equally high. Universities in Scotland provide a high-quality educational environment and collaborate with local authorities or employers to familiarise their students with future work culture and ethics.

The table below lists the top 5 universities in Scotland according to the QS World University Rankings 2024.

Top five universities in Scotland according to QS World University Rankings 2024  
S. NoName of institution  QS World ranking  Location  
1  University of Edinburgh 22   Edinburgh 
2  University of Glasgow =76 Glasgow 
3  University of St Andrews =95  St Andrews 
4  University of Aberdeen 208 Aberdeen 
5  Heriot-Watt University 235 Edinburgh 

Also Read: Cost of Living in San Francisco, California: A Comprehensive Guide 

Safety and Security Measures

The best reasons why students choose to relocate to Scotland are the safety and security measures provided by the country to its residents. The crime rate in the cities of Scotland is relatively low compared to other safe countries. In 2022/23, 528 crimes per 10,000 people were recorded, one of the lowest crime rates recorded in this period.

Safe For Study 

Scotland is one of the safest places for study in the world because of its low crime rate record. The amazing and welcoming atmosphere of Scotland’s universities allows its students to enhance their efficiency in every field and helps them explore all nearby areas without having to worry about their safety. 

Salary in Scotland

According to the Scotland Parliament, Scotland has the third-highest median gross annual salary of the UK’s nations and regions. This means it is higher than the overall average of £26,007 per year. Compared to the median gross weekly wage of the rest of the UK, Scotland has the same, at £504, which makes it the third highest among all the regions.

Also Read: Cost of Living in Boston – A Guide on Expected Expenses

Average Tuition Fees in Scotland

Now, the average tuition fees at the University of Scotland depend on the nationality of a student whether a student belongs to Scotland itself, “the Rest of UK (RUK),” or from another country” and also at what level a student plans to study. The amounts can vary accordingly. See the table below to learn about the average tuition fees in Scotland charged by the universities.

Student StatusUndergraduate feesPostgraduate fees
Home Student1,820 £ (but covered by SAAS in almost all cases)5,000 – 15,000 £
Rest of UK (RUK)usually 9,250 £ for the first three years5,000 – 15,000 £
International10,000 – 26,000 £15,000 – 30,000 £

The above fees are just general fee ranges; there may be cheaper or more expensive courses. The more prestigious the university, the higher the tuition cost.

Cost of Living in Scotland vs U.S

If we consider the average cost of living, Scotland is generally cheaper to reside in than the U.S. Scotland offers a more affordable cost of living compared to the United States. Below, we have given a summary of the cost of living in Scotland vs U.S in a tabular form:

ParticularsEstimated Cost in US  Estimated Cost in Scotland
Cost of GroceryMuch expensive as compared in Scotland Generally Cheaper 
Cost of Rent Much expensive as compare to ScotlandMore Affordable (especially outside of major cities) 
Cost of UtilitySimilar with Scotlandslightly lower
Cost of Internet Much expensive than Scotlandmore affordable in Scotland 
Cost of Public TransportationSlightly higher than ScotlandSignificantly reducing transportation costs than the U.S.
Cost of FoodFood in US is higher than ScotlandFood in Scotland is lower, and the quality of produce is generally higher.
Cost of Healthcare ServicesThe cost of the NHS in Scotland is freeThe cost of the NHS in the USA is very high and people purchase health insurance before visiting there.

Overall, Scotland offers a more affordable cost of living than the United States.

Things to Know When Moving to Scotland

Now, you understand the factors listed above, which give some idea of the cost of living in Scotland. There are other significant aspects of Scotland that one must be aware of before moving there. So, here are some points you should know and keep in mind before moving to Scotland:

Can I work while studying at a university in Scotland?

Student life in Scotland can be expensive because the cost of living in Scotland is very high and students must have to bear tuition fees, rent, transport, food, utility bills, and other expenses. In this situation, a student job can also be valuable for gaining work experience before graduation. As an international student who holds a Tier 4 visa, can generally work up to 20 hours a week if they are employed adequately via a written agreement.

Scholarship Programme for International Students

The popular scholarship programme in Scotland is the Saltire Scholarships, which the Scottish Government itself sponsors. These scholarship programs are generally open to students who want to pursue a master’s degree and come from India, USA, Canada, Pakistan, Japan or China in one of a set of focus subjects. Check out the Scholarship Programme on the official website for more details.

Climate at Scotland

In Scotland, the climate is changeable, and people can experience extreme hot and cold temperatures. In spring, the average temperature ranges from 7° C to  13° C; meanwhile, in the summer, it ranges from 15° C  to 17° C. In autumn, the temperature lies between  8° C to  14° C, and in winter, there is usually an average temperature of  5° C. 

Prepare for Rain

The Scottish weather isn’t always the best, so many residents of Scotland bring rain protection with them wherever they go to prevent them from being caught out by the weather. It may sound dreary, but bad weather doesn’t take long to get used to. 

Relevant Reads:

Cost of Living in New Jersey for International Students Cost of Living in Wakefield, UK for International Students
Cost of Living in North Bay Ontario: A 2024 Guide on Expected ExpensesCost of Living in Finland: A Guide on Expected Expenses for International Students
Cost of Living in Mexico: A Guide on Expected ExpensesCost of Living in Malta – A Comprehensive Guide 


Q1. What is the cost of living in Scotland?

Ans: The average cost of living in Scotland is around £1,500 per month, 1.26 times cheaper than the average cost of living in the UK. Scotland is rated as the finest place to live and the 8th most expensive state in the UK.

Q2. How Much Does it Cost to Live in Scotland?

Ans: The cost of living in Scotland is £18,000 per year. This cost includes accommodation, utilities, food, transportation, and social activities.

Q3. Is Scotland a good place to live?

Ans: If you plan to live and study in Scotland, you will find that the cost of living in Scotland is lower than in nearby countries like England and Wales. Also, the crime rate in the cities of Scotland is relatively low compared to other safe countries. The architectural marvels of castles and forts throughout the country make Scotland an excellent place to live.

So, this was all about the cost of living in Scotland. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad.  

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