Cranfield is a safe and family-friendly environment and you are most welcome to bring your family with you when you come to study with us. We aim to provide comprehensive information and advice to help you to plan ahead – especially if you are travelling to the UK from another country – to ensure that you make the most of your time with us.

General advice and expenses

Moving to Cranfield will be an exciting time for you and your family and will require thorough planning to ensure you have the best possible experience.

Budgeting for your living costs during your studies is an important part of planning for your arrival at the University. As well as tuition fees, you should also consider your living expenses. These will include accommodation, food and travel costs, and each will vary depending on your lifestyle choices. Visit our Managing Money page for further guidance.


You will need to organise your accommodation and schooling for your children before arrival. Of course, these arrangements may take a little time to organise so you may wish to visit in advance, to consider your options and to make sure that your plans are all in place.

Family housing is very popular and we have a limited number of family houses, so applying early is highly recommended. If on-campus accommodation is not available, there is a wide range of private, rented accommodation close to both Cranfield and Shrivenham.

We are unable to offer family accommodation to those who would like to bring other family members such as grandparents, or where accompanying children are 18 years old or over. 

Rent (in the Cranfield area):

  • £650 - £800 per month to rent a two bedroom property,
  • £700 - £1000 per month to rent a three bedroom property,
  • Electricity, water and gas bills are usually not included in the rent. You will need to plan for the cost of these too.

Council tax

Council Tax is a charge that each local government makes for services it provides to the local community such as policing and fire services, road and street lighting, rubbish collection and park maintenance. It is calculated based on the value of the property in which you are living; you should expect to pay between £90 and £140 per month in Council Tax.

Most students are exempt and do not have to pay Council Tax. However you may have to pay if:

  • you bring your family and your spouse is not a student (you will have to pay Council Tax on the house you rent),
  • one person in the house is registered as a full-time student (you should expect a 25% discount on your Council Tax bill),

Further information for international students considering bringing their family to the UK can be found on the .


  • If you are from a European Economic Area (EEA) country, you should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for you and your family before you travel to the UK to ensure you are able to use NHS medical services.
  • International (non-EEA) students, your spouse and your children, are eligible for some NHS treatments, providing that your course is for six months or more.
  • Having medical insurance can offer peace of mind. You may also wish to consider private medical insurance before you travel.

Please check the for further information.



One of your main weekly costs will be your food; how much you spend will depend on your dietary requirements and tastes.

For those based at the Cranfield campus there is a small shop located on campus and large supermarkets in Milton Keynes and Bedford.

If you are studying at Shrivenham there are supermarkets located a short distance from the campus in the villages of Shrivenham and Watchfield, and in the town of Swindon.

We estimate a single person will spend in the region of £40-£50 per week on food.


If you are travelling from a country with a warmer climate than the UK, it is recommended you consider a budget of between £350-£450 for warm winter clothing.

General expenses


Students living off campus will need to budget for travel costs to the campus each day, whether you are running your own car or using public transport. If you plan to use the bus service regularly, you can save money by purchasing a weekly or monthly ticket.


You should expect to pay between £5-£8 per week for using launderette facilities, if you do not have a washing machine.

Telephone and internet

If you live off campus, you may choose to have a land line telephone which will also enable you to have access to internet facilities. The costs of telephone and internet facilities vary, so it is a good idea to compare prices before you choose which company to use.

You may choose to use a mobile phone either on a 'pay as you go' basis or through a monthly contract.


If you have a television you must purchase a .

How much will I need?

To help you with budgeting, we have provided a summary of estimated costs. These are only to be used a guide.

Single students

This is an estimate of monthly living costs to use as a guide, including accommodation.

  • Accommodation: £400-£800
  • Food: £65-£70
  • Travel: £40-£50
  • General expenses*: £150-£200

* General expenses may include: social and leisure activities, telephone calls, laundry and clothing

Couples and families

If your partner or your family are going to be joining you at the University, you must also consider expenses such as the additional costs of accommodation, food or childcare.

This is an estimate of monthly living costs to use as a guide, including accommodation, but excluding childcare.

  • Couple: £2,000 (accommodation: £750-£900)
  • Couple with one child: £2,500 (accommodation: £800-£1,000)
  • Couple with two children: £2,700 (accommodation: £1,100-£1,200)
  • Couple with three children: £2,800 (accommodation: £1,200-£1,500)

International students

To help you plan your budget before coming to the UK you may find it useful to look at our page on managing money at Cranfield.