Working out your budget

How much does it all cost?

Starting University is a big decision and is potentially life changing. Before you start, try to work out what your income and expenditure will be.

Apply early for all your support and know what your income will be. If you have applied for Student Finance you will receive an entitlement letter showing a breakdown of the amount you will receive and when the payments are due.

For the majority of students under the age of 25, if your household income is above the threshold for the maximum support (above £25,000), it is expected that your parents will make up the difference. Talk to them about what, if any, support they will give you and when. A monthly allowance may be better than one single payment or ad hoc amounts. For those who are entitled to the full amount of Student Finance (household income under £25,000), parental contributions are not expected.

You can get an estimate of the amount of student finance you would be entitled to before you actually apply by using the Student Finance calculator at  Remember to add the Leeds College of Music Bursary if you meet the criteria.

How much does being a student at Leeds College of Music actually cost?

Your living costs will vary according to your circumstances and your lifestyle expectations, but for students in year one, living away from home, the following is a guide:


Essential Items

Suggested average amount per week

Rent in Joseph Stones House (single en-suite room)

From £125 to £142 (most rooms are £133) per week. Tenancy is for  43 weeks
*prices correct for 16/17

Rent in other student accommodation in Leeds

From £90 to £140 per week (for 43 weeks)

Rent in shared student house

£70- £80 per week  (for 52 weeks)



Utilities (gas, electricity and water are included in halls, but not usually in shared houses).

£10 to £20 per week (but could vary widely)

Mobile contract

£7.50 per week

Daily travel to conservatoire

Nil if within walking/cycling distance, otherwise budget for about £3.00 per day. Check the First Buses website.

Travel to home once per term

The train/coach fare - depends where you live!

Miscellaneous costs (toiletries, laundry, hairdressing, clothes)


Course costs (stationery, memory devices, instrument maintenance, concerts/gigs)

£5.00 average
(You will receive £3.00 printing credit (50 sheets) at the start of term.

Travel to work placement for some students (depends on course)

Around £22.00 per week maximum if travelling within West Yorkshire  (16-25 M card)


Other “non-essential” items you may want to budget for:

  • Buying equipment e.g. laptop (everything you need in terms of IT equipment and software is provided for you to use in the conservatoire.)

  • Your social life!

  • Presents/Christmas/birthdays

  • Alcohol and Cigarettes (a ten a day habit will cost you at least £1,500 per year! )  

  • Clubs/hobbies/gym

 Annual or one – off / start up costs

  • TV Licence (£145.50)

  • Instrument/equipment insurance

  • Household items such as bedding, towels, kitchen equipment.

  • Deposit for next year’s accommodation- You may have to pay around £250 when you sign a contract for your 2nd year accommodation in the Spring or Summer term

  • Freshers' week fun!

Points to remember

The maximum student finance available for living costs is calculated according to what the Government thinks you need to cover basic living costs only. It is not expected to cover an extravagant social life, or the purchase of expensive equipment.

The maximum support available for most students starting in 2017 from the Government and the conservatoire will be £9,430 for those with household incomes of less than £25,000. If you receive less than this, due to the income assessment process, you should discuss with your parents how much support, if any, they are willing to give to make up the difference.  If they cannot, or will not, top up your income you will need to find another source of income such as a part-time job. 

Don’t spend all your money at the start of term! The maintenance loan and any grant are paid in three equal instalments at the start of each term.  However, the terms are not of equal length so you need to plan for this and ensure you don’t run out of money before the next payment.  If your student finance has been finalised in time, you will receive payments into your bank account as follows: (dates are approximate)

4 days after enrolment (September 2017)

First instalment of maintenance loan– 1/3 of total amount.

Around 24th November 2017

First instalment of LCoM bursary – 25% of total (if eligible)

Around 8th January 2018

Second instalment of maintenance loan - 1/3 of total amount

Around 23rd February 2018

Second instalment of LCoM bursary – 50% of total (if eligible)

Around 1 week after Easter Bank Holiday 2018

Third instalment of  maintenance loan - 1/3 of total amount

Around 19th May 2018

Third instalment of LCoM bursary – 25% of total (if eligible)

Some student accommodation, including Joseph Stones House, requires a substantial payment of rent before the keys are issued. This will be before enrolment, so you will not have received your loan/grant.  If this is likely to be a problem consider how you will deal with this – you could look at alternative, cheaper accommodation, open a student bank account with an overdraft as soon as you have your UCAS confirmation in August, or contact the landlord to see if they are willing to defer some of the payment until your receive your funding.

Note that your maintenance loan will only be paid at the start of term, if you apply on time, provide all the appropriate evidence requested, and return your signed online declaration. The deadline for on time applications is usually around the end of May. If you apply late, you may need to consider what you will live on in the meantime. 

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Calculating your budget

Get started with this Student Budget calculator.
Read more detailed advice for students about money and budgeting.

Next steps

Further Education

With our BTECs in Music and Music Technology you can develop your musical interests and expertise in a conservatoire environment.


Refine your craft in Classical, Jazz, Popular, New Music, Production, Film Music or Music Business.


Further your studies, focus on your specialism and work alongside Creative Practitioners with our MMus Creative Musican.