cheaper for international students
People get coffee from a kiosk in Hyde Park in central London. Source: Tolga Akmen/AFP

Both the UK and Europe are popular study destinations for undergraduate and graduate studies, with each having its particular specialities in some subject areas. 

With an extensive range of courses and world-renowned universities, it’s obvious why the UK is a popular choice for postgraduate study. But are you overlooking potentially cheaper opportunities in its neighbouring countries in Europe? Three considerations were used to compare which country is cheaper for international students: tuition fees, scholarships and grants as well as the overall cost of living.

If you’re in a dilemma about choosing the UK or Europe for your master’s, read on to find out which is cheaper for international students:

Tuition fee comparisons 

cheaper for international students

The average cost international students have to pay for a UK master’s degree is almost twice as expensive as the amount for domestic students. Source: Tolga Akmen/AFP

Rarely will you find UK universities offering a 100% tuition-free study. You will usually have to apply for scholarships and financial aid. 

What’s more, the average cost international students have to pay for a master’s degree in the UK is almost twice as expensive as the amount for local students. To compare, domestic students taking a full-time, taught master’s degree pay an average of 8,407 pounds while international students pay 16,082 pounds. 

Over in Europe, there are plenty of universities that are tuition-free in countries like Norway, Iceland, Germany and Czech Republic. But if you opt for a private university, you may be expected to pay tuition fees. 

While these universities are tuition-free, some may require you to pay administration fees or a small fee if the course is conducted in English. Read here for more info.

Scholarships and grants

cheaper for international students

Both the UK and Europe offer a variety of scholarships for international students to help fund their master’s degree. Source: Jason Davis/Getty Images North American/Getty Images via AFP

Universities in both the UK and Europe offer study grants and merit-based scholarships to help cover your costs, fully or partially. Popular fully-funded scholarships you might’ve heard of include the Chevening Scholarship and the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) Scholarship. 

Although UK unis are mostly not tuition-free, some provide fully-funded scholarships, such as University of East Anglia Scholarship and University of Bath: Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence Scholarship.

These are some of the fully-funded scholarships for a master’s degree in Europe: Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) Scholarship, ICP Connect: VLIR-UOS Master Scholarship and Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Programme.

cheaper for international students

Although the cost of living is much higher in the UK, supermarket-related purchases between the UK and Europe are comparable. Source: Justin Tallis/AFP

Living costs

Comparing living costs in London and EU countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Poland, the UK still proves to be a more expensive country with France coming in second

The comparisons were made across seven categories: housing, transport, utilities, supermarket, entertainment, gym and health and personal care. The only categories that are comparable are supermarket-related purchases and utilities