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Postgraduate Study


The cost of living can be high in Cambridge and we don’t want you to have the difficulty of not being able to support yourself financially throughout your course.

Before you are admitted to study at the University, you will be required to confirm your ability to cover your living expenses (or ‘maintenance requirement’) as well as your course fees. If you are made a conditional offer of admission, you will be asked to complete a PDF Financial Undertaking Form.

We will provide you with an absolute minimum estimate of your likely basic living costs and personal expenses. For 2023/24, the minimum maintenance amount is £17,668. This sum is budgeted to cover rent/accommodation, food, domestic bills, books, travel around Cambridge, personal computer equipment etc. There may also be other additional costs, eg fieldwork costs, additional bench fees, or equipment costs; these will be noted against each course. 

Many research students continue their course into a fourth year and we would recommend that your budget reflects this possibility although you will not be required to provide financial evidence should you overrun.

The maintenance sum required in your offer does not include travel to and from Cambridge.

Part-time students

We do not provide an estimate of maintenance costs for part-time students, as these vary widely between different home locations and circumstances. If you are offered a place for part-time study, you will need to make your own estimate when completing the PDF Financial Undertaking Form. Guidance on making an estimate can be found at Maintenance costs for part-time students.

Arriving in Cambridge

Arriving in Cambridge from overseas and starting here as a student will have some costs. It’s worthwhile planning for these in advance, so they don’t come as a surprise or cause financial problems. Further guidance on costs of arrival can be found on the International Students website


Additional provision for accompanying dependants should be made. The financial condition specified in your offer letter takes account of your statement about accompanying dependants in your application form. Scholarships do not usually provide maintenance for dependants. You may not bring additional dependants to Cambridge before evidence of the extra financial support required has been supplied and the consent of your College obtained.


The cost of childcare in Cambridge is extremely high. Full-time nursery care for pre-school children costs around £10,000 per child per year, and after-school clubs for children of school age cost around £2,000 per child per year. These costs are in addition to the figures requested for your financial guarantee.

Other costs

If you undertake a course involving expensive laboratory materials, you may be expected to contribute towards the cost of your research (in addition to the University Composition Fee). You can find information about this by visiting the finance tab on your course page in the Course Directory. Some courses may involve extra costs for special elements such as conference visits or field trips. Please check the course application information to find out if you will need to make additional provision for this. Please note: the payment for these course costs is arranged through your department, not the Student Registry or the College.

Family Portal

This page is part of the portal for Applicants with Families