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Managing Finances

Managing your money after you have moved to a new country can be a daunting thought. Don’t worry, though – the information provided here, in addition to the support available at university, will help you work through any financial questions or issues you may encounter during your studies. 

Tuition Fees

As part of your application process your tuition fees for the upcoming academic year would have been outlined to you. In addition, they will also be stated on your CAS document. These fees cover the cost of your learning at university for the upcoming academic year. If your course involves multiple years of study, you will incur a tuition fee cost for each year. Depending on your circumstances, you may also have different options available to you in paying for your fees. 

For information on how to pay for your fees, please visit the university’s fees and funding webpages. Please note you cannot pay your fees to the university in cash. 

To find out whether you are eligible for tuition fee instalments, check here 

Typically, you are required to pay a deposit as part of the unconditional offer. You would then pay an additional amount at the point of enrolment. If you are not able to pay the required fees, you will not be able to enrol onto your course. Please note that if you do not enrol onto your course within the enrolment timeframe, you will not be able to engage in study and your sponsorship may be withdrawn. 

If you have paid the entirety of your fees upfront, you will not have to worry about any additional payments for the remainder of the year. 

If the University has agreed that you are able to pay your fees in instalments, the instalment plan for your intake is available here. It is important that you understand and adhere to the payment plan set out. If you think you may not be able to pay the remaining tuition fee by the instalment date, it is important that you contact the University as soon as possible to discuss your options. You will receive reminder emails close to the payment dates from our Credit Control team. You are expected to respond to these emails with queries should you find paying these fees difficult. It is advised not to wait until it is too late.

Non payment of fees can result in your visa sponsorship being withdrawn and you will be unable to graduate.

If you are being sponsored to study in the UK, please provide details of the sponsorship during the enrolment process. If you have any documentation confirming this arrangement, please provide them to the university as soon as possible. 

Maintenance Funds

As part of your Student Route visa application, you demonstrated that you held the required funds to sustain yourself in the UK for the first 9 months of your course, which would be a minimum of £9,207. It is important that you retain this money in your account until you arrive in the UK, as this is used to support yourself throughout your studies. 

We have seen increasing numbers of students being requested to present their financial evidence at the border on arrival in the UK. Please ensure that you have a recent bank statement to show the border control officer, if requested. It is also advisable to have access to online banking so you can quickly demonstrate the finances available to you, particularly if your bank statement is deemed to be too old. If you are not able to provide evidence of finances, you may not be permitted to progress through border control and formally enter the UK. 

Your maintenance funds should provide you with sufficient money to support your stay in the UK, and can be supplemented with wages accrued from paid work, if your conditions of leave permits employment. Presently, finding part time work in the local area is difficult, so be prepared to spend several weeks, possibly months, finding a job that is suitable.

The cost of living in the UK has risen. Food prices and energy costs have increased significantly. Be prepared for this and ensure that you have the required amount of money available to you for the duration of your studies.

If you find that studying in the UK is beyond what you can afford, speak to us as soon as possible to explore your options.  

Access to Funds

We advise you to open a UK bank account as soon as you arrive and have a UK address. Most utility companies expect payments to be made via standing order from a UK account, which is important if you’re renting privately. Furthermore, payment for part-time and full-time work would usually be paid by an employer into a UK bank account. It may also help to have funds in a UK account should you require a visa extension in the future, as it may be quicker to obtain evidence of funds if required. 

There are many high-street banks offering student accounts in Sunderland. It is advisable to do your research and work out which the best banking product is for you, with a lot of information available on the bank’s website, or if you visit a branch in the city centre. Once you have decided on a bank, you will need to visit the Gateway to obtain a bank letter. This letter provides evidence of your studies in the UK, and contains a record of your UK address which the bank requires to open an account.  

Please ensure that you have access to funds to support yourself in the UK whilst you work through the process of opening a UK bank account. You may be able to access your home country bank account in the meantime, but this is not always possible and there can be delays. Please check this before arrival.

There are also a growing number of online banks operating in the UK, and in some cases with specific accounts targeted for students. These include: 

One of the advantages of Wise is that they do not require a UK address to open an account. If you need access to funds but do not have a long-term address in the UK yet, this may be a good option for you. 

How can we help you manage your money?

The Student Financial Guidance Team is the University's expert provision of information and guidance for students on any aspect of their finance. The service is free, confidential, impartial and non-judgmental. Your initial contact with the team will be by telephone or email. If they cannot answer your query immediately, the team will arrange an appointment with you at your convenience. 

Phone: 0191 515 2284
Email: studentfinancialguidance@sunderland.ac.uk 

The team provide as much information as possible to help students coming to the University of Sunderland from overseas countries to prepare financially to study in Sunderland, as well as to budget for expected costs while you are here.  

It can be difficult to work out a budget when studying in another country, as you may not be aware of how much you will need to pay for essential living costs. Student Financial Guidance give a great deal of advice on the team’s webpages on what to expect and how to manage your money whilst studying in the UK. Please see their dedicated International Students page.

You will also find the UKCISA website (UK Council for International Student Affairs) a fantastic resource of information and guidance for students planning to study in the UK. See www.ukcisa.org.uk/ 

Cashless Campus

The University of Sunderland has moved to a cashless campus model. This means that all transactions, including food and drink outlets on-campus, do not accept cash as payment. This also includes the payment of tuition fees. Therefore, it is important that you have access to banking facilities which will enable you to pay by card or via contactless payment whilst you’re on campus.  

However, there are plenty of shops and restaurants in the city who continue to take cash payments. Both of our campuses are close to the city centre, supermarkets, and places to eat – so you will always have a range of options depending on your method of payment.