Hidden costs of expensive degrees revealed

By Ian Dunt

A new survey of students has revealed for the first time the hidden costs – including textbooks and equipment – of degrees in certain subjects.

The results come days before A-level results are published, and on the same day in which new research revealed the level of debt of students find themselves in after a university degree.

Maths and computer sciences soared in at the top of the list with £1,430 of additional costs, including books, equipment and fieldwork. The figures exclude tuition fees and living expenses.

Medicine and dentistry comes in second with an average of £902 of additional costs. A degree in education comes in last with £432 of additional costs.

National Union of Students (NUS) president Wes Streeting said: “It is completely unacceptable that applicants are left in the dark about the true cost of degrees. Many students preparing to go to university this summer may be in for a real shock.

“Universities need to be much more open about the hidden costs associated with different courses. There should be better information, advice and guidance about student finance on university websites and in their prospectuses.”

The research was published by the NUS, in conjunction with HSBC. It will form part of a forthcoming report by GfK Financial, which asked 1,187 students to fill in an online survey.

Full list of courses:

  • Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science: £1430.40
  • Medicine and Dentistry: £902.16
  • Business and Administrative Studies: £873.36
  • Creative Arts and Design: £701.04
  • Engineering and Technology: £651.60

  • Law:
  • Languages: £635.28
  • Historical and Philosophical Studies: £568.56
  • Social Studies: £539.76
  • Biological Sciences: £539.52
  • Physical Sciences: £499.20
  • Subjects allied to medicine: £461.52
  • Education: £432.48