The Student Room Group

Cost of living in Oxford as a postgrad

Oxford has a reputation as being one of the UK's more expensive cities to live in (maybe not on a par with London, but not far of...)


I'd like to do my PGCE at Oxford, but I'm worried about struggling financially.

For context, I'll be eligible for government funding to cover the course fees, and a £25K bursary for other costs, or a £27k bursary from the British Council. I was also hoping to save some of this bursary to see me through the 6 months after graduation, as I won't be guaranteed to instantly walk into a teaching job once I finish. I don't have any savings behind me, unfortunately.


Thoughts? Thank you in advance.

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Original post by Failedlawyer33
Oxford has a reputation as being one of the UK's more expensive cities to live in (maybe not on a par with London, but not far of...)


I'd like to do my PGCE at Oxford, but I'm worried about struggling financially.

For context, I'll be eligible for government funding to cover the course fees, and a £25K bursary for other costs, or a £27k bursary from the British Council. I was also hoping to save some of this bursary to see me through the 6 months after graduation, as I won't be guaranteed to instantly walk into a teaching job once I finish. I don't have any savings behind me, unfortunately.


Thoughts? Thank you in advance.

Assuming you're not entitled to college accommodation and have to find your own then pretty much the cheapest option will be a house share, which in my experience (but bear in mind I'm not a student) tends to tally up to minimum of £750 a month (bills included). Many are more though, I live in Jericho in a house share and pay £800 a month (bills included). Jericho is fairly central though, I suspect areas like Summertown and Cowley which are a bit further out can be somewhat cheaper. And Botley is generally a little cheaper too despite it being closer to the station, a lot of the house shares I've seen there are a bit grim though so that might explain the slight difference in price. Quite a lot of house shares specify they're only available for students though and they are probably somewhat cheaper than professional house shares but I don't imagine by much. I would recommend you start your search by using spareroom.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 2
Original post by Sorcerer of Old
Assuming you're not entitled to college accommodation and have to find your own then pretty much the cheapest option will be a house share, which in my experience (but bear in mind I'm not a student) tends to tally up to minimum of £750 a month (bills included). Many are more though, I live in Jericho in a house share and pay £800 a month (bills included). Jericho is fairly central though, I suspect areas like Summertown and Cowley which are a bit further out can be somewhat cheaper. And Botley is generally a little cheaper too despite it being closer to the station, a lot of the house shares I've seen there are a bit grim though so that might explain the slight difference in price. Quite a lot of house shares specify they're only available for students though and they are probably somewhat cheaper than professional house shares but I don't imagine by much. I would recommend you start your search by using spareroom.


Thank you. I should be eligible for college accommodation, if I choose a college which still has places in halls left. Can't college accommodation also be quite costly? I used to live in halls in Cambridge, and those rooms were quite expensive.
Original post by Failedlawyer33
Thank you. I should be eligible for college accommodation, if I choose a college which still has places in halls left. Can't college accommodation also be quite costly? I used to live in halls in Cambridge, and those rooms were quite expensive.

Yes, it can be quite costly. You would have to enquire beforehand and then assess whether your finances allow you to survive in Oxford for the duration of a PGCE.
Reply 4
Original post by Sorcerer of Old
Yes, it can be quite costly. You would have to enquire beforehand and then assess whether your finances allow you to survive in Oxford for the duration of a PGCE.


In Cambridge, certain smaller/more modern rooms were significantly more affordable than large/old-world rooms which were more popular with students. That said, none of it was cheap. I would need to evaluate whether house share or halls is more affordable, and also whether the cost of living in Oxford is worth it for the prestige of its degree (which is only a PGCE, not an academic one).
Original post by psawyer
Hi there,

I also would like to do my PGCE at Oxford but don't know where to start looking for bursaries. Where could I find this out?

Thanks :smile:


These are the subject bursaries for 2023/24 - https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-and-support/scholarships-and-bursaries
Original post by Failedlawyer33
Oxford has a reputation as being one of the UK's more expensive cities to live in (maybe not on a par with London, but not far of...)


I'd like to do my PGCE at Oxford, but I'm worried about struggling financially.

For context, I'll be eligible for government funding to cover the course fees, and a £25K bursary for other costs, or a £27k bursary from the British Council. I was also hoping to save some of this bursary to see me through the 6 months after graduation, as I won't be guaranteed to instantly walk into a teaching job once I finish. I don't have any savings behind me, unfortunately.


Thoughts? Thank you in advance.

I know someone who knows all about this: @gjd800 :smile:
Original post by Failedlawyer33
In Cambridge, certain smaller/more modern rooms were significantly more affordable than large/old-world rooms which were more popular with students. That said, none of it was cheap. I would need to evaluate whether house share or halls is more affordable, and also whether the cost of living in Oxford is worth it for the prestige of its degree (which is only a PGCE, not an academic one).

By no means an expert but I don't think Oxford is worth it for a PGCE if it means you could potentially struggle financially. Plenty of other more affordable unis in other parts of the country for that.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Failedlawyer33
and also whether the cost of living in Oxford is worth it for the prestige of its degree (which is only a PGCE, not an academic one).

Just to note that Oxford, like Cambridge, has a residency requirement for postgrads, as well as undergrads. You must reside within 25 miles of Carfax Tower. This does mean you could live out of Oxford and commute in - could perhaps work out a bit cheaper.
Reply 9
I lived in digs on a 9k bursary and that 9k did me just fine with no other funding.
25k, you'll be flush. Seriously.
Original post by Failedlawyer33
In Cambridge, certain smaller/more modern rooms were significantly more affordable than large/old-world rooms which were more popular with students. That said, none of it was cheap. I would need to evaluate whether house share or halls is more affordable, and also whether the cost of living in Oxford is worth it for the prestige of its degree (which is only a PGCE, not an academic one).


Where you get your PGCE makes absolutely no difference. Is this secondary and which subject? There are plenty of jobs in teaching at the moment ...
Reply 12
Original post by gjd800
25k, you'll be flush. Seriously.

Haha that's comforting to know, thank you. I'm really looking for the cheapest room in halls - it doesn't need to be big or fancy, as I'll only be sleeping and reading there in the evenings!
Reply 13
Original post by Muttley79
Where you get your PGCE makes absolutely no difference. Is this secondary and which subject? There are plenty of jobs in teaching at the moment ...


I know there's a shortage of teachers - particularly in languages, which is my subject (French, or possibly French with Spanish).
Original post by Failedlawyer33
Haha that's comforting to know, thank you. I'm really looking for the cheapest room in halls - it doesn't need to be big or fancy, as I'll only be sleeping and reading there in the evenings!

I was in the GAB and took the smallest room. I was barely ever in it so made no odds to me! It was absolutely fine.
Reply 15
Original post by gjd800
I was in the GAB and took the smallest room. I was barely ever in it so made no odds to me! It was absolutely fine.


What's the GAB?
Original post by Failedlawyer33
What's the GAB?

Pembroke's grad accom, it's down by Folly Bridge off Abingdon Road.
Original post by Failedlawyer33
I know there's a shortage of teachers - particularly in languages, which is my subject (French, or possibly French with Spanish).


So why did you post that you may not get a job easily?

Seriously I recruit for my school and where you do your PGCE is unimportant. I'd research where your placements will be [ie how far and will I need a car?].
Reply 18
Original post by Muttley79
So why did you post that you may not get a job easily?

Seriously I recruit for my school and where you do your PGCE is unimportant. I'd research where your placements will be [ie how far and will I need a car?].

I didn't say that I won't get a job in general, but asked whether getting a job in London might be more difficult if I don't study there, and therefore don't build a rapport with schools there.
Original post by Failedlawyer33
I didn't say that I won't get a job in general, but asked whether getting a job in London might be more difficult if I don't study there, and therefore don't build a rapport with schools there.


Where did you say you wanted to teach in London in your first post? Why - I wouldn't consider it because it's so expensive. Train in London if you want to teach there.

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