Helping you through the cost-of-living crisis

With the cost-of-living crisis looming large and and life becoming more expensive, we recognise it can be a huge challenge trying to budget as a student.

So, we've come up with a few things that should help make your money stretch a bit further. Remember, if you find yourself stuck or worried, we've got people on hand to support you and offer advice and practical tools to help.

Help with your finances, budgeting, and discounts

Each of our campuses has a Specialist Adviser who is a member of the National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA) and can provide confidential help with budgeting or financial problems, or give advice about bursaries, financial assistance, bank accounts, tax, national insurance, and student funding. Get in touch with your campus contact below or find out more by visiting our Financial Support page.

Specialist Adviser contacts:

Email: or tel: +44 (0)1227 817 307

Email: or tel: +44 (0)1372 202 441

Email: or tel: +44 (0)1252 892 612

Additional Financial Support

Are you on an undergraduate (UG) or postgraduate (PG) course with us? Are you experiencing an unexpected event or incident that has resulted in financial hardship? Are you struggling with your living expenses and is it effecting your studies? If the answer is yes, UCA have extra financial support to offer you.

Visit to find out what other financial support you’re eligible for.

Or apply for a Master’s Loan or Doctoral Loan.

  • Budgeting

    Proper budgeting can help you take control of your finances and give you peace of mind.

    Your student loan may seem like a lot of money, but it probably needs to last a whole term, and you'll be surprised by how quickly it can run out if you don't have a spending plan in place.

  • Why make a spending plan?

    Major costs like accommodation, travel or bills are often easy to remember, but smaller expenses can really add up.

    For example, something as cheap as a cup of coffee on your way into university, four days a week, can cost a lot of money over an academic year.

    £2.10 x 4 days x 39 weeks (academic year) = £327.60

    Once you have paid for accommodation, bills and other similar expenses, you may find yourself with less than £2500 to live on for the full academic year, so it's important to think about how these little expenses add up and decide what expenditure is essential, and where you can make savings.  

  • Where is your money going?

    If you're not sure what you’re spending your money on, keep a spending diary for a couple of weeks so that you can see exactly where your money is going. Make a note of every purchase, no matter whether you paid by cash or card, or how little you spent.

    When you add these smaller, day-to-day costs to the bigger, monthly or annual costs like rent or bills, you can begin to work out a monthly budget and make decisions about where you can make savings.

    Download Save the Student's student budgeting spreadsheet.

  • Making the most of student discounts

    Make sure you’ve signed up for your Totum, UniDays and Student Beans to get access to hundreds of discounts and deals from eating out and fashion to technology, daily essentials, and travel.

    Don’t assume you can’t get discounts elsewhere, either. Many local cafés, shops or hairdressers in university towns have discounted student rates, so be sure to ask!

    For more useful apps with savings and discounts, check out our blog.

    For more help with your finances, visit our Fees and Finance page.

  • Job vacancies

    Our online careers platform Creative Futures supports your career and personal development, while you’re at UCA and after you graduate.

    You can use it to:

    • Book one-to-one sessions with a UCA careers adviser
    • Search jobs and internship opportunities
    • Access careers information and resources
    • Access LinkedIn learning – the home of more than 6,000 expert-led courses in business, technology, and creative skills
    • Sign up to the newsletter, keeping you up to date with the latest opportunities and events for UCA students and graduates.

Help with your health and wellbeing

If you find things are getting too much or you’re becoming anxious or struggling with your budget, you don't have to try to get through it alone. Our Gateway student support services are on hand to help. Find them in your campus library, or get in touch.

Key contacts:

Our Wellbeing App

The UCA Wellbeing app provides you with the tools to start building healthy, positive habits in your everyday life, including budgeting and money management. 

Creating small daily habits can boost your well-being and help you to become a happier, healthier you.

You can take part in challenges with other students, become part of a global well-being community, track your progress and gain awards to recognise the positive steps you're taking.

Download the UCA Wellbeing app through Apple Store or Google Play.

Useful links:

  • Later opening hours (term time only)

    Our libararies, together with some of our teaching and learning spaces, are now open longer into the evenings on term-time weekdays. Use these spaces to have some time out  away from home and catch up on work, socialise, or just enjoy downtime.

    UCA Libraries

    Canterbury & Farnham Library

    • Monday to Friday 9:00am – 8:00pm
    • Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm
    • Sunday 1:00pm – 5:00pm

     Epsom Library

    • Monday to Friday 9:00am – 10:00pm (piloting an extra late opening)
    • Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm
    • Sunday 1:00pm – 5:00pm

    Learning and Teaching Spaces

    Outside of the core hours (9:00am – 5:00pm), all low-risk spaces, such as seminar rooms, IT studios, and photography studios are open until 8:00pm on weekdays. Look for the low-risk identification on the door signage to each space.

    As well as this, UCA Farnham’s John Luard building is currently open until 9:00pm as part of a pilot for later access.

Help with food and energy costs

Our campus cafeterias offer affordable breakfast items and £2 lunch-pot deals.

And from 9am to 9.45am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, free breakfasts will be available in our cafeteria, across our campuses!

Bring your own mug/reusable cup/flask and you can grab a tea bag, breakfast bar and porridge pot all for free, on production of your Student ID badge.

Each weekday lunchtime you can enjoy a substantial £2 pot meal, including mac & cheese to curry, noodles, or a jacket potato with a topping. Leaving you free to focus on what’s important – unleashing your creativity!

Another great money-saver is to bring teabags, coffee, hot chocolate, ramen, rice pots or cup-a-soups to uni and add hot water in our cafeterias.

Visit the UCASU cost-of-living page to find out more ways you can eat well on a budget.

Useful apps:

  • Too Good To Go – café and restaurant food that is available to purchase at the end of the day for a lower  price.
  • OLIO – food-sharing app.

Microwaves on campus

You said, we did!

Your Students’ Union and UCA teamed-up to bring you microwaves across all campuses.

To help save you some money; bring in your own lunch, heat it up in the microwave, and you’re good to go!

These microwaves are accessible to everyone, so please ensure you keep them clean to allow others to enjoy them too.

Find your closest microwave using the below campus maps:

Energy bills

Recent rises in energy prices have hit everyone hard, but as a student on a limited budget, it's even more understandable to be worried about higher bills.

Check out this useful blog with our top tips for tackling rising energy prices.

Help with study costs

  • Cheaper printing

    Printing your work can be an expensive business, especially if you have a lot of pages to produce for your projects.

    We’ve cut the costs by as much as 25 per cent across the board – so whether it’s a double-sided black and white essay on A4 or a series of colour A3 prints, there’s savings to be made.


    • Double-sided A4 black and white, was 3.75p per page, now 3.5p per page.
    • A3 single-sided colour print, was 40p, now 30p.
  • eBooks

    You have access to over 230,000 electronic books from our collections. Our eBooks can be accessed at any time, on and off campus, wherever you have an internet connection.

  • Magazines

    PressReader provides you with free access to over 7,000 magazines and newspapers from across the world.

  • Streaming Services

    The library subscribes to several streaming services, including BoB (which includes over 75 free-to-air channels and more than 2.2 million recorded TV and radio broadcasts), as well as BFI Player, Kanopy, Digital Theatre Plus and Drama Online.

  • Adobe Creative Suite

    Adobe Creative Suite is available free of charge with 1TB of cloud storage and downloadable copies of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premier Pro and more for use on personal laptops or home computers on any platform.  

  • MS Office

    All students have free access to Microsoft Office 365 with 1TB of cloud storage (OneDrive), a personal blog page, and downloadable copies of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for use on personal laptops or home computers on any platform.

  • LinkedIn Learning

    You will have access to LinkedIn Learning, an online educational platform that helps you discover and develop business, technology-related, and creative skills.

  • Equipment Hire

    You will have access to hire, free of charge, course-related industry-standard equipment from the Equipment Hire department such as cameras, lenses, lighting and much more.

  • Library resources

    To learn more about our library resources watch the Library Introductory video.

Help with travel costs

  • Travelling by bus

    £2 Bus Fare Cap

    Until 31 Oct 2023, there is a national £2 single fare cap on many bus services operated by Stagecoach, Arriva and others. From 1 November 2023 to 31 November 2024, the cap will increase to £2.50 for a single fare. For more information visit the government’s guidance page.

    Surrey LINK Card

    Surrey County Council offers young people aged 20 years and under, half-price single fares.

    Apply for the Surrey LINK card here.

    Save on student travel with Stagecoach

    Stagecoach South offer annual and term-time StudentRider tickets at a significant discount to normal adult season tickets. Annual tickets work out considerably cheaper than buying term-only tickets for the year. Tickets can be used 7 days a week and at all times when services are in operation. 

    For example:

    • StudentRider Blackwater – £650 per year – covers Fleet, Farnborough, Aldershot, Upper Hale, Farnham, Roweldge
    • StudentRider Gold – £800 per year – travel on all stagecoach buses in Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex
    • StudentRider Canterbury – £518 per year – Canterbury local area
    • StudentRider South East – £861 per year – all Stagecoach services in Kent and East Sussex

    For more information on what ticket you can apply for and to download the Stagecoach Bus App click here.

  • Travelling by train

    There is a range of railcards available for young adults that offer 1/3 off of train journeys. The 16-25 railcard costs £30 for a year or £70 for three years. It is also available to mature students over the age of 25. Visit the Railcard website to book your discounted railcard.

    In London, TfL offers a 30% discount on journeys with Student Oyster.

  • Travelling by car

    UCA’s car-sharing platform is available to all students and staff. It’s a great way to share the journey and costs with other UCA students. Visit the Liftsharing platform.



    Park & Stride – Waverley Borough Council offer UCA students and staff discounted term-time parking at Riverside 3 car park near the Sports Centre in Farnham – about a 15-minute walk to campus on a paved, lit route through the town centre. Term-time permits are valid Monday to Saturday and work out at less than £1 a day.

    To apply for your discounted term time permit, visit the Waverly Borough Council website.


    The best rate for regular all-day parking is a Regular Parker Card for Hook Road Car Park costing £15 to run until 31 March 2024. With a regular parker card parking the all-day tariff is reduced to £4.00.

    To apply for a Regular Parker Card visit the Epsom and Ewell Borough Council website.


    New Dover Road Park & Ride is a low-cost option for students. Costing £4 per day, including return bus journey for up to six passengers. The P3 P&R bus, stops every 8 minutes, at St Augustine’s Road next to campus. If you register for an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) account – you get every fifth P&R journey for free.

    To apply for a ANPR account by visiting the Canterbury City Council website.

  • Travelling by bike

    Each campus has ample cycle parking on site and arranges regular visits from organisations like Bikestart to provide free service and repair to bicycles, to help encourage safe and greener transport.

Contact us

Tel: +44 (0)1227 817 307

Tel: +44 (0)1372 202 441

Tel: +44 (0)1252 892 612