Housing costs for students in Edinburgh

“Student housing is Edinburgh is very expensive”, “Not another student residence [being built]” were recurring themes as I accompanied Ann Henderson in her successful campaign to become Rector of the University of Edinburgh.

I decided to take a wee look at the evidence by systematically tabulating the data from providers’ websites.

Largely not cheap!

A summary for each provider is available here (pdf).


Data is for the next academic year where known.

Rents are per bed ie twin occupancy counts as two beds where numbers are shown. Not all providers give numbers per type of accomodation hence calculation as below.

Each residence has a range of rents, income is calculated assuming full occupancy for:

  • all beds in a residence at minimum cost
  • all beds in a residence at maximum cost

and then average rent per month per provider is (provider minimum income + maximum income)/(provider beds * 2).

Information about numbers of residences by rent cost range, size in beds of residences, and minimum lease length per residence is available here (pdf).

A summary for each residence with clickable links is available here (pdf) and with notes here (pdf).


Beds provided Full-time students %Beds/ FT students [1] Part-time students
Edinburgh Napier 1241 10525 12% 2385
Heriot-Watt 1865 8970 21% 1535
Queen Margaret University 800 3595 22% 1610
University of Edinburgh 8738 28415 31% 3490
Total 12644 51505 9020

Note that number of students per institution is a variable number! I’ve used 2016/17 HESA data. Edinburgh College data is omitted.

[1] All the terms of lease I looked at were for full-time students only.

Bursaries and loans in Scotland


37 weeks 38 weeks 40 weeks 44 weeks 51 weeks










Sources can be found in a separate article here.


Thanks to Living Rent for encouraging me to write this blog article.

Please let me know of any errors or omissions.

[Article amended 12 Mar 2018 to make if clear it’s cost per bed; and lease terms]


4 thoughts on “Housing costs for students in Edinburgh

  1. Hi, it might be worth clarifying what the average monthly rent relates to: per property or per bed. When I saw the figures of >£1,000/mo I assumed it was per property, but calculated it myself at per bed! Madness!

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