Which One of UK and USA is Cheap for Masters?

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When it comes to pursuing a master’s degree, many students are faced with the decision of choosing between the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA). Both countries offer excellent educational opportunities, but one of the key factors that often come into play is the cost. Students want to know which country is more affordable for pursuing a master’s degree. In this article, we will explore the cost aspects of studying in the UK and the USA and help you make an informed decision based on your budget and preferences.

Cost of Education in the UK

Tuition Fees

Studying in the UK can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to consider the cost of education. Tuition fees in the UK vary depending on the university, program, and level of study. Generally, international students can expect to pay higher tuition fees compared to domestic students. However, there are also scholarships and financial aid options available to help offset the costs.

The cost of a Masters’s degree in the UK can range from £4,000 to £22,000, depending on your nationality. On average, home students can expect to pay approximately £8,740, while international students usually face higher fees of around £17,109 for a Masters’s program.

Living Expenses

In addition to tuition fees, students also need to consider the cost of living in the UK. Major cities like London tend to have higher living expenses, including accommodation, transportation, food, and leisure activities. On the other hand, smaller towns and cities in the UK may offer a more affordable cost of living.

Living as an international student in the United Kingdom can be quite expensive. However, the amount you spend will largely depend on your choice of location. In popular cities like London, monthly living costs can exceed 1,500 EUR. In smaller towns, you can manage with a budget ranging from 700 to 1,200 EUR per month.

Cost of Education in the USA

Tuition Fees

The cost of education in the USA can vary widely depending on the university and program. Public universities generally have different tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students. International students usually fall under the out-of-state category and may have higher tuition fees. Private universities, on the other hand, often have a standard tuition rate for all students.

The average cost of obtaining a Master’s degree in the USA can vary depending on factors such as the university, state, and field of study. According to several sources, the average tuition for an MS degree in the USA ranges from $18,000 to $65,000 USD per year.

Living Expenses

Similar to the UK, the cost of living in the USA varies depending on the location. Major cities like New York and Los Angeles are known for their high living expenses, while smaller cities and rural areas tend to be more affordable. It’s important to consider factors such as accommodation, transportation, groceries, healthcare, and entertainment when calculating your budget.

The cost of living for students in the USA can vary significantly depending on individual preferences. For international students, estimating living expenses can be done roughly by considering the city of residence. On average, the estimated annual living cost in the USA ranges from $10,000 to $18,000, translating to approximately $1,000 to $1,500 per month.

Which One is Cheaper for Masters: UK or USA?

Now that we have explored the cost aspects of studying in both the UK and the USA, let’s delve into the comparison to determine which one is cheaper for pursuing a master’s degree.

Tuition Fees Comparison

When comparing tuition fees, it’s crucial to note that there is a wide range of universities and programs in both countries. However, on average, public universities in the USA tend to have lower tuition fees compared to their UK counterparts. This is particularly true for in-state students at public universities in the USA. Private universities in both countries generally have higher tuition fees.

Cost of Living Comparison

The cost of living is another significant factor to consider. While major cities in both the UK and the USA can be expensive, the UK, particularly London, is known for its higher living expenses. Accommodation, transportation, and everyday expenses are often more affordable in the USA, especially in smaller cities and rural areas.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

It’s important to explore scholarship and financial aid opportunities when considering the cost of education. Both the UK and the USA offer various scholarships and grants for international students. However, the availability and eligibility criteria may differ. Researching and applying for scholarships can significantly reduce the financial burden of pursuing a master’s degree.

Scholarships offered by the Government of UK

  • Chevening Scholarships: The UK government’s global scholarship program, Chevening Scholarships, is awarded to exceptional scholars from Chevening-eligible countries worldwide. These scholarships typically cover tuition fees, a living allowance for one individual, a round-trip economy class airfare to the UK, and additional grants for essential expenses. The duration of the scholarship is usually one year for a Master’s degree.
  • Scotland Saltire Scholarships: The Scottish Government, in collaboration with Scottish universities, offers Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships to citizens from Canada, China (including Hong Kong), India, Japan, Pakistan, and the USA. These scholarships are available for full-time Master’s degrees delivered entirely by Scottish universities in fields such as science, technology, creative industries, healthcare and medical sciences, and renewable and clean energy. Each scholarship is worth £8,000 and covers tuition fees for one year of full-time study.
  • Global Wales Postgraduate Scholarships for International Students: The Global Wales Postgraduate Scholarship program provides scholarships of up to £10,000 for international students from Vietnam, India, the USA, and European Union countries. These scholarships support full-time Master’s programs in Wales.
  • Great Scholarships: GREAT Scholarships offer students from various countries, including Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam, the opportunity to receive £10,000 towards their tuition fees for a wide range of one-year taught postgraduate courses.
  • Commonwealth Masters Scholarships: The Commonwealth Scholarships are aimed at students from developing Commonwealth countries who wish to pursue a Master’s degree in the UK. These scholarships, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), cover airfare to and from the United Kingdom, tuition and examination fees, a personal maintenance allowance, a thesis grant (if applicable), an initial arrival allowance, and more.

Scholarships offered by the Government of USA

  • Foreign Fulbright Student Program: The Foreign Fulbright Student Program offers full scholarships to international students who wish to pursue a Master’s or Ph.D. degree in the USA. These scholarships can also be awarded for non-degree postgraduate studies. The grant covers tuition fees, textbooks, airfare, a living stipend, and health insurance.
  • Humphrey Fellowship Program: The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program provides a year of professional enrichment in the United States for experienced professionals from selected countries around the world. Fellows are chosen based on their leadership potential and commitment to public service in the public or private sector. The fellowships are fully funded grants that cover all associated expenses.

Scholarship offered by universities in the USA

  • AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship Program: American University provides scholarships to high-achieving international students who wish to pursue a Bachelor’s degree at the university. Who are committed to making positive civic and social changes. This scholarship is designed for students who plan to return to their home country and contribute to the development of under-resourced and underserved communities. The AU EGL scholarship covers all billable expenses at American University, including full tuition, room, and board, for one international student who will require a visa (preferably an F-1 or J-1 student visa) to study in the United States.
  • Amherst College Scholarships: Amherst College offers a need-based financial aid program to assist financially needy international students. Once admitted, your financial need will be assessed, and an aid package equal to your need will be offered. This package may include both self-help options like employment and gift aid in the form of scholarships and grants.
  • Berea College Scholarships: Berea College provides financial aid and scholarships to all admitted international students that cover 100% of tuition, room, board, and fees for the first year of enrollment. In subsequent years, international students are expected to save $1,000 (US) to contribute towards their expenses. The college also offers summer jobs to international students to help meet this obligation.
  • Clark University Scholarships: Clark University offers the Clark Presidential Scholarships, which are prestigious awards given to students with outstanding academic records. Leadership potential. Approximately five students are selected each year to receive these scholarships, which cover full tuition, on-campus room, and board for all four years of study, regardless of the family’s financial need.

Work Opportunities

Another aspect to consider is the availability of work opportunities for international students. In the UK, students are allowed to work part-time during their studies, which can help offset some of the expenses. The USA also provides work options for students, but it’s important to be aware of the regulations and restrictions imposed by the student visa.


Can international students work while studying in the UK?

Yes, international students studying in the UK are generally allowed to work part-time during their studies. However, there are limitations on the number of hours and certain restrictions depending on the type of visa. It’s important to check the specific guidelines set by the UK government and your university.

Are there scholarships available for international students in the USA?

Yes, there are scholarships available for international students in the USA. Many universities and organizations offer scholarships and grants based on merit, academic achievements, and other criteria. It’s advisable to research and apply for scholarships well in advance to increase your chances of receiving financial aid.

How can I reduce the cost of living in the UK or the USA?

To reduce the cost of living, you can consider various strategies such as opting for shared accommodation, cooking at home instead of eating out, using public transportation instead of owning a car, and taking advantage of student discounts. It’s also important to create a budget and track your expenses to ensure you stay within your means.

Can I work in the UK or the USA after completing my master’s degree?

Both the UK and the USA provide post-study work opportunities for international students. However, the regulations and requirements differ. In the UK, the Graduate Route allows international students to work for up to 2 years after completing their degree. In the USA, the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program provides temporary employment authorization for up to 12 months (or up to 36 months for STEM graduates). It’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and processes to make an informed decision.

Is healthcare included in the cost of education in the UK and the USA?

In the UK, international students are generally required to pay for their healthcare through the National Health Service (NHS) surcharge. This provides access to healthcare services during their studies. In the USA, healthcare costs are not typically included in the cost of education. Students are responsible for obtaining health insurance coverage either through their university or independently.


Choosing between the UK and the USA for pursuing a master’s degree involves considering various factors, including the cost of education. While the UK is known for its higher living expenses, the USA offers relatively lower tuition fees and a more affordable cost of living, particularly in smaller cities. It’s essential to research and compare specific universities, programs, scholarships, and work opportunities to make an informed decision based on your circumstances and budget. Remember to consider not only the cost but also the quality of education, cultural experiences, and career prospects in your chosen field of study.

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