Cost of Living and Currency & Banking

Cost of Living

Cost of living can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle, budget, and spending habits.

Please remember that even if you have chosen accommodation with a catering option, you will need to buy lunches. Food costs will vary depending on taste and dietary needs, but will account for a significant part of your budget.

With our shopping guide you can personalise your food budget and check costs of UK and international foods and find out where to buy them.

You can use this online tool to help you plan a budget before coming to the UK to help estimate costs.

 

Currency & Banking

Scotland has Pound Sterling (GBP) as the currency. There are three banks in Scotland authorised to issue bank notes: Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank. Notes issued from these banks are different to those issued in other parts of the UK, but can usually be accepted anywhere.

Please note although you can use Scottish money in England, it can be legally refused. This is usually due to worries about fraud and counterfeit notes.

Banks in Scotland are generally open between 9am and 5pm Monday–Friday as well as Saturday mornings. Most cash machines across Edinburgh use the LINK network which means almost all bank cards should be accepted in most machines. Some cash machines charge for withdrawals but these are less common than free machines and they always state clearly that you have to pay.

It is important to remember that withdrawing cash from a non-UK bank account can incur a charge if you use cash machines or may incur a conversion fee for withdrawals from your home currency.