Finance and Money

Opening a Bank Account

Below is the general process of opening a bank account in the UK.

  • Go to a branch of your chosen bank and fill in the relevant form. You will need to bring the following documents:
    • Proof of Identification (Passport)
    • Proof of Immigration Permission (Visa/BRP) - International only
    • Proof of residence (Tenancy agreement/ Household bill in your name)

It can take between 3 days and 2 weeks for the bank to open your account and send you your Bank Card.


  • Do not carry a large amount of cash on you in the UK
  • Bring GBP, you can exchange this at most airports and post offices in the UK if you have not done this before you arrive. You will not be able to use US Dollars or any other currency to pay for products or services.
  • Ensure that you keep the cash on your person when travelling. Use a body belt or similar to carry cash and other valuables. You should not place any cash in your hold baggage.

Please note that Brunel University London Pathway College cannot take responsibility for cash lost by students. It is your responsibility to keep it safe.

Travel Costs

If you plan to live off-campus you will need to budget for travel costs, and in any case, you will want to travel both within and outside of the local area in your free time.

Uxbridge is part of the London transport network, so you can use your contactless debit/credit card, or buy an Oyster Card to use on buses, the tube and local trains. In addition, you will be eligible to apply for a student Oyster through the TFL (transport for London) website.

If you live further than two miles from the campus, or if you are a disabled student and you will travel by car, you will be eligible to apply for a parking permit (please remember that you will need a valid UK driving license). Students may not park a car at the University if they are living on or within two miles of the campus.

Course Materials

You will need to set aside money for course materials and study equipment, such as stationary and textbooks. Good second-hand or new books and materials are available Amazon and eBay as well as most highstreets bookshops.


How much you spend on entertainment – such as socialising, eating out and your hobbies – will vary greatly depending on your interests. Membership fees for University clubs and societies vary – some are free, and others give access to reduced price activities. The food court, bars and nightclub on campus offer very good value for money.

Advice and Support

The Advice and Representation Centre (ARC), run by the Students’ Union, provide free, confidential, accurate and independent information on a range of areas that may affect your life whilst studying and working. This includes advice on financial issues such as:

  • Budget planning
  • Welfare and benefit entitlement
  • Employment issues
  • Debt negotiation and counselling
  • Council tax queries
  • Student support queries and advice on the University Hardship Fund.

How to budget your money at university