International Student Advisors' Office

International Student Advisors' Office


It is usually pretty easy to open a UK bank account and it is the most efficient way to manage your finances while studying here.

The British Bankers Association has published a very useful leaflet for international students called Opening a UK Bank Account.

Most UK Banks will require you to apply in person to open a new account, and to provide the following documentation:

  • Passport (or national I.D. card may be accepted if you are from an EU country)
  • Confirmation of your UK address (lease agreement, accommodation contract, bills, etc)
  • Confirmation of your home address (unconditional offer letter for your course, bank statements, bills, etc)

You may find that some banks will also ask you for additional documents, for example a letter confirming you have registered as a full time student or information on your funding arrangements if you are sponsored by your employer or embassy.

There is a Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Bank on-campus which is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 12pm until 4pm

Please note, students on short courses (six months or less), may not be able to open a bank account or may find it difficult to do so. We would advise such students to check if their bank at home has links with any UK Banks that might help them set up a Bank account here.

The International Student Advisors' Office produces a leaflet called Opening a UK Bank Account (this leaflet is also available in Arabic and Chinese). Please note, on-campus bank opening times on leaflet are now incorrect. The on-campus RBS bank is now only open from 12pm until 4pm (closed on Wednesdays).

Further information and advice on opening a UK bank account is available on the UKCISA website.



This may be the first time you have to manage your finances on your own.

To help you, Student Support has created budgeting guides that you should find useful when trying to budget for your study in the UK:

There is also a helpful budgeting video available here



For more information about managing your money, check the Student Support and Accommodation web pages.

Find out how to plan your own individual student budget.


Banner images courtesy of Edinburgh Inspiring Capital