About living in Dundee

We think Dundee has the best location of any Scottish city, spread along the northern shore of the River Tay. There are two universities, an Islamic & Arabic Centre and a college, which means there are over 40,000 students in the city each year.

It's small enough to easily walk or cycle around the city. Locally there are miles of coastline, glens, lochs, trails and forests to explore. The pretty seaside town of Broughty Ferry is very close, and not forgetting the Dundonians themselves, who are among the friendliest, most welcoming and entertaining people you will ever meet...

Find out all about being a student here in Dundee.


students cycling dundee cycle path


Getting to Dundee

The majority of our overseas students fly into Edinburgh International airport or fly to a London airport then travel to Dundee from there.

You'll find full travel instructions on the page about how to find us, then scroll down to select your option for travelling by car, train, bus or by plane.


There are large supermarkets and smaller specialist food stores in Dundee, as well as many restaurants, takeaways and cafes. 

Food shops

  • Alnoor Halal Food Store, 202 Blackness Road, Dundee, DD1 5PL

  • Bismallah Halal Food Store, 154 Hilltown, Dundee, DD3 7BG

  • The Health Store, 95 Commercial Street, Dundee, DD1 2AF

  • Lidl Supermarket, West Marketgait

  • Tesco Supermarket, Riverside Drive (open 24hrs)

  • Tesco Express, 80A Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4ER

  • Continental Food Store, 146 Hilltown, Dundee, DD3 7BJ

  • Global Grocers and Butchers, 9 Guthrie Street, Dundee, DD1 4DP

  • Polski Skelp Kubus Dundee (Polish Deli), 317 Hilltown, Dundee, DD3 7AQ

  • Russian Food Store (Slavyanski), 236 Blackness Road, Dundee, DD2 1RG

  • Wing Fung Cash and Carry, 45-47 Trades Lane

  • Matthews Chinese Market, Gellatly Street, Dundee, DD1 3DY

Cafes and restaurants

There’s all the usual food choices here, but why not try Japanese, Thai, Mexican, New Zealand or Lebanese cuisine for a change? There are great restaurants and cafes right across the city:

Dundee is famous for its amazing bakeries. So why not try a Dundee pie or a local pasty called a 'bridie'?

Dundee living costs

A 2021 survey named Dundee the cheapest city in Scotland for students.

Monthly household costs are roughly 20% cheaper than the national average, which means Dundee gives you great value for money.

These are averages of the some of the costs of living here, from student accommodation to everyday items such as food.

Average per month (general e.g. accommodation, food etc)

  • Accommodation: £450-£650+.

  • Electricity/Gas: £50+.

  • Food: £120-£170.

  • Textbooks*: £12-£30.

  • Laundry: £12-£15.

  • Mobile/Cell**: £25.

  • Personal Hygiene Items: £10-£12.


Library Photocopying – A4:

  • 5p single sided.

  • 8p double sided.

  • 20p single colour.

  • 38p double sided.


*Textbooks can be bought second hand reasonably cheaply and will also be found in the University Library.
**This average cost does not include how much you would might spend on social calls or calls home per month.

Electrical appliances average cost

  • Small electrical appliances such as a hairdryer/kettle/iron: £15.

  • Laptop/notebook: £250 upwards (pre-owned).

Clothing average cost

You may be able to find some of the clothing items listed here cheaper in a supermarket than from a retail store.

  • T-shirts/Underwear: £3+.

  • Lightweight shirts/sweaters: £5+.

  • Jeans/casual trousers/skirts: £15+.

  • Lightweight outdoors jacket: £20+.

  • Heavier sweater, heavier shoes: £20+.

  • Raincoats/other coats: £30+.

  • Outerwear boots: £30+.

  • Winter coat: £50.


Bus travel average cost

Travel by bus in/around Dundee: 

  • Day saver ticket costs £2.80 or Student Saver (weekly) ticket costs £10.30.

Travel by bus outside Dundee:

  • Megabus Travel around Scotland starts from £2 return. Booking in advance keeps the cost low.

Socialising and leisure average costs

Student discounts are offered at many local shops, theatres, cinemas, museums, galleries, bars/nightclubs and leisure facilities. Student discounts are also available on buses and trains. Please ask the Student Association for more details.

  • Alcohol (wine/beer): £3-£7 per drink
  • Newspapers/magazines:£1+
  • Restaurant meal: £8 per head +
  • Cinema ticket: £6.50
  • Theatre ticket: £10+
  • Concert ticket: £20
  • Nightclub entry: £5+
  • Leisure centre (swimming/tennis etc): £4+
  • Telephone charge cards: 30p and upwards

If you are interested in a gym membership, there is a Pure Gym nearby that starts at £6.99 per month for a student membership with UniDays, or a student Dundee Leisureactive membership is £25/month with access to pools, classes and facilities across Dundee. It's worth shopping around many have student discounts.  

Miscellaneous costs such as insurance

  • Haircut: from £6 (men) or £25+ (women)
  • Insurance (Endsleigh Insurance)*: £16 per month
  • Personal health insurance: prices will vary
  • Television licence**: £159 paid monthly


**You must be covered by a TV Licence to download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer either live, catch up or on demand.

Living in Scotland/UK

Is the Scottish accent difficult to understand?

The Scottish accent is regional and can be stronger in some areas. Dundee has it’s variation called 'Dundonian'. It will normally take a couple of weeks for your ear to become attuned to the accent, and no-one will mind if you politely ask them to repeat themselves.

If you have the required English language proficiency, you shouldn’t have any difficulties in lectures. 

These may help you become familiar with the Scottish accent:


Do I need warm clothes? I've heard Scotland is cold.

Dundee is the sunniest city in Scotland with over 1400 hours of sunshine per year.

During the autumn (October, November) and winter (December, January and February) months you will need warm and waterproof clothing, as the weather can get wet and cold. January and February is the coldest time, when the temperature can be below freezing at night, with occasional snow.

In the autumn, the weather begins to turn colder and wetter, and we recommended you bring waterproof, warmer clothes with you or buy them when you get here. 


Do I need an adapter for using electrical items?

You will need an adapter to use the electricity.

In the UK, electricity works on 240 volts/50 cycles and most sockets take 13amp square pin fused plugs. We recommend bringing a square three-pin fused adapter plug with you or buying one at the airport on the way here.

Some appliances may not work in the UK, as they do not have the ability to cope with 240 volts.

Can I drive in the UK?

In the UK we drive on the left-hand side of the road.

If your licence was issued in the EEA you can drive here for as long as your licence remains valid. Or you can apply at any time to exchange it for a British one. If your licence expires while you are here to continue driving in the UK you must obtain a British licence.

If you need to drive in the UK, please ensure that:

  • You have a valid driving licence.

  • You have car insurance against risk of injury to other people and vehicles; this is a legal requirement.

  • The vehicle you drive is registered with valid road tax for that specific vehicle.

  • The vehicle has passed its Ministry of Transport Test (MOT).

All the driving licence information for other countries is on the UK Government webpage

If you have not driven in the UK before, you may want to consider driving lessons to help familiarise yourself with the UK driving system.

Is it safe to drink the water?

Yes, in the UK it is safe to drink water from the tap. In fact, Scottish tap water is regularly talked about as being among the best in the world.

Should I insure my belongings?

Yes, you should insure all your personal belongings when you arrive in the UK.

Endsleigh provide student contents insurance where you can insure your personal belongings. 

How do I send important documents in the post?

If you need to send important documentation - for example your passport(s) to the Home Office - please use Recorded delivery, also known as Registered post. This means you are sending them safely and securely.

By sending your documents this way you are automatically given a receipt and a reference code. This provides proof of posting, and means your parcel must be signed for on delivery so you know it has arrived.

You will be able to track and trace where your letter/parcel is within the postal system using the post office website and the reference number from your receipt.

Can I also bring my family and/or children?

There are a number of things you might like to consider before deciding whether or not to bring your family with you to the UK. If you want to bring your wife/husband and/or children with you, you need to check that you meet the current requirements on the UK Government student visa webpage.

Family members. You need to provide evidence of your relationship when you apply. Currently, you must be a graduate (Masters or PhD) student studying for nine months or longer in order to qualify. You make their application at the same time as you apply for your student visa.

Pre-school. There are a number of nurseries/playgroups for small children in Dundee. Some schools have nurseries as well, and you may qualify for free nursery care if your child is over three years old and you meet the criteria. Private nurseries need to be paid for, so please take this into consideration.

Schooling. Children aged five–16 are required by law to go to school and will be entitled to free schooling if they are dependents of the student who holds an international student visa.

Some useful links:

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