A Guide to Student Life at Leicester

Leicester might be the best city to choose for your undergraduate life. Read on to find out more about what this city has to offer.

Moving to a new place can give you a sense of freedom, as grown-ups learn to live on their own. It also comes with the feeling of responsibility and moving away from family and loved ones.

Take this chance as a new chapter in your life, and you will find that Leicester is a great place to make new memories. Located at a 90-minute train ride from London, the population in Leicester is about 400,000, not even 5% of that in London. Students make a sizable population with 35,000 students calling it home.

Student Life at Leicester

The affordability and the stellar education have brought together students from around the world to Leicester. With so many opportunities to grow and explore, there are more new faces every year calling Leicester their home.

While the universities and colleges provide quality education, the city itself has many entertainment places to relax and unwind. Furthermore, Leicester has many affordable and the best options for student accommodation near major universities. You can choose on-campus living if you want to assimilate the university culture better. But if you seek privacy and independence more, you must go with off-campus living, such as private student accommodation in Leicester.

Historical Leicester

With two millennia worth of history, Leicester has much to offer in terms of historical background. It has lasted through the Roman occupation of Britain which can be evidenced through the structures still standing. This includes the masonry bathhouse, mosaic streets.

The city’s propensity for growth and development also existed in the past as seen by the two Victorian Steam Heritage Railways and Abbey Pumping Station.

The late monarch, King Richard III whose remains were famously discovered in a car park, were also laid to final rest in the Leicester Cathedral. The cathedral itself is a gothic architectural masterpiece and a must-see place.

What Leicester’s Famous for

Leicester is a multiculturally rich city and home to more than 35,000 students, so it is only natural to be curious about what to look forward to during your stay here.

People who like sports will be pleased to learn that Leicester Tigers, the city’s rugby team, is the most successful rugby club of all time in England.

If you are a cheese enthusiast then look no further, Leicester is the biggest dairy county in the UK. So, cheese lovers rejoice, whether you like cheesy pasta and pizzas or just fancy a slice of Stilton or Red Leicester.

A Culturally Diverse Leicester

We already mentioned the rich cultural diversity of Leicester. However, this has existed way before the arrival of college students for higher education. This has been continuing since the time of the Romans and historically the city has been a safe haven for refugees.

The strong intolerance towards racial discrimination with continuing initiatives to change public opinion has given Leicester an environment that is racially and culturally diverse and prides on its inclusivity.

A Green City

Nature has bestowed its bounties in abundance here and greenery is not hard to come by. There are two natural reserves in addition to several parks, gardens, ponds, lakes, canals, and reservoirs.

For nature-loving students, Leicester is sure to be a welcome boon with over ten parks within city walls and all within reach.

Cost of Living in Leicester?

An important aspect of living in Leicester is accommodations. Fortunately, there are quite a few popular options for student accommodation in Leicester that meet their needs. There are a variety of options to choose from whether you plan to live in school dorms, sublets, or in a private apartment.

Another important aspect of moving to a new place is of course the expenses you have to bear. Here are some highlights on expenses in Leicester:


Typical costs:

  • Inexpensive Restaurant: £8.00 – £15.00
  • Take out Coffee: £2.00 – £3.00
  • Bottle of Coke: £1.00 – £2.00
  • Pint of milk: £0.40 – £1.25
  • A loaf of Bread: £0.80 – £1.10
  • Pint of beer at a restaurant/pub: £3.45
  • Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket: £3.50 – £8.00
  • Cinema ticket: £7 – £12.00 


Travel costs:

  • Adult Day: Leicester zone one with Arriva UK Bus – £4.30
  • Academic Year Student: Leicester zone one with Arriva UK Bus – £425.00 (£1.16 per day)
  • Adult Day – Leicester with Stagecoach – £4.50
  • Adult weekly – Leicester with Stagecoach – £15.00
  • Rate of a taxi – £3.50 (start fee) and £1.86 (per km)


 Leicester Is Home to Two Universities:

The De Montfort University is home to over 17,000 full-time students from around the world, studying in one of the four faculties of Art, Design and Humanities, Health and Life Sciences, Business, Law, and Technology.

The courses provided are aligned with current industry practices and endorsed by professional bodies with a strong emphasis on career-relevant skills. Students can take up a work placement in a variety of organisations like the BBC, the NHS, Deloitte, and HP. The tuition fees for full-time home students are around £9,250.

The university’s Faculty of Business and Law, the Hugh Aston building is a minute walk from the Glassworks and a five-minute walk from the DMU campus.

14,500 full-time students attend three academic colleges at the University of Leicester, which offers 350-degree programs. Biological sciences and psychology, science and engineering, medicine, arts, and humanities are some of the popular subject choices. With groundbreaking research that includes the invention of genetic fingerprinting and the discovery of King Richard III, the University has renowned academics from around the world.

The university has also been accredited with some of the highest academic honours such as the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education on three occasions.

Another bonus is that the Glassworks and 41 Castle Street are within a 25-minute walk to the university campus. The tuition fee for full-time home students is £9,250.

Weekend Trips

Looking for a place to chill on Sundays, Victoria Park and Abbey Park make for great walks, or you can drive a little further to Bradgate Park for its amazing Mountain View.

If you have family over to visit, the National Space Centre is pretty close to the city centre and is a great place to take younger kids. If you plan to save money then the New Walk Museum is absolutely free with many sections for fossils, dinosaurs, renaissance paintings, and even stuffed animals.

To experience different events at a cheaper price, visit Skint Fridays at Republic. If you are part of a sports team then you also get to go on the VIP list.

Night Life

 If you are worried that the small population will make Leicester a boring countryside, then you are mistaken. The teeming student population has contributed to a bustling nightlife. It was ranked 27th best UK city for student nightlife.

The nightlife here is thriving with a music scene at major music venues like 02 Academy and De Montfort Hall that bring international acts. On the other hand, The Musician, Firebug, and Y Theatre host national touring bands for more intimate venues thus making up the best of Leicester’s music scene.

Bars and Clubs

 In addition to the usual nightclubs, there are student-only nights with student-friendly prices in every club. There are a wide variety of bars in Leicester. Whether you want to dance the night away or enjoy a quiet drink, there is something for everyone.


 You don’t have to go to Manchester or London to shop at big stores. Buses from residence halls go to the city center regularly, so you can shop with ease at your favorite stores in the heart of the city. 

Food and Drinks

The culturally diverse population has contributed greatly to the food and drinks in Leicester. There is a huge market selling a vast range of foods, fruits, vegetables, and even specific cuisine ingredients like Indian foods.

For seafood lovers, there’s also a fish market, besides, there are other small businesses including international shops.

If you are up for authentic Indian cuisine in a fairytale setting, then Mowgli is a great restaurant to try out. For those with a sweet tooth, Doughnotts has a unique take on their doughnuts with a variety of fillings and designs.


 Keeping with the multicultural atmosphere of the city, Leicester has four major festivals during the year, and they are all great for students. The international Music Festival brings in jazz and concerts from around the world. There is also the Caribbean Carnival bringing in Caribbean music, food, and costumes for a fun-filled weekend. You can also enjoy the Summer Sundae Weekender which is the small version of Glastonbury. Last but not least, the Leicester Comedy Festival, second only to Edinburgh is a sure thing to enjoy.


 The vibrant and festive atmosphere at Leicester will make the four years of your college life a memorable one. This is why many students return for graduate studies here. There are numerous aspects to explore and things you should know whether you like history, art, music, studies, culture or the nightlife, Leicester caters to all.


Photo courtesy of One Little Web


Read another similar story here:

What Does Education in 2022 Look Like?

Support us!

All your donations will be used to pay the magazine’s journalists and to support the ongoing costs of maintaining the site.


paypal smart payment button for simple membership

Share this post

Interested in co-operating with us?

We are open to co-operation from writers and businesses alike. You can reach us on our email at cooperations@youthtimemag.com/magazine@youthtimemag.com and we will get back to you as quick as we can.

Where to next?