Budgeting tips

Studying for your degree or diploma is an exciting time; pursuing your interests, meeting new people and exploring a new place all go hand-in-hand with the university experience. With this in mind, it’s important to understand your incoming finances and outgoing expenses before you begin your course to help you feel prepared for your time at West Dean College. Here’s some of our top tips to help with budgeting:

1) Make the most of free budgeting advice and apps

Money Saving Expert has a comprehensive student budgeting planner.

2) Research your transport options

Whether you plan to live on-site or commute in, you will need to plan your transport to and from our countryside campus.

Bus: The number 60 bus route runs regularly between Chichester and Midhurst. A return ticket is around £8, although you can use your West Dean student card to receive a student discount on tickets. If you use the bus frequently, you may find that it is cheaper to buy a weekly or termly ticket. Full details of bus routes, ticket prices and student discounts can be found via the Stagecoach website.

Bicycle: The College provides bike shelters for students, but you will need your own secure bike lock, suitable lights, clothing, helmet and a budget for any potential repairs.

Car: Free on-site parking is provided for students. The nearest petrol station is four miles away at the Co-op on the outskirts of Chichester. MOT and service centres and other petrol stations can be found in and around Chichester.

3) Food shopping & planning

  • Split delivery fees or avoid minimum order spends by ordering your online grocery shop with other students in your accommodation.
  • Buy items that you all use in bulk and split the cost.
  • Car-share with friends for supermarket trips.
  • Plan your meals and make them go further: for example cook more than you will need for your dinner to have for your lunch/dinner the following day.

While supermarkets are the most budget-friendly option, West Dean Stores is a short walk away in the village; stocking a small range of groceries and essentials, including local produce.

4) Bring useful extras with you

For residential students, bedrooms are furnished, bed linen and towels are supplied, and utilities and Wi-Fi are provided. If you are self-catered, the kitchen in your accommodation will be stocked with cooking equipment, cutlery, crockery and basic cleaning supplies, such as washing up liquid, sponges and refuse bags; however you may wish to bring additional items to make your space feel more like home. Don’t forget to bring your home comforts; blankets, pictures, plants etc to make your bedroom personalised to you.

We are based in the countryside, so we recommend bringing a torch and clothing for a variety of weathers.

5) Don’t forget your free time!

Remember to factor your leisure time into your budget, this may include:

  • Dining out at local pubs and restaurants
  • Socialising
  • Gym memberships
  • Sightseeing - both locally and further afield
  • Streaming subscriptions and a TV licence
  • Short courses: degree and diploma students have access to short courses at West Dean College at a reduced cost (email SST@westdean.ac.uk for more information and full terms & conditions)

6) Part time jobs

You may choose to work alongside your studies at West Dean College. Previous students have worked within the College, at local pubs, or further afield in local towns.

7) Prepare for the holidays

For residential students, accommodation is only provided during term time. Extra nights can be booked at an additional cost, subject to availability. If you are not planning to return home outside of term time, you may choose to rent accommodation locally. Some students also use this time to travel the UK and Europe.

The College does not provide storage for students outside term times, and all belongings should be removed from your accommodation between these times, due to room cleaning and any changes in tenancy. For further information on storage guidelines, please contact SST@westdean.ac.uk.

Any questions?

The Student Services Team are on-hand to help with any questions or concerns, drop them an email: SST@westdean.ac.uk or call 01243 818293.

Course costs:

You can find information on course fees and bursaries on the website, or contact admissions@westdean.ac.uk with any questions relating to this.

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This year, with the support of Head Gardener Tom, students started growing their own veggies.
This year, with the support of Head Gardener Tom, students started growing their own veggies.