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Bringing the Family

If you are thinking of bringing your family to stay with you for the duration of your course, you will need to make very careful plans. We strongly advise you to come on your own initially, to get used to the University and the area, life in the UK, and to find somewhere suitable for you and the family to live. You will then be much better prepared to care for your family when they arrive.

It is important to think through matters such as accommodation, living costs,  visas, as well as schools and nurseries, if you have children.

Visa Information

Postgraduate students

If you are studying on a postgraduate course of at least 12 months duration, your spouse and children (aged 18 or younger) will normally be allowed to enter the UK as your dependants (regulations as at August 2013). If they want to stay in the UK with you until the end of your studies, they should apply for a ‘PBS Dependant’ visa. If they want to come for a short visit of up to 6 months, they should apply for a ‘Family Visitor’ visa.

Full details are available on the UK Visa website and the UK CISA website.

Undergraduate students

If you are studying on an undergraduate course, your spouse and children will only be able to come for a short period and would need to apply for a ‘Standard Visitor’ visa.  The maximum length of their visitor visa will be 6 months. The visa regulations that come into force in July 2011 do not allow undergraduate students to bring their spouse and children to the UK as PBS Dependants.

We strongly recommend that you do not bring your family with you right at the start of your studies. Allow time to familiarise yourself with the area, and to adapt to life in the UK. You will then be better prepared to take care of your family when they arrive.

You can search for properties suitable for families through the Unipol student homes website and they may be able to recommend letting agents to you. Remember that accommodation contracts are binding in law, so make sure you are happy with the property and location before signing the contract. Once the contract is signed, you will be liable for the rent for the whole of the contract period, even if you decide to leave the property.

Please also refer to our Bringing your Family Section on the Visa Support section for more details regarding the Visa Application.

Living Costs for Families

Living Costs for Families

To see the estimated living costs for a single student see our Living Costs page. Below is an estimate of additional costs should you bring a spouse or any children. Please note the visa regulations for family members.

Visa regulations allow postgraduate students on courses of 12 months or more and government sponsored students on courses of 6 months or more to apply for a visa for their spouse and children to join them in the UK for the duration of their study. If this applies to you, please remember that additional funding will be require.

For visa purposes, living costs for dependants are required of £680 per month per dependent, up to a maximum of 9 months.

You would also need additional money for accommodation and set up costs for your family (we would estimate a minimum of an additional £5000 for your spouse, and £2500 for each child will be required).

Accommodation for Families

We fully appreciate that many international students will want to bring their families with them when they begin their studies.

Check the visa regulations on the Bringing your family on the Visa Support Section at an early stage to find out if it will be possible for them to apply for a visa to join you.

If the visa regulations permit you to bring your family, we suggest that you start your search for suitable properties through Unipol Student Homes, as the University does not have accommodation for families or married couples.

We recommend that you do not bring your family with you right at the very start of your studies. Allow yourself time to familiarise yourself with the area and to adapt to life in the UK yourself. You will then be better prepared to take care of your family when they arrive.

Nurseries and Schools


If you have children under the age of five and would like them to go to a nursery, please note that there are charges for places in nurseries in the UK, including our nursery facilities on campus.

It is important to apply well in advance if you would like your children to attend the University nursery, as there is often a waiting list for places. It is important to budget for the nursery fees as it can cost more than £150 per week to have a child in nursery on a full-time basis.

See our Nursery web pages for more information.


Children of international students studying in the UK can go free of charge to state schools (from 5 – 18 years). Fee-paying places are available at independent schools (also from 5 - 18 years). Arrangements should be made well in advance by contacting Bradford Metropolitan District Council for details of available places. 

The postcodes areas closest to the University are BD7 and BD5. The school lists give the addresses and postcodes of all the schools, so you will be able to get an idea of which are likely to be in the University area. Contact the schools directly for guidance on the application procedure.

All schools are regularly inspected by the government, and a report is made public – this is called an ‘Ofsted Report’.  You can view the inspection reports on the Ofsted website.

Details of all schools in Bradford can be found at Bradford Council School Finder.

A central point of contact for schools in the Bradford area is the Local Education Authority, Education Bradford:

Education Bradford
Future House
Bolling Road
West Yorkshire
Tel: +44 1274 385 500
Fax: +44 1274 385 588
Email: for school enquiries for children 5 to 11 years and
Email: for school enquiries for children 11 to 18 years