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Getting insured at university

A guide to insurance and why it's important to have it

If you're new to the UK, you'll probably have a few questions about insurance – find out what you need and why below.

You should also make sure you bring important documents with you to the UK.

House and contents insurance

If you're staying with us in halls, the possessions you keep in your room will be covered by our hall's contents insurance. If you're staying in private accommodation, you'll need contents insurance of your own. Some landlords will also request that you have sufficient insurance to cover accidental damage to their possessions (including furniture and property).

For more help and advice on finding the right insurance for you, contact our student housing team by emailing

Travelling to and from the UK

We recommend that you buy travel insurance that includes comprehensive sickness cover for the duration of your studies to cover any travel that you may do between the UK and other countries. You should buy this insurance before you travel to the UK so that you are covered for your journey to the UK and any journeys to your home country or for holidays.

Working in the UK – National Insurance (NI)

If you're on a Student visa, you have the right to work in the UK alongside your studies, though there are limitations.

However, you'll need a unique National Insurance (NI) number to make sure that National Insurance contributions and tax you pay are properly recorded against your name. Employers will also require you to have your National Insurance number when you start working for them.

You can make your NI Number application online.

You will need proof of your identity to apply for an NI Number, the following documents will be accepted:

  • a passport from any country
  • a biometric residence permit (BRP)
  • a national identity card from an EU country or from Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland

It can take up to 8 weeks to get your NI number after you’ve proved your identity.

You can find out more information about applying for a National Insurance number on the UK Government website.

You'll start to pay tax immediately when you start work, because your personal allowance is spread evenly over the tax year. You'll pay tax on earnings from full-time or part-time work, including bonuses and tips. For more information on taxable income, see the HMRC website.

If you need any further advice about finding a job in the UK, our Careers and Employability Service will help. 

The NHS and private healthcare

For information on the National Health Service and to explore your options around private healthcare insurance, visit our healthcare page.