University students and the TV Licence

Whether you’re a university student, a parent or you provide student accommodation, find out when a TV Licence is needed and how much it costs.

Can you find your favourite TV shows in our crossword?

Know The Facts

When you need a TV Licence

The law says you need to be covered by a TV Licence to:

  • watch or record programmes (such as sports, news, music, dramas and documentaries) as they’re being shown on TV, or live on an online TV service (e.g. YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Now TV, Sky Go, etc.)
  • download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.

This applies to any device, such as a TV set (incl. smart TV), laptop, desktop computer, tablet, mobile phone, games console, digital box, etc.


How much does a TV Licence cost?

A standard TV Licence costs £154.50. You can pay all in one go, or you can spread the cost by choosing from our range of Direct Debit options. You can buy and manage your licence online. And if you don’t need your licence for a full 12 months, you could apply for a refund.


Am I already covered?

A university halls communal licence won’t cover your room. But you may be covered by your parents’ licence. If you think you are, please check that all of the following are true before telling us you don’t need one:

  • Your out-of-term address (parents’ address) is covered by a TV Licence
  • AND you only use TV receiving equipment that is powered solely by its own internal batteries
  • AND you have not connected it to an aerial or plugged it into the mains.
What if I live in a house or flat share?
  • If you have a separate tenancy agreement for your room, you’ll need your own TV Licence too.
  • If you have a joint tenancy agreement for an entire house or flat, you’ll probably need one licence to cover the whole property.
If you are still uncertain about the rules for tenancies, please check our advice for tenants and lodgers.

What if I don't need a TV Licence?

Before you tell us you don’t need a TV Licence, it’s worth checking carefully. We do make visits to confirm that a licence isn’t needed. If you are sure, tell us you don’t need a TV Licence.

What happens if I don’t buy a licence?

You could be prosecuted if we find that you have been watching or recording live TV programmes on any channel or device, or downloading or watching BBC programmes on iPlayer, without being covered by a licence. The maximum penalty is a £1,000* fine plus any legal costs and/or compensation you may be ordered to pay.

*The maximum fine is £2,000 in Guernsey


Pay for a TV Licence

Still have questions?

How do I ask for a refund?

If you are going home for the summer – and won’t need the licence you bought to cover you in term time – you may be able to get a refund. Please note, you may need to provide evidence that supports your request, like the confirmation of attendance at college/university and the term dates. See if you’re eligible for a refund.

What if I move?

Your licence won’t automatically move with you. Once you know where you’re moving to, and when, update your details to stay covered.

What support do you offer halls managers?

Our collection of resources for halls managers includes imagery in handy formats to print and display in communal areas or for use in your emails, websites or social media.

I let to students. What do I need to know?

We offer detailed information and advice for residential landlords.


Get clued up

Can you find your favourite TV shows in our crossword?




1. Hats off to this wonderful Brummie performance. (5, 8)
4. Boy meets girl meets swimming pool. (4, 6)
6. No heat in their universe. (6, 6)
8. Not a chore watching this dress rehearsal. (4, 4)
9. Irish pupils make you smile. (5, 5)

2. A twenty-four-hour pairing. (5, 2, 3, 3)
3. King of TV detectives, some follow this guy religiously. (6)
5. Did you catch the first woman of murder? (7, 3)
7. The hottest, tastiest event under canvas. (4, 3)


Content Server Image


1. Peaky Blinders
4. Love Island
6. Frozen Planet
8. Drag Race
9. Derry Girls

2. Match of the Day
3. Luther
5. Killing Eve
7. Bake Off


If you watch or record these programmes (or any other programmes) as they’re being shown on TV, or live on an online TV service – or if you download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer – make sure you’re covered by a TV Licence. It doesn’t matter what device you’re using. It’s the law.

Pay for a TV Licence

General information about TV Licensing is available in other languages: