Living costs

Whether you’ve called Perth home for a while, or are planning to move here from overseas or elsewhere in Australia, you’ll need to factor in certain living costs when planning your studies.


As a general guide, if you’re going to live out of home while you study, you’ll probably want to budget around A$500 per week for your living expenses in Perth. This figure does not include your course fees, the cost of running a vehicle, textbook costs or holiday travel costs.

If you’re an international student, it’s a good idea to arrive in Australia with easy access to approximately $500 to pay for miscellaneous expenses associated with settling in Perth. If you have not pre-paid for housing, or if you will be staying in accommodation which is unfurnished, you should bring more to pay for start-up costs such as a bond, advance rent and furniture.

Where to live

If you won’t be living at home with your family while you study at Murdoch, you’ll need to think about where you’ll live and how much it will cost. There are several different types of accommodation available, both on campus and in the surrounding suburbs.

On-campus accommodation

Murdoch University Village is located on the main Perth campus and houses a vibrant community of around 800 students in a range of self-catered apartments.

Room rates for on-campus accommodation include utilities, which makes budgeting a little easier, especially if you are new to Perth or are living out of home for the first time.

Off-campus accommodation

If you prefer to live away from campus, costs will vary depending on whether you choose an apartment or a house, and whether you decide to share rent by living with other students or go it alone.

As of November 2016, a room in a shared house near to our Perth campus costs around $150 per week, and a house or apartment will cost upwards of $400 per week.

The Guild provides an off-campus accommodation database of rooms and properties advertised for students, and available rental properties in Perth are advertised with REIWA.

Additional start-up costs are likely to be involved in renting a property, such as a rental bond of four weeks rent and a couple of weeks’ rent in advance. Utilities such as power and gas may not be included in your rent, which is something to bear in mind when considering accommodation options.

Getting to uni

It’s important to consider how you will get to and from university and factor the cost of travel into your budget.

Our campuses in Perth, Rockingham and Mandurah are easily accessible by public transport. Full-time Murdoch students are eligible for a Tertiary Smartrider, which will enable you to travel around Perth at a discounted rate.

If you choose to own a car while studying you will need to factor in the cost of registration, fuel and parking on campus.

Fuel prices across Perth vary but the average cost for unleaded petrol in November 2016 was $1.20 per litre. Fuelwatch provides daily pricing information for different suburbs and fuel types, enabling you to shop around for the cheapest fuel.

Health and medical costs

If you have health insurance, take medication or need any other regular medical care, then you’ll need to budget for this when you work out your living costs.

If you’re an international student, you are required to purchase Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), which needs to be valid for your entire stay in Australia.

Other things to budget for

Depending on your personal circumstances your expenses for the following will vary but should be considered when planning your budget:

  • food and groceries
  • mobile phone and internet
  • child care
  • clothing
  • eating out and entertainment

Expatistan is a useful cost of living site that uses crowdsourced information to bring you up-to-date costs for everyday expenses in Perth.

An online budget tool such as MoneySmart can help you work out where your money will need to go each week whilst you are studying.

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