Current Students and Staff

// University News

30 Sep 2014

Students - Don’t forget your TV licence

If you’re going to be watching or recording live TV on any device, including a laptop, tablet or mobile phone, then don’t forget you’ll need a TV licence.

A licence costs £145.50 for the year, but there are payment plans which make it possible to pay in smaller, more manageable chunks, including:

  • Weekly cash payments, from as little as £5 a week. You can pay at PayPoint outlets, online, by phone or text message
  • Monthly, Quarterly or Yearly by setting up a direct debit, or by debit or credit cardTV Licensing is encouraging students to seek help if they need to be covered by a TV Licence but are worried about whether they can afford to pay for one.  

Mark Binnersley, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said: “If sorting your TV Licence is still on your ‘to do’ list, organise it sooner rather than later.

“If you’re unsure whether you need a licence, go to our website or call 0300 790 6113 to talk it through with an advisor. Or speak to your university welfare officer or student support team for advice. We’re all here to help.”


When do students need a TV Licence?

You need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record programmes at the same time as they are shown on TV, regardless of which channel you're watching, which device you are using (TV, computer, laptop, tablet, mobile phone or any other), and how you receive them (terrestrial, satellite, cable, via the internet or any other way).

  • If you live in halls of residence and use a device to watch or record TV in your own room, you may need to be covered by your own separate TV Licence
  • You also may need to be covered by your own licence if you are sharing a house with other students and use a device to watch/record TV in your room, and your room is a separately occupied place (a separate tenancy agreement would normally indicate that this is the case)
  • If you have a separate tenancy agreement but a television is only being used in a communal area, then only one licence is required
  • If you are sharing a house with other students and you use a device to watch/record TV in your own room, but the house can be treated as one place shared by all, then only one TV Licence is required (a joint tenancy agreement would usually be evidence that the house is a single licensable place for this purpose).
  • A device powered by its own internal batteries - a pocket sized TV or a mobile phone for example - may be covered by a licence at the student’s parents' address.  However, you must not install the device (plug it into the mains) when using it to receive television. If there is no TV Licence at your parents’ address, you will need to obtain one to watch TV.



A colour TV Licence currently costs £145.50, and a black and white licence is £49. The licence fee is frozen at its 2012 level of £145.50 until March 2017, three months after the current charter period.



If you buy a TV licence at the beginning of term in October you may qualify for a three month refund amounting to £36.67, if you move back to a licenced address for the summer.