TV licences - what students need to know
If you’re living away from home, in halls of residence or in a shared house, then you’ll need a TV licence. Students planning to return home over the summer may be able to claim a discount.
Who needs a TV licence
College or university students living away from home must have a TV licence to watch or record television.
You also need a TV Licence to download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV and BBC iPlayer.
A single TV Licence covers all of the following in a single property:
- mobile phones
- any other device that can receive a TV signal
You can find out more information at:
If you think you don’t need one, you can find out more information at:
Get a refund if you're going home for the summer
If you are returning home for the summer holidays and only need a licence for nine months, you may qualify for a refund on the remaining three.
You can get more information from the students' section of the TV Licensing website or calling TV Licensing.
What you need to do
Exactly what you need to do about getting a TV licence depends on where you live:
Halls of residence
If you live in halls of residence and watch or record TV in your room, you will need your own TV licence.
If you have a shared tenancy agreement, with everyone in your house signing the same contract, you will usually need just one licence to cover all the devices in the house.
If you have a separate tenancy agreement, with each tenant signing an individual contract with the landlord, each of you will need your own licence to use a set in your rooms.
Only one licence is needed if the only TV being used is in a communal area.
A TV set powered by its own internal batteries, such as a pocket-sized TV or mobile phone, is covered by a licence at your parents’ address.
However, it must not be plugged into the mains while being used to receive television.
If there is no licence at your parents’ address you will need to buy your own.
How to buy a licence
You can buy or renew a TV licence online with a credit or debit card by visiting the TV licensing website.
It also has information on other ways to pay. These include paying by post, by direct debit, via a savings card or over the counter at a PayPoint outlet.
If you're caught without a licence
Using a TV or any other device (for example, tablet, set-top box, DVD recorder or PC) to watch or record television programmes as they are being shown on TV without a valid TV Licence is against the law and could lead to prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000 not to mention the embarrassment and hassle of a court appearance.
How to claim a refund
You could qualify for a refund of almost £37 if you buy a TV licence before the end of October then return home for the summer holidays. For more information on how to claim, contact TV Licensing on 0300 790 6090 or visit its website.
TV licence concessions
If you or someone you live with is registered blind, you'll qualify for a 50 per cent cut on the cost of your TV licence. Concessions are also available for people living in residential care. For more information, follow the link below or call TV Licensing on 0300 790 6090.