TV Licensing and students: know the facts
Ignore what you’ve heard elsewhere. It’s better to know the facts. It’s important to check if you need a TV Licence now, and buy one if you need one.
Do I need a TV Licence at university?
The law still applies to students. You must be covered by a TV Licence to download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand. Of course, you still need a licence to watch or record programmes, on any channel, as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service. This could be on any device, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, tablet, mobile phone, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder. It also applies to any provider you use, and whether you receive programmes via streaming, aerial, satellite or cable.
How much does it cost?
A TV Licence costs £150.50. You can pay all in one go, or you can spread the cost by choosing from our range of Direct Debit options. The easiest way to pay for your licence is to go to tvlicensing.co.uk/pay.
Am I already covered?
A 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 is covered by a TV Licence
AND you only use TV receiving equipment that is powered solely by its own internal batteries
AND you are not connecting your TV receiving equipment to the mains.
What if I don’t need a TV Licence?
If you still think you don’t need one, you can find out more information and let us know by going to tvlicensing.co.uk/noTV
What happens if I don’t have a licence?
It’s illegal to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel or device, or to download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer, without being covered by a TV Licence. By breaking the law you risk prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000 plus any legal costs and/or compensation you may be ordered to pay
Will anyone find out if I don’t have one?
Our database lists every UK address, including student housing. TV Licensing Officers visit universities throughout the academic year to make sure that students who need a licence have one. This is done with the co-operation of university authorities, including halls managers and accommodation officers
What happens if I don’t stay in halls for the full academic year?
If you’re leaving your halls or rented accommodation and moving back home for the summer, you might not need your licence if there’s one at home. Go to tvlicensing.co.uk/refund to see our policy and find out how to apply.
If your question hasn't been answered, check out the TV Licensing website here.