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TV Licensing launches information campaign for first-time students

28th August 2013

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TV Licensing is working with UCAS to help new students and their parents understand the law around watching TV before moving into university halls or rented student accommodation. 

If you’re heading off to university in the next few weeks you should have received information on TV Licensing in your UCAS confirmation packs.

It’s important to know that you need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record programmes live as they are being shown on TV, on any device. Anyone caught watching TV without a licence can face prosecution and a fine of up to a £1,000 – definitely not a good financial start to the year, and something you certainly want to avoid!

Despite the financial risk just two out of five students ask their parents for advice about the TV Licence, according to new research by TV Licensing*. 

As 99% of students own a device capable of streaming live TV*, it’s crucial freshers understand the law so they’re covered to watch the TV they love for the academic year ahead. Getting a TV Licence is an important part of the ‘to do list’ before you leave home.

Stephen Farmer, TV Licensing spokesperson, said: “Starting university for the first time can be both exciting and daunting. With so much to think about, TV Licensing is on hand to clearly explain when a TV Licence is needed.

“A TV Licence can be bought online in minutes and costs £145.50 for the year. There are many ways to pay including weekly, monthly and quarterly payments. 

“Finance savvy students who move out of their term time address over the summer could be eligible for a refund of around £36, as long as your licence is still valid for at least three full calendar months and you don’t need it again before it expires.”

How much does a TV Licence cost?

A colour TV Licence currently costs £145.50, and a black and white licence is £49. They will remain at these rates for the next few years as the TV Licence fee has been frozen until 2017. 

If you are moving back home for the summer from university and no longer need a TV Licence over the holidays, and there are three full calendar months before your licence expires, you are entitled to a refund for the unused, quarter of your licence, as long as you don’t need it again before it expires.

To be eligible for your refund at the end of the year you need to buy your TV Licence before October.

For further information visit where you can complete an online form, or call TV Licensing on 0300 790 6090.

*Research was conducted by Harris Interactive among 220 students spread across universities in the UK in May 2013.

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