How to get a Student ID Card in the UK and its uses

How to get a Student ID Card in the Uk and its uses


In the United Kingdom, the Student ID Card is significant in a student’s daily routine. Not only does it open doors to various campus facilities and resources, but it also paves the way for a range of student-specific perks and security features. Fancy a budget-friendly meal at your favourite eatery or a discounted shopping spree at a local retailer? How about cheaper air travel? Your Student ID Card has got you covered. Do you want to learn more about the uses of a Student ID Card in the UK and how to get one? Keep reading!


What is a Student ID Card?

Let’s first understand what a Student ID Card is. It is a form of identification issued by educational institutions to their students. It carries essential details such as the student’s name, university name, and a unique student number. Often featuring a photograph, it validates a student’s enrolment status. But a Student ID Card’s uses extend far beyond simple identification, as we’ll explore.


Why do you need a Student ID Card?

You would need a Student ID Card for the following purposes:


  • To prove your student status

  • To have access to your college/university facilities

  • To confirm your identity during exams

  • To borrow books from the library

  • To avail student discounts from shops, transports, tickets, etc.

 Uses of Student ID Card in the UK

In the UK, a Student ID Card is more than just a proof of identity—it opens a wide array of opportunities and access within the university campus. Let’s look at how it empowers students in their academic and extracurricular pursuits.

Access to Campus Facilities

One of the most significant uses of a Student ID Card in the UK is to grant access to various campus facilities. From libraries to labs, gyms to group study rooms, the ID card often functions as a universal key.


Students can use their ID cards to borrow books and other materials from the university library. Some institutions also require a student card to access digital resources and online databases.


Fitness centres, sports facilities, and recreational areas on campus typically require a valid student ID for entry. The card also enables students to join sports clubs and societies.

Identification and Security

Student ID Cards serve as proof of student status and personal identification. They feature important details, such as the student’s name, university name, student number, and sometimes a photograph.


During exams, invigilators may check the card to verify identity and prevent fraudulent activity. Without a valid ID, students might not be allowed to take the test. Many universities employ access control systems at building entrances to enhance security. Students must scan their ID cards to enter these buildings, helping to ensure only authorised individuals gain access.

Student Discounts

Arguably one of the most beloved uses of Student ID Cards is the ability to access a wide range of discounts.


Many shops, restaurants, and online platforms offer discounts to students. Simply showing a valid student ID can result in significant savings on clothing, tech, food, and more. In many parts of the UK, students can enjoy discounted fares on buses, trains, and other public transport services by presenting their student ID.

Access to Student Union Services

The Student ID Card is your passport to active participation in your Student Union. This small card opens up opportunities to engage in a variety of events and services offered by the union.


For many Student Union events, such as parties, debates, or career fairs, a student ID is required for entry. It’s a way to keep these gatherings exclusive to students. Moreover, when it comes to student elections, your ID card is your voting ticket. The card helps ensure a fair voting process, adding another layer to its utility.


Who is Eligible for a Student ID Card?

You will be eligible for a Student ID Card in the UK if you are enrolled in a recognised educational institution. This includes full-time students, part-time students, international students studying in the UK, distance learners, and both further and higher education students. Essentially, anyone who is officially enrolled in an accredited course of study may be eligible for a Student ID Card.


However, the specific policies regarding issuing the card can vary among different institutions. It’s important to check with your particular institution to understand their eligibility criteria and application process. 


What do you need to have a Student ID Card in the UK?

To get a Student ID Card in the UK, you must first enrol in a recognised educational institution, such as a university or a college. Typically, the institution itself will issue the ID card, often enabling students to apply for it online through their institutional portal. In most cases, students need to provide some basic identification, like a passport or a birth certificate.


Additional requirements typically include proof of admission into the institution and a passport-sized photograph to upload or print on the card. Once all the necessary information is submitted and the application process is successfully completed, students usually receive their ID cards within a few days. 


How to Get a Student ID Card in the UK?

Any student, irrespective of whether they’re part of a school, college or university, will receive a Student ID Card free of charge. If your preference lies with off-campus learning or online education, the process for obtaining your card remains the same. 

 Applications can be made online, with the final card sent out to your mailing address. This ensures that all students, regardless of their mode of study, can enjoy the benefits of having a student card.


Follow these simple steps to get your Student ID Card.


  • Complete Online Enrolment

  • Confirm Your Registered Term-Time Address

  • Have a Passport-Style Photo

  • Have a Photo Identification Document

  • Apply for Your Student ID Card

  • Receive Your Student ID Card

Complete Online Enrolment

The first step towards obtaining your Student ID Card is to complete your enrolment online. This involves providing the necessary details about yourself and your chosen course of study.

Confirm Your Registered Term-Time Address

To ensure you receive all relevant communications and your Student ID Card, you must confirm and update your registered term-time address. This is typically the location where you’ll be residing during your study.

Have a Passport-Style Photo

For your student card, you’ll need a recent photograph that meets certain specifications, similar to passport photos. Ensure it’s a clear and high-quality image with a neutral background.

Have a Photo Identification Document

In order to verify your identity, most institutions require a photo identification document. This could be your passport, driver’s license, or any other government-issued ID with a photograph.

Apply for Your Student ID Card

Once you have all the prerequisites in place, you can proceed to apply for your student card. This application process can typically be done online, especially for those who might not be attending classes on campus or have opted for distance education.

Receive Your Student ID Card

After successful verification and processing, your institution will post your Student ID Card to the address you’ve provided. Ensure you’ve shared the correct address to avoid any delivery hitches.


Can Student ID Cards in the UK be used as ID?

Yes, Student ID Cards in the UK can often be used as a form of identification. These cards typically feature your name, photograph, and student number, making them a valid ID in many contexts within the institution and for student-specific services or discounts.


However, it’s important to note that while student cards are widely recognised within academic environments and by many businesses offering student discounts, they may not be accepted as a formal identification document in all situations. In particular, a Student ID Card may not be considered a sufficient form of identification for certain situations, like providing proof of age at licensed venues or conducting certain legal or administrative procedures. For these situations, you’ll likely need a passport, driver’s license, or other forms of government-issued identification.


How to Replace a Lost or Stolen Student ID Card in the UK?

If you lose your Student ID Card or if it gets stolen in the UK, it’s crucial to act swiftly to get it replaced. Most universities and colleges have a process in place to address such situations. Typically, you need to contact your institution’s student services office or equivalent department, report the loss, and request a replacement card. And before replacing it, you may need to report this to the Police. 


A small fee may be associated with replacing a lost or stolen card. Once you’ve paid the fee and completed any required processes, a new card will be issued to you. Always remember to keep your student card secure to avoid potential inconveniences and costs associated with replacing it.


Student Discount Cards in the UK – A Quick Summary

For students in the UK, education is becoming costly day by day. But you can benefit from a variety of discount cards for students. These cards offer significant savings and incentives at a wide range of businesses, making student life a bit more affordable. Here’s a quick summary of some of the top student discount cards available in the UK.



The TOTUM card, powered by the National Union of Students (NUS), is a widely recognised student discount card in the UK. It offers students exclusive deals and discounts at numerous high street and online retailers. With different tiers of membership, students can opt for a card that best suits their needs.


If you are a student living in the UK, the NUS card costs £13 for one year, £22 for two years, and £32 for three years. You can find all of the NUS card discount offers on the TOTUM Card website, which is powered by the NUS.


International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is a globally recognised student identification that also provides access to a vast array of discounts. It’s particularly beneficial for international students in the UK, offering savings on travel, accommodation, shopping, and more.


So how much does an ISIC card costs? It costs £12 for a virtual copy and £15 for a plastic card.


UniDays Discount App

UniDays is a digital platform that offers a multitude of discounts for students. While not a physical card, this app requires a valid university email address to sign up and provides a host of deals on fashion, tech, food, and much more right at your fingertips.


Student Debit Card

Many UK banks offer student debit cards that come with a host of benefits. These include exclusive discounts and cashback on purchases at certain retailers, restaurants, and online shopping platforms. The exact benefits can vary from one bank to another, so it’s best to research and choose a card that aligns with your spending habits and needs.


How to be Eligible for a Student Discount Card in the UK?

If you are over the age of 16 and a full-time or part-time student, you may be eligible for a student discount card. The procedure of obtaining a card is usually quite simple, although the method varies depending on the card.


Some cards allow users to be under the age of 16. The ISIC card, for example, permits users under the age of 12 to apply for a UK discount card. You can use the card if you study for at least 15 hours per week and have done so for at least three months.


Get Your Student ID Card From Studyhub Today!

Begin your journey of knowledge exploration with Studyhub and receive more than just an education. When you enrol with Studyhub, you don’t only get a valid Student ID Card—you get a passport to an expansive learning environment with access to over 1,000 diverse courses. These range from humanities and sciences to business and technology, ensuring a wide variety for every learner’s interest.


Receiving your Studyhub Student ID Card is an affirmation of your commitment to expanding your horizons. It’s not just an identification tool but a key to unlocking countless learning resources, facilities, and student benefits. You can get the training and development you need from the convenience of your own home. Even better, you can take these courses at your own pace.



The Student ID Card in the UK is more than just an identity document—it’s a key to numerous benefits and essential university services. From access to facilities and discounts to participation in student union activities, the card is indispensable in a UK student’s life.


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January 9, 2024

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