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TV Licence

If you watch or record programmes as they are being shown on TV (even if you are using your computer, mobile phone, tablet or other device), you will need to be covered by a TV licence.

When do I need a TV Licence?

You need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel. This also applies if they download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.

This could be on any device, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder.

If you do any of the above without a valid Licence, you may risk prosecution and a maximum penalty of up to £1,000, plus any legal costs. You will also still have to buy a TV Licence if you need one.

You can pay it all in one go, or spread the cost monthly or quarterly. Once it’s set up, the easiest way to manage your Licence is online.

Watching satellite TV or on demand services from outside of the UK

A TV Licence is needed to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel or device, no matter where they are broadcast or distributed from. This includes satellite or online-streamed programmes from outside the UK or Channel Islands, such as sporting events and foreign shows.

Living in on campus accommodation

All on campus rooms need to be covered by their own Licence if you are plugged in to watch or record programmes as they're being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, or if you download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer. TVs in communal areas on campus are already covered by a TV Licence. 

Living in privately rented accommodation

It's likely that you will only need one Licence per household if you have a joint tenancy agreement for the whole house, which is the most common type of shared house arrangement. You may, however,  need your own Licence if the accommodation is self-contained. You will also need your own Licence if you have a separate tenancy agreement for your own room.

Check the TV licensing website for the exact conditions.

Being covered by a parent's Licence

A parent's Licence will not cover you while you are away at university. This is unless you are using a device  that is powered solely by its own internal batteries – such as a tablet or mobile phone. This device must not be plugged into the mains when they watch television.

Leaving your accommodation

Your TV Licence will not automatically move with you when you change accommodation - you must contact the TV Licensing Authority to notify them of your change of address.

You may also be able to claim back the value of your Licence for any unused months, more information can be found here.

You can find out more information and purchase a TV Licence from the TV licensing website.