As a beginner you would only need to buy a very minimum of equipment, but you would also be paying for the course – which includes your first year of membership for the association. When you start to keep bees yourself you will need to buy a hive kit and frames. The total cost for this is likely to be in the order of £200. The association can provide members with a wide range of basic equipment at a discount.
It is unlikely you will need to purchase bees as the association has access to swarms which are collected, and often association members will be able to provide a colony.