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Postgraduate Funding

Student Finance now offers a Postgraduate Loan for Masters students and a Doctoral Loan for students on a doctoral research degree

 

You may be eligible for the Student Finance Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000 that you can use for tuition fees and or/living costs. This money is paid directly to you and is not based on your household income.

Your course must be provided by a university or college in the UK and lead to a postgraduate Masters's degree.  

Integrated degrees and Master of Architecture (MArch) are not eligible.

For full details of the loan including eligibility, how to apply and repayments please see here.

 

Your eligibility

You can only get this loan if you have not previously studied a Masters or an equivalent course.

You must be under 60 years of age on the first day of the academic year of the course.

The academic year is a period of twelve months starting on:

  • 1 September, if your course starts between 1 August and 31 December
  • 1 January, if your course starts between 1 January and 31 March
  • 1 April, if your course starts between 1 April and 30 June
  • 1 July, if your course starts between 1 July and 31 July

You must be a UK or EU national or have settled status, and have been living in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for three years before the start of the course. 

If you are an EU national, you must have been ordinarily resident in the European Economic Area or Switzerland for the past 3 years, and be living in England on the first day of the first academic year of your course, and you’ll be studying at a university or college in England

These loans are only available if you are ordinarily resident in England but you will not be eligible if you have only been living in England in order to study.

You could also be eligible if you’re:

  • the child of a Swiss national
  • the child of a Turkish worker
  • a refugee or a relative of one
  • an EEA or Swiss migrant worker, or a relative of one
  • under humanitarian protection or a relative of someone who has been granted it
  • 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years or at least half your life

You can’t get the Postgraduate Loan if you’re already getting a student loan for an undergraduate course in the same academic year.

You can’t get a Postgraduate Loan if you are eligible for an NHS bursary or have been awarded a Social Work Bursary.

If you are studying for two years, you will get £5000 each year. If you are studying for longer than two years, you will still get all the money within the first two years.

 

Applying

The easiest way to apply is online here.

You can apply up to 9 months after the first day of the academic year that you start or, if you are studying for 2 years or more, no more than nine months after the first day of the second year of your course.

 

Repayments

You will need to start repaying the loan once your income reaches a certain amount and you will also need to pay interest. The exact amounts vary and you can view the current rates on this page.

It is important to note that you will have to repay any undergraduate loans at the same time as your postgraduate loan.

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course, such as a PhD.

There’s different funding if you normally live in Wales

You can  get extra support if you have a disability but you will not be eligible for an Adult Dependants’ Grant, a Childcare Grant or Parents’ Learning Allowance from Student Finance.

 

What You Can Get

You can get up to:

  • £27,265 if your course starts on or after 1 August 2021
  • £26,445 if your course starts between 1 August 2020 and 31 July 2021
  • £25,700 if your course started between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020

The amount you’ll get is not based on you or your family’s income.

You can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan in any year of your course, but if you apply after your first year, you might not get the maximum amount. When applying after your first year you can get:

  • £11,570 each year if your course starts on or after 1 August 2021
  • £11,222 each year if your course started between 1 August 2020 and 31 July 2021
  • £10,906 each year if your course started between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020

The loan will be paid in 3 instalments of 33%, 33% and 34% each year.

 

Eligibility

You must be under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your course.

You must be a UK or EU national or have settled status, and have been living in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for three years before the start of the course. 

If you are an EU national, you must have been ordinarily resident in the European Economic Area or Switzerland for the past 3 years, and be living in England on the first day of the first academic year of your course, and you’ll be studying at a university or college in England

These loans are only available if you are ordinarily resident in England but you will not be eligible if you have only been living in England in order to study.

Your course must:

  • be a full, standalone doctoral course (not a top-up course)
  • have started on or after 1 August 2018
  • last between 3 to 8 academic years
  • be provided by a university in the UK with research degree awarding powers

You will not be able to get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if:

  • you’ve received or will receive Research Council funding (for example, studentships, stipends, scholarships and tuition fee support)
  • you’re already getting a social work bursary
  • you’re already getting an Educational Psychology bursary and your course starts on or after 1 August 2020
  • you’re eligible to apply for an NHS bursary (even if you’re not receiving it)
  • you’re already getting payments from Student Finance England for another course that you’re studying
  • you’ve received a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan before - unless you left your course due to illness, bereavement or another serious personal reason
  • you already have a doctoral degree, or a qualification that’s equivalent or higher
  • you’re receiving a doctorate by publication
  • you’re behind in repayments for any previous loans from the Student Loans Company

 

Applying

You can apply online at Student Finance.

You need to apply within 9 months of the first day of the last academic year of the course.

Student Finance will affect any income-assessed benefits, including Universal Credit and older benefits such as Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support, income-related ESA, income-related Jobseekers' Allowance, Income Support and tax credits. 30% of your loan will be counted as income for these benefit calculations.

Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, Child Benefit, Carer's Allowance, contribution-based ESA, and contribution-based Jobseekers' Allowance will not be affected because they are not based on your income.