For courses starting in September/October 2016, government loans of up to £10,000 are available to help cover the cost of postgraduate study. The information below highlights key information around eligibility, access to the loans, and repayment conditions.
You can also download out Postgraduate Loans infographic which details much of the need to know information.
Applications for the loans are now being accepted via the Student Finance website.
You can apply for funding up to £10,000. You do not have to apply for the full amount to start with. If you decide during your studies to increase the loan amount, you can do this up to 9 months into your studies.
Applications for the loan will be made via the Student Finance website. We expect the application system to open from the end of July. In order to apply you will need:
It is also advised that you decide ahead of applying how much of the £10,000 loan you want to access.
The loans are intended for English students. However, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish students are also eligible - providing they've lived in England for at least three years for a reason other than study.
Students from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland are eligible if they've been ordinarily resident in one of these areas for at least three years for a reason other than study. Non-EU students are not eligible for the loan, unless they have the right to reside permanently in the UK; due to having refugee status, for example.
Full-time master’s (including MA, MSc, MBA etc) and research master’s (MRes) are eligible as long as they comprise a minimum of 180 credits and last no longer than two years. Please note that research degrees (PhD) are not eligible for this loan.
Part-time and distance-learning courses are also eligible, as long as they are studied at 50% intensity of their full-time counterpart e.g. a full-time course lasting one year must be studied part-time within two years.
Awards including PG Cert, PG Dip, and four year undergraduate/masters conversion courses are not eligible.
Unlike undergraduate loans, the postgraduate loan will be paid directly to you. If you are studying a one year full-time course, you will receive the loan in three equal instalments across the academic year. If you are studying part-time over two years, you will receive half of the loan in each year of study, delivered in three equal instalments across each academic year.
Payments begin once a University confirms your enrolment and attendance. If you leave the course before completion the loan payments will cease and you will be required to pay back the amount already borrowed.
Please be aware that you will not receive your first payment until your enrolment is confirmed. You will usually then receive your first instalment within 4 weeks. However, in case of any delay, please make sure you are in a position to meet the University’s first fee payment deadline. More information on our flexible payment scheme.
Your postgraduate loan will be paid concurrently alongside any existing undergraduate loan you might have accessed. You will only start paying the loan back once you start earning over £21,000 p/a after which repayments will be based on 6% of your earnings. The below table offers an example of repayments based on earnings:
Annual income (before tax)
Undergraduate loan repayment
Postgraduate loan repayment
Repayments for all recipients of the loan will not start until April 2019. Thereafter, you will start repaying your loan in the April that follows your graduation.
Similarly to repaying undergraduate loans, repayments will be taken from your salary by your employers. If you are self-employed, HMRC will calculate how much you need to repay upon completion of your self-assessment tax-return.
Interest rates are set at Retail Prices Index (RPI) + 3% and are frozen until 2021. Interest will begin accruing as soon as the first payment is made to the student by the Student Loans Company.