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Postgraduate loan for Master's study (2017/18 entry)

For students starting certain postgraduate Master's programmes the UK Government will provide a non-means tested loan to assist with the associated costs of studying.

For students starting certain Postgraduate Master's programmes in academic year 2018/19 (on or after the 1 August 2017) the UK Government will provide a loan of up to £10,609  to assist with the associated costs of studying. The loan is non-means tested.

The loan is a contribution towards the costs of study and eligible students will have the discretion to use the loan towards fees, day to day living costs and other associated costs of study. These loans are paid directly to the student, see the 'Payment' section below.

To be eligible students will need to meet a number of eligibility criteria including:


UK and EU nationals will need to meet certain residency criteria as assessed by Student Finance England (SFE) to be eligible. Further detailed information regarding residency is available from SFE via the Student Room.


Students will need to be aged under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of the programme, for assessment purposes these dates are the 1 September, 1 January , 1 April and 1 July. For example where a student starts a programme on any date from August to December 2017 inclusive, the first day of the academic year is the 1 of September, the applicant must be aged under 60 on that day.

Programme of study

  • Eligible Master's programmes may be taught or research based, for example MA, MSc, MBA, MPhil and MRes (on entry). These programmes must be standalone programmes and not integrated into another level of award such as an MPhil/PhD which will not qualify. There are no subject restrictions.  Please note that PhDs and programmes that are currently funded by the undergraduate support system for example integrated masters and PGCEs, are not eligible for this support.
  • One or two year full-time courses are eligible for support.
  • Part time courses of up to 4 years are also eligible.
  • The programme may have an overseas element but this cannot exceed 50% of the total programme of study.
  • Distance learning programmes are also permissible but the applicant will need to reside in England whilst undertaking the programme (this is also subject to the personal eligibility which includes meeting certain residency requirements to be eligible for support).

Please note:

Students are not eligible for a PGL where they are eligible to apply for a healthcare bursary or are in receipt of a social work bursary from the NHS, Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety or the Student Awards Agency Scotland. Students not awarded a Social Work bursary due to the limited number available, may be eligible to apply for a PGL once confirmation of non-allocation of a bursary is received.
Students who are seen to be studying for an equivalent or lower level qualification will not be eligible for this scheme, for example if you already hold a Masters, including an integrated Master's or a higher qualification and are looking to undertake a Masters qualification you would not be eligible for a loan. Please note this applies even if the qualification was entirely self-funded and or achieved outside of the UK. 


There is no minimum amount that you have to request but if you change your mind and would like to increase the amount of loan you have asked for, you must do this at least one month prior to the end of the academic year. You cannot ask for less than you have already been paid or for more than the maximum amount applicable each year.

The loan is paid in instalments throughout each academic year, depending on the duration of the programme of study

Number of years of ProgrammeAmount available each academic year
Full-time programme - 1 years duration£10,609
Full-time programme - 2 years duration£5,140

 Payments will be made in three instalments per academic year:

  • Payment 1: Programme start date as advised by the university
  • Payment 2: 4 months after the Programme start month (last Wednesday of the month)
  • Payment 3: 7 Months after the Programme start month (last Wednesday of the month)

Payment will not be received for the first instalment until registration with the university is fully completed. The completion of registration will require a payment towards the applicable tuition fee and so the Postgraduate Loan cannot directly be used to pay tuition fees for registration. You should ensure that you have sufficient funds available to make this initial payment. See our Paying your fees section for more information. Payment of subsequent instalments for the academic year are dependent on the student remaining registered and not in debt with tuition fee payments. Where the programme of study is more than one academic year in duration, to release and receive payment of the loan in subsequent years, students must be fully registered and in attendance.

There are specific rules around students who transfer or repeat study and how this affects eligibility. For further information and advice, contact us at -

Please note: these loans will be taken into account by the Department for Work & Pension (DWP) where the applicant is in receipt of Government means-tested benefits. The DWP will take account of 30% of the maximum annual loan amount when calculating entitlement to means-tested benefits. For further information and advice contact the DWP JobCentre Plus service


Postgraduate Loan repayment commences in April after the programme is completed (or following withdrawal, where this applies). Students who are studying a programme that is three or four academic years in duration will enter repayment in the April following the second academic year and so will still be on programme and making repayments.

Postgraduate loans will be repaid using a percentage (currently 6%) of annual income, this is called 'Income contigent repayment'. The annual income threshold is £21,000 per annum. This means that 6% of earnings over £21,000 will be taken as a repayment directly by your employer or through self-assessment via HMRC. Where repayments are made from overseas, the income threshold applied may be different and payments will need to be made directly to the Student Loan Company.

Repayment of a postgraducate loan will be made concurrently with any other student loan repayments due, under the arrangements in place for the repayments of that loan.

Write off-the balance of any outstanding postgraduate loan under this scheme will be on the 30th anniversary of the date the loan becomes due for repayment. If a loan holder becomes permanently unfit for work and there are no outstanding arrears, or if the loan holder passes away the loan will be written off at that time.

Applying and further information

The application process is due to open in June.

In the meantime, if you have questions relating to your specific circumstances, you are welcome to contact us at the university at and we will do our best to assist you.