When applying for a Masters Degree, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan to cover the costs of studying.
These loans, which were introduced in 2016, work in a similar way to Undergraduate Student Loans. You will repay a percentage of your income once you are earning above a certain threshold. If you have both an Undergraduate Loan and a Postgraduate Loan, you will pay them back simultaneously. Students who started a course in 2015/16 can’t apply for the Postgraduate Loan. Only students who start a Masters course in 2016/17 or later (i.e. on or after 1 August 2016) may be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan.
- Courses starting before 1 September 2017 - loans up to £10,000
- Courses starting after 1 September 2017 - loans up to £10,280
There is no minimum loan amount and you do not have to apply for the full loan amount in your initial application. You can increase the loan amount at any point during your studies, providing you make the application before the final month of your course.
What courses are eligible?
Postgraduate Loans are available for most Masters courses (MA, MSc, LLM, MBA or MRes) including distance learning courses and part-time courses, subject to Government eligibility criteria. They are not available if you apply for a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDIp) or Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert). These loans are not available for PhDs and not available if you receive an NHS Bursary.
You won’t be able to get the loan if you already have a qualification which would be an equivalent level or the Masters you are applying for is at a lower level than a qualification you have already taken. The loan is not available for students who have any of the following:
- Integrated Masters
- Overseas equivalent
- Stand-alone Masters
Am I eligible?
You are eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan if all of these apply to you:
- you are under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your course
- you normally live in England
- you are studying a Masters course at a university in the UK
EU students may also be able to get a postgraduate loan for a Masters course at an English university or college. You’ll need to have lived in the EU for three years, and will need to live in England while studying.
If you aren't eligible for a Postgraduate Loan, take a look at other funding sources.
For full details of loans, eligibility and how to apply, please visit www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan
More information about Postgraduate Loans
- The Student Loans Company's policy document [PDF]
- The Student Finance England finance zone on The Student Room
- Student Finance England videos: