Postgraduate research

Doctoral loan

If you’re applying for a research degree (PhD) at Leicester, then you may be eligible to apply for the new Government-funded Doctoral Loan.

The Doctoral Loan works in a similar way to both the postgraduate and undergraduate loans. You will repay the loan via a percentage of your income once you are earning above a predetermined threshold (currently £21,000 per year). If you have any other student loans you will pay them back at the same time.

How much?

  • For a PhD starting in the 2019-20 academic year, you can apply for a Doctoral Loan up to £25,700.
  • If your PhD started in the 2018-19 academic year, you can apply for a loan retrospectively, but only up to £25,000.
  • You cannot apply for a loan if you started your PhD before 1 August 2018.

The Doctoral Loan will be paid directly to you – not to the University – so you can put the money towards fees, research expenses, maintenance, travel or any other costs you might incur along the way.

You don’t have to borrow the full amount. However much you request will be divided evenly across the expected length of your PhD and paid in three instalments per year. You will only receive your first instalment once we confirm your registration.


The Doctoral Loan is available for research degrees in any subject. This includes not just PhDs but also the other doctorates we offer: DClinPsy, DSocSci and MD. PhDs by distance learning are eligible too. However, the loan is not available for MPhils or MRes courses.

You must be:

  • A UK or EU national
  • Resident in England for at least the last three years
  • Under 60 years of age on the first day of your course

You can’t apply for a Doctoral Loan if:

  • You already have a research degree
  • You are receiving funding from a Research Council
  • You are behind on payments to the Student Loans Company for another loan.

For full details of Doctoral Loans, including complete eligibility criteria, visit the Doctoral Loan pages on

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