Postgraduate Loans

Postgraduate Loans are now available to help you pay for your Master's course.

Who can get a Postgraduate Loan?

You can apply for a Postgraduate Loan if you:

  • are studying a taught or research Master's course,
  • are under 60 years old at the start of the first academic year of their course, and
  • normally live in England.

If you are studying full-time the course can last for one or two years. If you are studying part-time you can study for two years (for the equivalent one year full-time course) or up to four years (for the equivalent two year full time course).

If you are a EU student, who doesn't normally live in England, you will alse be able to get a Postgraduate Loan for a Master's course at an English university or college.

What can you get?

You can apply for a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards your course and living costs. If your course is longer than one year you can get up to £5,000 in your first year and the rest in your second year. If you're studying part-time you can only get payments in the first two years of your course. The loan will be paid into your bank account in three instalments during the academic year.

If you have a disability, including a mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, you might be able to get Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs). These don't have to be paid back. 

When can you apply?

Applications for a Postgraduate Loan for 2016 entry are now open. For full details and to apply please visit the Gov.UK website.

Will interest be charged on your loans?

Interest is charged from the day the first payment is made to you until the loan is repaid in full. Interest will be charged at the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%.

How will you repay your loan?

You have to repay any loan you borrow, but not until you've finished or left your course and your income is over £21,000 a year. Repayments will be based on your income, not what you borrow.

If you're studying full-time you'll start making repayments the April after you finish or leave your course. If you're studying part-time you'll start making repayments the April two years after the start of your course or the April after you finish or leave your course, whichever comes first.

However, no repayments will be taken before April 2019 and you'll only start making repayments once your income is over the current threshold of £404 a week, £1,750 a month or £21,000 a year. You'll repay 6% of what you earn over the threshold.

What if you already have a student loan?

If you've had other loans from the Student Loans Company for your undergraduate course, you'll also repay these loans. For example if you took a loan for your undergraduate course that started after 1st September 2012, you'll repay 9% of your income over £21,000 towards that loan and 6% of your Postgraduate Loan. So you'll repay 15% of your income over the threshold in total.

A student loan repayment will be taken even if you don't earn £21,000 in a year but exceed the weekly or monthly threshold at any time, for example if you work overtime or get a bonus.

Any loan remaining 30 years after you're due to start making repayments will be written off.

Further information

A more comprehensive guide to the Postgraduate Loans written by Student Finance England can be downloaded here.