Postgraduate research student finance

If you’re thinking of studying a doctoral course at the University of Surrey, find out more about the student finance available to you, how to apply and how it’s repaid.

Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan from the Government can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course, such as a PhD.

You can get up to:

  • £25,700, if your course starts on or after 1 August 2019
  • £25,000, if your course starts before 1 August 2019.

The amount you’ll get is not based on income and the loan is paid directly to you. The loan will also be divided equally across each year of your course.


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

1. Residency

In order to request a doctoral loan from the UK Government, you will need to meet residency requirements outlined by Student Finance England.

2. Your age

You will need to be aged under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your course.

For example, where a student starts a course on any date from August to December 2019 inclusive, the first day of the academic year is 1 September. The applicant must therefore be aged under 60 on that day.

3. Your course

According to the Student Finance England website, in order to be eligible for a doctoral loan, your course must:

  • Be a full, standalone doctoral course (not a top-up course)
  • Have started on or after 1 August 2018
  • Last between three and eight academic years
  • Be provided by a university in the UK with research degree awarding powers.

Your course can be:

  • Full-time or part-time
  • Taught or research-based, or a combination of both.

Examples of postgraduate doctoral qualifications include: PhD ; DPhil ; EdD ; EngD

For more details about distance learning, integrated programmes and other types of course, please visit the Government website.

You can read the full eligibility criteria here.



You’ll repay your doctoral loan using a percentage of your income. Once you are earning more than £21,000 a year (or £1,750 a month), you’ll pay six per cent of the amount you earn above the £21,000 threshold.

If you already have a masters loan then you’ll make a combined repayment of six per cent, covering both postgraduate loans.

Get more information on repaying your doctoral loan.


How to apply

The quickest and easiest way to apply is online through the Government's website.

You’ll be able to apply for funding for the 2019-20 academic year from the end of June 2019.


When you’ll be paid

To receive the first payment of your loan, you’ll need to have fully completed registration with the University. Your loan will then be paid in three instalments across the academic year.


Please be aware this page is a summary correct as of May 2019. For full details, please visit the Government website.