Postgraduate taught student finance

Find out about student finance support provided by the UK Government.

Postgraduate loans from Student Finance England

For students starting certain postgraduate masters courses, you can get a loan of up to:

  • £10,906, if your course starts on or after 1 August 2019
  • £10,609, if your course started between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019
  • £10,280, if your course started between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.

This loan is non-means tested, i.e. the amount you can request is not dependent on your income. Your loan can be used towards the cost of your course fees and living expenses.

Eligibility

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

1. Residency

In order to request a loan from the UK Government, you will need to meet residency requirements outlined by Student Finance England. For those that do not meet the requirements of SFE, there are other authorities such as SFWSFNI and SAAS who all offer postgraduate funding packages.

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 postgraduate masters loan, your course must:

  • Be a full, standalone masters course (not a top-up course)
  • Be worth at least 180 credits
  • Have started on or after 1 August 2016
  • Be provided by an eligible university or college in the UK (check with the University that your course is registered).

You course can be:

  • Taught or research-based
  • Full-time, lasting one or two academic years
  • Part-time, lasting two to four academic years – no more than twice the length of the equivalent full-time course
  • Part-time for up to three years, where no equivalent full-time course exists.

Examples of postgraduate masters qualifications include: MSc ; MA ; MPhil ; MRes ; LLM ; MLitt ; MFA ; MEd ; MBA.

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.

Repayment

You’ll repay your postgraduate 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.

Get more information on repaying your postgraduate loan.

Apply online

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

Receiving your loan

To receive the first payment of your loan, you’ll need to have fully completed registration with the University (which includes part payment of tuition fees).

There’s no minimum amount that you have to request but if you decide to increase the amount of loan you initially asked for, you must do this at least one month before the end of the academic year. Initial applications must be made within nine months of the start of the relevant academic year.

If your programme of study is seen as greater than one academic year's duration you will receive your loan over two years. For example, if you have elected to borrow the maximum amount (£10,906), eligible students will receive £5,453 per academic year, paid in three instalments across the year. If your course is seen to last one academic year, and you have elected to borrow the maximum amount of loan, you will receive £10,906 paid in three instalments across that academic year.

There are specific rules around students who transfer or repeat study and how this affects eligibility. For further information, please contact Student Records.

If you have been accepted for the postgraduate loan, and are having difficulties in paying your fees before your first instalment is due, please contact our Student Finance team once you’ve received a tuition fee invoice.

 

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