UK Government Masters Loans 2020/21

If you're starting a postgraduate course from September 2020 you may be entitled to a Government-backed loan of up to £11,222.

Applying for 2020 entry (

We expect details of this loan scheme ( for 2020/21 entry to be confirmed in March 2020. 

Key facts

  • Applications open in June
  • Up to £11,222
  • Available in all subject areas for the following postgraduate qualifications MA, MSc, MPA, MBA, LLM, MRes and MPhil.
  • Available for full-time, part-time and distance learning courses
  • You won't start making repayments until you're earning £21,000 or more

More information


You will be eligible if you are a UK national or have settled status in the UK.

  • You must have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years before the beginning of the academic year
  • This must most recently have been in England

You may also be eligible if you are:

  • An EU national, or family member of an EU national
  • If you have the residency status of
    • Refugee
    • Humanitarian protection
    • EEA migrant worker
    • Child of a Swiss national
    • Child of a Turkish worker

You will not normally be eligible if:

  • You are a UK national or have settled status in the UK, but live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Part-time courses

You will be eligible if your course is:

  • part-time, lasting 2 to 4 academic years, and no more than twice the length of the equivalent full-time course
  • part-time for up to 3 years, where no equivalent full-time course exists

Other eligibility factors

You will not be eligible if:

  • You already hold:
    • A Masters qualification
    • An equivalent qualification
    • A higher qualification
  • You are aged 60 or above on the first day of the academic year in which your course begins


You can receive a loan to study a postgraduate programme that awards a full Masters qualification. Eligible courses include:

  • LLM
  • MA
  • MRes
  • MPA
  • MBA
  • MSc
  • MPhil

Courses which are not covered include:

Mode of study

Full-time, part-time and distance learning courses are all covered. Part-time courses must be at a minimum of 50% intensity.

Course length

Your course should last no longer than two years full-time, or four years part-time.

Your loan will be paid to you in three instalments over the academic year, subject to confirmation of attendance by the University. These will be evenly spaced across your course. For example:

  • Students on a one year programme will receive £11,222 in three instalments.
  • Students on a two year programme will receive £5,611 in three instalments in their first year, and £5,611 in three instalments in their second year.

The loan will be paid directly to you. You will be responsible for using the money to contribute towards tuition fees and other expenses as you see fit.

Your loan will be paid alongside your tax, in the same way as an undergraduate loan.


  • You won't begin to repay your loan until you're earning £21,000 a year or more.
  • 6% of any income over £21,000 will go towards loan repayments.
  • This will begin in the April after you complete your course, subject to you meeting the income threshold.
  • Repayments will be made concurrently with any outstanding undergraduate loan repayments.
  • After 30 years, any outstanding balance will be written off.

What does this mean?

Once you're earning more that £21,000 you'll start making payments on your loan. These payments will be set at 6% of anything you earn above £21,000.

Gross annual income£25,000£30,000£40,000
Income tax
  • 20% of earnings above £11,000
£2,800 £3,800 £5,800
National Insurance
  • 12% of earnings over £8,060
£2,033 £2,633 £3,833
Undergraduate loan repayments
  • 9% of earnings over £21,000
£360 £810 £1,710
Postgraduate loan repayments
  • 6% of earnings over £21,000
£240 £540 £1,140
Take-home pay£19,567£22,217£27,517


  • Loan interest will be calculated at RPI+3%
  • Interest will begin to accrue from the date you receive your first instalment

The Government has committed to beating commercial interest rates, or matching commercial rates but with better terms.

Eligible EU nationals joining the University in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic years will have access to student loans for the duration of their course, even if the course concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

For further details see: EU Nationals and Student Finance in England (