UK government postgraduate loan scheme

If you're starting a postgraduate course from September 2017 you may be entitled to a government-backed loan of up to £10,280.

Apply for a postgraduate loan (gov.uk)

Key facts

  • Up to £10,280
  • 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

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More information

Am I eligible?

Residency

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
What can I study?

Courses

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:

  • PGCE - Other funding is available for PGCE courses
  • PGCert
  • PGDip
  • PhD - A separate system of loans of up to £25,000 has been proposed for doctoral students
  • Undergraduate courses with integrated Masters years - These courses will usually be covered by undergraduate student loans

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.

How will I be paid?

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 £10,000 in three instalments.
  • Students on a two year programme will receive £5,000 in three instalments in their first year, and £5,000 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.

How is the loan repaid?

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

Terms

  • 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

Interest

  • 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.

Will EU students still have access to student loans if the UK leaves the EU?

Eligible EU nationals joining the University in the 2017/18 academic year will have access to student loans for the duration of their course.

For further details see: EU Nationals and Student Finance in England (slc.co.uk).

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