UK government Masters loans
If you're starting a postgraduate course from September 2023, you may be entitled to a government-backed loan.
A postgraduate Masters loan can help with your course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate Masters course.
UK government loan
You can now apply for funding for the 2023 to 2024 (gov.uk) academic year.
You could be eligible for a loan from Student Finance England if you're a:
- UK national living in England
or are an EU national with:
- settled status and resident in the UK for three years prior to the start of your course and resident in England on the first day of the academic year of your course
- pre-settled status and resident in the UK, Gibraltar, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for three years prior to the start of your course
or an Irish national who:
- has been resident in the Common Travel area for three years prior to the first day of the academic year of your course, with at least part of this period spent in the Republic of Ireland.
- You could receive up to £12,167
- Available in all subject areas for the following postgraduate qualifications MA, MSc, MPA, MBA, LLM, MRes, MLitt, MFA, MEd, and MPhil
- How much you get does not depend on your household income
- Available for full-time, part-time and distance learning courses
- You won't start making repayments until you're earning £22,015 or more
You can also get extra support (gov.uk) if you have a disability.
Devolved nations loans
In addition to the residency requirements outlined above, you may also be eligible if you're a non-EU national and are one of the following:
- refugee (including family members).
- humanitarian protection (including family members).
- child of a Turkish worker who has permission to stay in the UK - you and your Turkish worker parent must have been living in the UK by 31 December 2020.
- a stateless person (including family members).
- an unaccompanied child granted ‘Section 67 leave’ under the Dubs Amendment.
- a child who is under the protection of someone granted ‘Section 67 leave’, who is also allowed to stay in the UK for the same period of time as the person responsible for them (known as ‘leave in line’).
- granted ‘Calais leave’ to remain.
- a child of someone granted ‘Calais leave’ to remain, who is also allowed to stay in the UK for the same period of time as their parent (known as ‘leave in line’).
- you’ve been given settled status but not under the EU Settlement Scheme.
- you’ve been given indefinite leave to remain because you’ve been the victim of domestic violence.
- you’ve been granted indefinite leave to remain as a bereaved partner.
- you or your family member have been granted leave under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) or the Afghan Citizen’s Resettlement Scheme (ACRS).
- you or your family member have been granted leave to enter or remain in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme, the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme or the Ukraine Extension Scheme.
You could also be eligible if you’re not a UK national and are either:
- under 18 and have lived in the UK for at least 7 years
- 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years (or at least half of your life)
You must have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years in a row before the first day of the first academic year of your course.
You will be eligible if your course is:
- part-time, lasting two to four academic years, and 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.
Other eligibility factors
You will not be eligible if:
- you already hold:
- a Masters qualification
- an equivalent qualification
- a higher qualification
- you're already getting payments from Student Finance England for another course that you’re studying
- you've received a loan or grant for a Masters course before - unless you got a Disabled Students’ Allowance or you left your course for a serious personal reason like illness or bereavement
- you're behind in repayments for any previous loans from the Student Loans Company.
You will still be eligible if you have a PGCE or a postgraduate diploma or certificate.
What courses can I study?
You can receive a loan to study a postgraduate programme that awards a full Masters qualification. Eligible courses include:
Courses which are not covered include:
- PGCE - other funding is available for PGCE courses
- PhD - a separate loan of up to £27,892 is available 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 per cent intensity.
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:
- If you're on a one-year programme, you'll receive £12,167 in three instalments.
- If you're on a two-year programme, you'll receive three instalments of 33 percent, 33 percent and 34 percent each 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.
Once you're earning more than £22,000 you'll start making payments on your Student Finance England loan. These payments will be set at 6% of anything you earn above £22,000. Payments will stop automatically if:
- you stop working
- your income goes below the threshold.
The earliest you'll begin repaying is:
- the April after you complete your course, subject to meeting the income threshold
- the April four years after the course started, if you're studying part-time.
- Loan interest is normally calculated at RPI+3% (gov.uk)
- 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.
If you're an eligible EU national who joined the University in the 2019/20 or 2020/21 academic years, you'll have access to student loans for the duration of your course.
- For further details, see EU Nationals and Student Finance in England (gov.uk).
If you're unsure of whether you're eligible, or if you have further visa or immigration advice, please fill out the International Student Support self-referral form.