UK government Masters loans

If you're starting a postgraduate course from September 2021, you may be entitled to a government-backed loan.

  • Funding: £11,570
  • Academic year: 2021/22
  • Open to: EU and UK (home) students
  • Qualification level: Postgraduate research and Postgraduate taught

Applications for 2022/23 entry will open later this academic year.

A postgraduate Masters loan can help with your course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate Masters course.

Apply for 2021/22 entry (

UK government loan

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 spend in the Republic of Ireland.

Key facts

  • Applications open in June
  • You could receive up to £11,570
  • Available in all subject areas for the following postgraduate qualifications MA, MSc, MPA, MBA, LLM, MRes 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 £21,000 or more

You can also get extra support ( if you have a disability.

Devolved nations loans


Open to EU and UK (home) students.


In addition to the residency requirements outlined above, you may also be eligible if you're a non-EU national and are:

    • the child of a Turkish worker
    • a refugee or the relative of someone who is
    • under humanitarian protection or the relative of someone who is
    • staying in the UK as stateless or the relative of someone who is
    • aged 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years or at least half your life
    • aged under 18 and have lived in the UK for at least seven years
    • granted indefinite leave to remain following the Calais camp clearance in 2016 (known as ‘Calais leave’) or the child of someone with Calais leave. You must also have lived in the UK for at least three years before the first day of the first academic year.

You will not normally be eligible if:

  • you're a UK national or have settled or pre-settled status in the UK, but live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

UKCISA provides information on funding and loans for postgraduate students that live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Find out if you are eligible.

Part-time courses

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 aged 60 or above on the first day of the academic year in which your course begins
  • 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.
How to apply

Applications for 2022/23 entry will open later this year.

Contact details

For further visa or immigration advice:

What courses can I study?

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

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

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 per cent 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:

  • If you're on a one year programme you'll receive £11,570 in three instalments.
  • If you're on a two year programme you'll receive £5,785 in three instalments in your first year, and £5,785 in three instalments in your 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.

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

Gross annual income




  • Income tax
    20% of earnings above £12,500




  • National Insurance
    12% of earnings over £9,500




  • Undergraduate loan repayments
    9% of earnings over £27,295 (from April 2021)




  • Postgraduate loan repayments
    6% of earnings over £21,000




Take-home pay





  • 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.

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.

If you're unsure of whether you're eligible, or if you have further visa or immigration advice, please contact