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Postgraduate Loans for Masters Courses

A Postgraduate Loan can help with course fees and living cots while you study a postgraduate masters course. Please see below for details depending on when you started your course.


Students who started their course before 1 August 2017

Available Support

You can apply for a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards your course and living costs. Postgraduate Loans have to be paid back. If you have a disability, including a mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, you might be able to get Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs). DSAs don’t have to be paid back. Postgraduate students can apply for DSAs even if they aren’t eligible for a Postgraduate Loan.

Eligibility

Whether you're eligible for a Postgraduate Loan depends on:

  • if you've studied on a postgraduate course before
  • your course (see the list of qualifying courses (PDF Document))
  • your age
  • your nationality or residency status

You can find the full eligibility criteria on the gov.uk website.

If you’re studying full time the course can last for one or two years. If you’re studying part time you can study for two years (for the equivalent one year full-time course) or up to four years (for the equivalent two year full-time course).

EU students, who don’t normally live in England, will also be able to get a Postgraduate Loan for a Master’s course at an English university or college.

Applications

Applications for postgraduate loans are open now. Here are our top tips:

  • Visit gov.uk/studentfinance to make your application
  • You do not need to have a guaranteed place on the course to apply for a postgraduate loan. If your plans change before you are due to start, you can easily cancel or amend your application
  • You should make your application as early as you can to ensure your assessment is made by the time you start the course
  • You’ll only have to apply once, even if your course is longer than one year.

Payments

The loan will be paid into your bank account in three instalments during the academic year. If the course is longer than one year you can apply for up to £5,000 in your first year and the rest in your second year. If you’re studying part time you can only get payments in the first two years of your course.

Interest

Interest is charged from the day the first payment is made until the loan is repaid in full. Interest will be charged at the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%.


Student who start their course on or after 1 August 2017

Available Support

You can apply for a loan of up to £10,280 as a contribution towards your course and living costs. Postgraduate Loans have to be paid back. If you have a disability, including a mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, you might be able to get Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs). DSAs don’t have to be paid back. Postgraduate students can apply for DSAs even if they aren’t eligible for a Postgraduate Loan.

Eligibility

Whether you're eligible for a Postgraduate Loan depends on:

  • if you've studied on a postgraduate course before
  • your course (see the list of qualifying courses (PDF Document))
  • your age
  • your nationality or residency status

You can find the full eligibility criteria on the gov.uk website.

If you’re studying full time the course can last for one or two years. If you’re studying part time you can study for two years (for the equivalent one year full-time course) or up to four years (for the equivalent two year full-time course).

EU students, who don’t normally live in England, will also be able to get a Postgraduate Loan for a Master’s course at an English university or college.

Applications

Applications for postgraduate loans will open in June 2017. Here are our top tips:

  • Visit gov.uk/studentfinance to make your application
  • You do not need to have a guaranteed place on the course to apply for a postgraduate loan. If your plans change before you are due to start, you can easily cancel or amend your application
  • You should make your application as early as you can to ensure your assessment is made by the time you start the course
  • You’ll only have to apply once, even if your course is longer than one year.

Payments

The loan will be paid into your bank account in three instalments during the academic year. If you're studying for 2, 3 or 4 academic years, the loan will be divided equally across each year of your course.

Interest

Interest is charged from the day the first payment is made until the loan is repaid in full. Interest will be charged at the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%.


Repayments

Repayments will be based on your income, not what you borrowed. If you’re studying full time you’ll start making repayments the April after you finish or leave your course. If you’re studying part time, you’ll start making repayments the April two years after the start of your course or the April after you finish of leave your course, whichever comes first. However, no repayments towards Postgraduate Loans will be taken before April 2019 and only when your income is over the current threshold of £404 a week, £1,750 a month or £21,000 a year. You’ll repay 6% of what they earn over the threshold.

For example, if you’re paid monthly and earn £2,500 before tax you’ll repay 6% of the difference between what you earn and the threshold (£1,750):

£2,500 - £1,750 = £750

6% of £750 = £45

So your Postgraduate Loan repayment would be £45 that month.

Student loan repayments will be taken even if you don’t earn over £21,000 in a year but exceed the weekly or monthly threshold at any time, for example if you work overtime or get a bonus. Any loan remaining 30 years after you’re due to start making repayments will be written off.

If you took a loan for your undergraduate course, payments for your Postgraduate Loan will be made alongside your undergraduate loan repayments as follows:

I started my undergraduate course on or after 1 September 2012


You will repay 9% of your income over £21,000 towards the student loans you took for your undergraduate course and 6% of your income over £21,000 towards your Postgraduate Loan. This means you will repay 15% of your income over the threshold in total.

Income each year (before tax) Monthly salary Undergraduate loan repayment Postgraduate Loan repayment
£21,000 £1,750 £0 £0
£25,000 £2,083 £30 £20
£30,000 £2,500 £67 £45
£35,000 £2,916 £105 £70
£40,000 £3,333 £142 £95
£45,000 £3,750 £180 £120

I started my undergraduate course before 1 September 2012


If you took a loan for an undergraduate course that started after 1 September 1998 but before 1 September 2012 you will repay 9% of your income over £17,335 towards the student loans you took for your undergraduate course and 6% of your income over £21,000 towards your Postgraduate Loan. This means you will repay 15% of your income over the threshold in total.


Income each year (before tax) Monthly salary Undergraduate loan repayment Postgraduate Loan repayment
£17,335 £1,444 £0 £0
£21,000 £1,750 £27 £0
£25,000 £2,083 £57 £20
£30,000 £2,500 £94 £45
£35,000 £2,916 £132 £70
£40,000 £3,333 £169 £95
£45,000 £3,750 £207 £120

If you have an outstanding student loan for a course that started before 1 August 1998, you will continue to repay or defer these loans.

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Interest

Interest is charged from the day the first payment is made until the loan is repaid in full. Interest will be charged at the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%.

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