A Guide to the Postgraduate Masters Loan

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Published by Sophie Kelly
on 08/07/2019

Government loans to fund your Masters

Since August 2017, the UK Government has been offering postgraduate loans for eligible students to continue their studies. Two loans currently exist – the Postgraduate Masters Loan and the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

This guide will help you find out more about the Postgraduate Masters Loan and decide whether it’s right for you.

Please note that this guide applies to UK and EU students who are normally resident in England (did not move to England just to study) or moving from the EU to study in England. Different loans are available to those normally resident in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

What is the Postgraduate Masters Loan?

This loan is paid directly to you by Student Finance England for you to use towards your tuition fees or living costs.

What will I get?

If your course starts on or after 1 August 2019, you will receive £10,906. The loan is paid directly to you for you to use towards course fees or living costs and is not based on your family’s income.

If your course lasts for more than a year, the loan will be divided equally across each year of your course.

You will receive the loan in three instalments of 33%, 33% and 34% each year and you will get your first payment once your university confirms your attendance.

Who can get a Masters Loan?

Whether or not you are eligible for a Masters Loan depends on your course, your age and where you live. You cannot receive a Masters Loan if you already have a Masters degree.


Your course must be a full standalone Masters, be worth at least 180 credits and have started on or after August 2016. Your course can be taught or research-based.

It can be full-time, lasting 1 or 2 years, part-time lasting 2 to 4 years (no more than twice the length of the full-time equivalent), or part time for up to 3 years where there is no existing full-time course.

You can also get the loan if you are distance learner, provided you are living in England on the first day of your course.


You must be under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your course.

Your nationality or residency status

You can get the Masters Loan if you’re a UK or EU national or have ‘settled status’, you normally live in England and did not move to England just to study and you have been living in the UK for 3 years before starting your course.

If you are an EU national, you may be eligible if you have normally lived in the European Economic Area or Switzerland for the past three years and you’ll be studying at a university in England.

How do I repay my loan?

The earliest you can start repaying is on the first April after you leave your course and your annual income is over £21,000.

You’ll pay back 6% of your income over the minimum amount. This is £21,000 a year.

You’ll also be charged interest from the day you get your first payment until your loan is fully repaid or cancelled. The interest rate is currently 6.3%.

How do I apply?

You can apply online or by post

You can apply online or by post within nine months of the first day of the last academic year of your course. You will need proof of identity and supporting information.

How do I find out more information?

You can find all the terms & conditions and further information on the Postgraduate Masters Loan government website. Please read all the information provided by the government before applying for the loan.

Please note that the information in this blog post is correct as of 8 July 2019 and may be subject to change.

Sophie is a member of the Postgraduate Recruitment Team

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