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Government-funded postgraduate loans

If your course begins on or after 1st August 2018 a loan of up to £10,609 is available to home postgraduate students under the age of 60. Being eligible for these loans is not dependent on your household income or job status.

Students studying a one or two year full-time course, or a part-time course with a minimum 50% intensity rate are eligible for funding. If the student is studying a two year full-time course on a part-time basis, payments will be made over the first two academic years. If the course is longer than two years, then payments will be spread across all years of study.

Loans are available for taught and research based Master's programmes. Qualifying students can attend an eligible course anywhere in the UK or study by distance learning in England.

Apply online at gov.uk

Please note: postgraduate government loans are not available to international students or to those studying for either a PGDip or PGCert.


Eligibility

To be eligible for a government loan, students will need to:

  • Be a UK National or UK Settled Status who has ordinarily resided in England for three years prior to the start of their postgraduate programme.
  • Be aged under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of the programme.
    (First academic days are listed as 1st September, 1st January, 1st April, 1st July)
  • Have no outstanding student loan arrears or have previously been found 'unfit' for student support.

Students who already hold a Master's degree or equivalent (or higher) will not be eligible for the postgraduate loan. If a student has already received a government-funded postgraduate loan they will not be eligible for funding -regardless of whether they completed the course - unless the student has a compelling personal reason for receiving repeat funding for an academic year of study.

Temporary absences from the home address for education or travelling will not prevent an applicant's eligibility. EU Nationals or refugees may also be eligible.


Payment

There is no minimum loan amount and students can amend the amount of loan requested up to one month before the end of the academic year. The amendment request amount cannot be less than has been paid.

Loans are paid in three equal instalments per academic year, directly into the student's bank account:

  • Payment One: Programme start date (as advised by the institution).
  • Payment Two: Last Wednesday of the fourth month after the programme start month.
  • Payment Three: Last Wednesday of the seventh month after the programme start month.

The first payment date depends on the institution confirming that the student is in study and must be confirmed at the start of each academic year of the programme.


Repayment

Loans are paid back concurrently with any other student loans and repayments vary on an income basis.

The repayment rate is 6% of annual income over £21,000. The threshold for borrowers repaying from overseas will be based on the cost of living in their country of residence. Thresholds will be frozen until 2021.

Repayments will begin in April in the following academic year from which the course is completed (or following withdrawal, where this applies). Borrowers are charged interest set at RPI + 3% (Retail Price Index). Repayments through HMRC will not begin until 6th April 2019, but voluntary repayments can be made at any time.

Any remaining postgraduate loan debt will written-off after 30 years from the date that the loan repayments begin.

Repayment rates

Students who started their undergraduate degree on or after 1st September 2012
Income each year (before tax)Monthly salaryUndergraduate loan repaymentPostgraduate 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
Students who started their undergraduate degree before 1st September 2012
Income each year (before tax)Monthly salaryUndergraduate loan repaymentPostgraduate 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 £167 £95
£45,000 £3,750 £207 £120

Change of circumstances

Transfers

Transfers between eligible Master's programmes are permitted. The new Higher Education Provider must notify the Student Loans Company of the transfer before any future payments are made to the student.

Repeating a year of study

Repeat years are generally not funded. A repeat year will only be funded where the student can prove compelling personal reasons for repeating an academic year.

Withdrawals

The Student Loans Company should be notified about any withdrawal immediately. Any payments made to the student after they leave study will be treated as a loan overpayment.