Postgraduate Masters Loans
Funding is available for UK students studying at postgraduate level, but the form of support varies dependent upon where you live.
Students from England
- For students starting their course in academic year 2020/21, loans can be up to £11,222 per student. For those on part-time courses the loan will be spread over two years, with a cap of £5,453 per academic year (including Distance Learning courses).
- The purpose of the loan is to offer a contribution towards the cost of completing your postgraduate study. The student will be expected to then use the loan according to their individual circumstances (a contribution towards tuition fees and/or living costs).
- Applications are non-means tested.
- Monies are paid directly to the student (requires a UK bank account) across three equal instalments (usually September, January and April). If you want to then pay your Tuition Fees in three instalments, aligned with your loan instalments, please contact our Income Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Students must be resident in England on the first day of the academic year. They should also be:
- Ordinarily living in England, having resided in the UK for three years before the start date of their course; or
- As an EU student, been ordinarily resident in the EEA/Switzerland for the past three years.
A student must be under 60 on the first day of the first academic year.
If a student already holds a Master’s level or higher level qualification, then they won’t be eligible for the Postgraduate Loan. Lower level qualifications such as Postgraduate Diplomas or Postgraduate Certificates of Education will not affect eligibility. Equally, if you have already accessed a Master's Loan, you won’t be able to apply again.
The Postgraduate Loan will be available to students studying a postgraduate Master’s course only (taught or research based) either full-time or part-time (including distance learning). This excludes Launchpad (with MSc Entrepreneurship) and the PGCHE element of the Creative Education MA. PhD students will be covered by the separately proposed research loans.
Full-time taught Master's courses, in all subjects, are covered providing they last no longer than two years. Part-time and distance learning programmes studied at an intensity of at least 50% of their full-time counterparts are also eligible. PhD students will be covered by the separately proposed research loans.
How will I receive my Master's loan?
Loans will be paid directly to students in three installments per year, meaning that:
- Students on one-year, full-time programmes will receive their loan in three instalments;
- Students on two-year programmes will receive 50% of their loan each year, in three instalments per year. Students don’t need to make another application at the start of their second year.
Payment will be subject to the university confirming your attendance, so you will need to have completed the full enrolment process before your first instalment will be paid. Should you leave your programme early, your loan instalments will stop and you'll still have to repay what you've already borrowed.
How will I repay my Master's loan?
Loans will be repaid concurrently with any undergraduate loans, at an interest rate of Retail Prices Index (RPI) + 3%. You will then repay 6% of any earnings over £21,000 pa. The earliest you’ll start to make repayments is April 2021. All student debt will be cancelled after 30 years.
How to apply
Further information on how to apply can be found at gov.uk
Students from Wales
Some details of Welsh loans have yet to be confirmed by the Welsh Parliament. This information will be updated on the below site once the regulations have been made. It’s your responsibility to check back and make sure you have the most up-to-date information.
It's expected however that if you’re starting a full-time or part-time postgraduate Master’s course (taught or research based) from 1 August 2020, you can apply for a Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,115 as a contribution towards your course and living costs. Further details available on the Student Finance Wales website
Students from Northern Ireland
The Department for the Economy plans to introduce Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loans for Northern Ireland students from the beginning of Academic Year 2017/18.
Whilst the exact details are yet to be finalised, it's likely that non-means-tested tuition fee loans of up to £5,500 will be available to help with course costs, and that students will be able to apply from Summer 2017. Further details available on the Student Finance Northern Ireland website.
Students from Scotland
You may receive a loan to pay your tuition fees for certain courses at postgraduate diploma and Master's level. However, not all postgraduate diplomas or full Master's courses are funded. The guide below tells you which courses are funded and what funding may be available.
This guide gives general advice only. If there is anything that you do not understand or if we have not covered your circumstances, please contact SAAS (0300 555 0505 or visit the SAAS website) for advice. Further details are available in the SAAS Guide to Postgraduate Funding on the SAAS website.