Frequently asked questions: postgraduate loans

Postgraduate student using computer at home

Frequently Asked Questions

When do postgraduate loans become available?

Loans of up to £10,280 (for residents of England and Wales) and up to £5,500 (for residents of Northern Ireland) are available to students who register from the 2017/18 academic session.

I started my course in 2016/17. Can I apply for a postgraduate loan?

Residents in England who began their programme in 2016/17 can still apply within nine months from the first day of the first academic year (one-year courses) or second academic year (two-year courses or longer).  

When will I receive my loan?

Residents of England and Wales: you receive your loan after you register with us and pay for at least one module. It will be paid to you directly in instalments over the duration of your course (up to a maximum of four years).

Northern Ireland residents: your loan is paid directly to the university.

I've decided to transfer programmes. Do I need to inform the Student Loans Company?

Yes. You will need to notify the University and the SLC. If necessary, we will submit a Change of Circumstances (COC) form confirming these changes.

What happens if I withdraw from the course?

You must notify the University as soon as you decide to withdraw. Your fees are still payable except if you withdraw within the 14-day cancellation period as defined in the Terms and Conditions. Student Finance will be notified.

How long do I have to finish my master's?

You must complete your studies within the length specified for your programme on the online application. If you are studying part-time, your study 'intensity' must average 50% of a full-time course.

How much does the loan cost?

You'll be charged interest from the day you receive the first payment until the loan is cancelled or repaid in full. Check GOV.UK for latest updates.

How does repayment work?

You begin repayments from the April after you complete the course and once your income exceeds £21,000. You pay 6% of your income once you exceed this threshold.

Key Facts

  • Postgraduate loans will be available up to the value of £10,280 for 2017/2018 (England and Wales) and up to the value of £5,500 for residents of Northern Ireland.
  • Both taught and research master's courses are eligible for loans.
  • Distance learning programme are eligible for loans.
  • Loans will be available for full-time and part-time master’s courses in all subject areas and disciplines. (Part-time applicants must be studying a minimum average of 50% intensity of a full-time equivalent course.)
  • The loans will not be means-tested. Any eligible candidates can apply.
  • Students must be under the age of 60 at the point of applying.
  • The loan is not available for Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma qualifications – only for full master's level programmes.
  • Applicants must not already hold a master's level course or equivalent (even from overseas).
  • Applicants will not be eligible if they have outstanding student loan arrears.

You can learn more about Postgraduate Loans at the Student Room.

For a more detailed guide, download 'Your guide to postgraduate loans' [PDF, 236kb]