Students can now apply for a Postgraduate Masters Loan. Take a look at the short video guide from Student Loans Company below.

About the Loan

For courses starting in 2021, you can get up to £11,570 for your whole course. The loan will be paid directly to you, in installments during the course, and can be used as a contribution towards fees, or other study or living costs during the masters course, as you decide.

Who is eligible for the Postgraduate Masters Loan?

  • You must be a UK National, or have settled status in the UK, and have been resident in the UK for three years on the first day of the academic year of your course start date. This must have most recently been resident in England.
  • You may also be eligible if you’re an EU national and been granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme if you have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for at least 3 years.
  • From 1 August 2021, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members who are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreements will no longer be eligible for home fee status postgraduate financial support and advanced learner loans from Student Finance England for courses starting 2021/22 or after.
  • You must be under 60 years old.
  • Eligibility is not based on income – the loan is not means tested.

Who is not eligible for the Postgraduate Masters Loan?

If you are a UK national, or have settled status or leave to remain in the UK but you ordinarily live outside England, ie in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, then you are not eligible. See below for details on Postgraduate Loans in other parts of the UK.

If you already have a Masters level qualification (or equivalent), or a higher level qualification, such as a PhD, you will not be eligible under Equivalent Level Qualification (ELQ) rules.

Which type of courses are covered by the Postgraduate Masters Loan?

1. A qualification which is classed as either a taught, research, or professional masters – eg MA, MSc, LLM, MBA, MRes, MEd, MMus, MDes etc

2. Full time masters courses, which are 50% part-time – ie a course that is one year full-time or two years part-time, or two years full-time and up to four years part-time will be covered by the loan. A course that is one year full-time but three years part-time will not be covered for part-time study.

3. Both campus based and online courses are covered by the loan, as long as the course is delivered by an officially funded institution in the UK, which is authorised to award its own degrees (ie has taught degree awarding powers).

Are there any courses that are not covered?

Courses that are not at full master’s level, for example postgraduate diplomas or certificates, including PGCE, or a graduate certificate, are not covered by the loan.

The Money 

  • You apply for the loan via the Student Loans Company website.
  • Interest is calculated from the date when you receive the first loan instalment, but you won’t start repayments until the April after you complete your course,and if your income is less than £21,000 you will only start repayments once it reaches that level.
  • Loan interest is calculated at RPI+3%, and the repayment rate, once you start repayments is at 6% (the undergraduate loan is set at 9% so the PG loan is lower) of income above the £21,000 income threshold.
  • If you already have an outstanding undergraduate loan, you will have to pay the postgraduate loan off at the same time.
  • The loan will be issued by the Student Loans Company in 3 instalments across the year, starting once your enrolment and attendance are confirmed by your university. If you leave your master’s part way through or move to another course which is not covered by the loan, you will be liable for all repayments.

For more information on how to apply visit the SFE website here

Postgraduate Loans in other parts of the UK


In 2017, the Scottish Government confirmed plans for a £10,000 Masters Loans. You will need to apply through SAAS (Student Awards Agency Scotland) and must check that you meet the eligibility criteria. Further information for 2020/21 is available here.

Northern Ireland

A Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan for Northern Ireland students is available for new and continuing students. The only way to know how much you may be eligible for is to submit your application, you could receive up to £5,500. Applications for academic year 2020/21 are encouraged. Find out more here.


You can apply for a Postgraduate Loan in Wales if you’re starting a postgraduate Masters course in 2020/21. You could get up to £17,489 to help towards your course and living costs. Find out more here.

Is there a student loan for a PhD?
Yes. For information relating to the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan, see  here.

What if I have more questions?
We suggest you talk to the universities you are applying to.  To get regular updates on the loan and other Masters funding, register now for our newsletter. You can also check out the postgraduate loan video from Student Finance England.