Postgraduate Doctoral Loans

Applications for the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan are now open! Visit to apply.


At Budget 2015, the Government announced its intention to review how to broaden and strengthen support for postgraduate research and subsequently published a consultation on support for postgraduate study.

Analysis showed strong support for the introduction of a new loan scheme for postgraduate doctoral students where this complements existing funding mechanisms and supports excellent research. Respondents were keen to ensure that support is maintained for existing funders that serve postgraduate research, such as through the Research Councils. The Government confirmed its commitment to introduce income contingent loans for doctoral study and its intention to offer these loans in addition to grant funding.

What is the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan?

The key terms of the loan are as follows:

• Eligible individuals can borrow up to £25,000.

• The course must be between 3 and 8 years.

• The loan is intended as a contribution to the cost of study, rather than to specifically cover tuition fees or living costs.

• The loan is available for courses that are full, standalone doctoral courses (not a top-up).

• You won’t get the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if you’ve received or will receive Research Council funding (for example, studentships, stipends, scholarships and tuition fee support).

• You can get the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if you’re a UK or EU national, or have ‘settled status’, so there are no restrictions on how long you can stay, if you normally live in England, and didn’t move there just to study, AND, you’ll have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years before starting your course.

Further eligibility requirements can be found here on the Gov.UK website.

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