Postgraduate Loan Scheme
The UK Government has a postgraduate loan scheme for students undertaking Master’s-level courses, and will introduce loans for PhD students in 2018.
Non means-tested loans of up to a maximum of £10,000 are available to taught and research Master's students. For PhD-level students, a maximum of £25,000 will be available.
- Postgraduate loans are available to UK Nationals (ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands), EU, EEA or Swiss nationals ordinarily resident in the EU, EEA or Switzerland.
Applicants are not eligible for PGL if they have outstanding student loan arrears or have previously been found to be ‘unfit’ for student support.
- Non means-tested loans of up to £10,000 per course are made available to students applying to taught and research Master's courses. PhD students are funded through a separate scheme.
- Loans are available to students under the age of 60 studying full-time, part-time (at least 50% of a full-time course) or on distance-learning courses.
- Loans are available to students across all discipline areas.
- The loan is considered to be a contribution towards the costs of postgraduate study and is not available if you already have a Master's qualification.
- Postgraduate funding is considered a devolved matter for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Therefore loans are only available for students ordinarily resident in England.
Payment of Loan
- Payments of PGL are made in three equal instalments per academic year: course start date, 4 months and 7 months after start date.
Payments are released following receipt of confirmation from the HE Provider that the student is in study and on track to complete the course within the specified course duration.
- Repayments will be on an income-contingent basis commencing on 6th April 2019 with repayments taken via HMRC.
- The UK repayment threshold will be £21,000 in tax year 2019/20. Those who are repaying from overseas will have a threshold applied which is based on the cost of living in their country of residence.
- Postgraduate loan repayments will be paid concurrently with undergraduate loan repayments, at a rate of 6% of annual income over £21,000. Your undergraduate and postgraduate loans will be two separate loans.
- Interest will be charged at RPI + 3%.
The final details of the PhD loan scheme have yet to be anounced, although the plan is for loans of up to £25,000 to be available without means-testing.
The government's proposal states that loans will be available to students who are:
- English-resident UK nationals
- Aged under 60
- Studying at any UK university
- Not already in receipt of any Research Council funding
Repayment terms will be in line with those for master's-level postgraduate loans - you will pay 6% of any earnings over £21,000.
FindAPhD has more details of the proposed scheme.