Postgraduate Master's Loan

Eligibility

To apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan students must:

 

 

  • be a UK national or Irish Citizen or have ‘settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme or indefinite leave to remain so there are no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK
  • normally live in England 
  • have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland for 3 continuous years before the first day of their course, apart from temporary absences such as going on holiday

If they have been living in the UK, Islands and Ireland for three years, the student may be eligible for a loan to study at a university in England.

They may also be eligible if they're a UK national (or family member of a UK national) who either:

 

  • returned to the UK on or after 1 January 2018 and by 31 December 2020 after living in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
  • was living in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein on 31 December 2020 and has been living in the UK, the EU, Gibraltar, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein for the past 3 years

If they’re an EU national or a family member of an EU national they may be eligible for a Postgraduate Master's Loan if all of the following apply:

 

  • they have pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • they have normally lived (also known as being ‘ordinarily resident’) in the UK, the European Economic Area, Switzerland or the Over Territories for the past three years.
  • they’re studying at a university in England

Irish citizens do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Students whose courses start before 1 August 2021 will continue to get student finance for the rest of their course.

Find out more on GOV.UK.

They may also be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan if their residency status is one of the following:

 

  • refugee (including family members)
  • humanitarian protection (including family members)
  • migrant worker from the EEA or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein (including family members) with settled or pre-settled status
  • a family member of a settled person who has lived in the UK and Islands for three years and their family member must be resident in the UK on the first day their course starts.
  • child of a Swiss national and they and their parent have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
  • child of a Turkish worker who has permission to stay in the UK - they and their Turkish worker parent must have been living in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • a stateless person (including family members)
  • an unaccompanied child granted ‘Section 67 leave’ under the Dubs Amendment
  • a child who is under the protection of someone granted ‘Section 67 leave’, who is also allowed to stay in the UK for the same period of time as the person responsible for them (known as ‘leave in line’)
  • granted ‘Calais leave’ to remain
  • a child of someone granted ‘Calais leave’ to remain, who is also allowed to stay in the UK for the same period of time as their parent (known as ‘leave in line’)
  • they’ve been given settled status (‘indefinite leave to remain’) because they’ve been the victim of domestic violence
  • they’ve been granted indefinite leave to remain as a bereaved partner
  • they or their family member have been granted leave under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) or the Afghan Citizen's Resettlement Scheme (ACRS)
  • they’ve been granted leave to enter or remain in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme, the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme or the Ukraine Extension Scheme

UK nationals and their family members who have resident status in Gibraltar and lived in the UK, Gibraltar, the EEA or Switzerland for the past three years can also apply for funding.

They could also be eligible if they’ve been living in the UK, the European Economic Area, Switzerland or the Overseas Territories for the past 3 years and they have one of the following:

 

  • pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and you’re an EU national or the family member of an EU national
  • pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and you’re the family member of an Irish citizen or a person of Northern Ireland
  • Irish citizenship and living in the UK on 31 December 2020. Where residence has been in the UK, Islands or Ireland for three years, they do not need to be in the UK on 31 December 2020
  • Gibraltarian status as an EU national or family member

They could also be eligible if they are not a UK national and are either:

 

  • under 18 and have lived in the UK for at least 7 years
  • 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years (or at least half of their life)

Age

They must be under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of their course to get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan. 

Previous study

If they have a loan from a previous undergraduate course, it won’t affect their eligibility for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan.

They can only get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan if they don’t already have an equivalent Master’s qualification or a higher-level qualification such as a PhD.

MAs from Scottish universities, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge or Trinity College Dublin are at a lower level than a postgraduate Master’s qualification. If they have an MA from one of these universities, they may be able to get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan.

If they take a Postgraduate Master’s Loan for a course but don’t complete it, they won’t be able to get a second Postgraduate Master’s Loan. However, if they have to withdraw from their course for compelling personal reasons, such as illness, they may still be able to apply for another Postgraduate Loan.

Uni and course eligibility

The course they’re studying must be at an eligible uni or college in the UK and be a full postgraduate Master’s course of at least 180 credits leading to a qualification such as:

  • Master of Science (MSc)
  • Master of Art (MA)
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
  • Master of Research (MRes)
  • Master of Law (LLM)
  • Master of Letters (MLitt)
  • Master of Fine Art (MFA)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

A Postgraduate Master’s Loan is not available to students wanting to ‘top up’ a lower-level qualification to a Master’s degree. The course must be a full standalone master’s course.

They can’t get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan for certain postgraduate courses, such as PgCert (Postgraduate Certificate), PgDip (Postgraduate Diploma), or where the postgraduate course is funded by undergraduate student finance, such as:

  • Initial Teacher Training (ITT) or Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)
  • Integrated Master’s
  • Master of Architecture (MArch)

If they’re studying a MArch course they may be able to get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan if undergraduate student finance isn’t available to them, for example, if they:

  • are studying part-time
  • have withdrawn from a previous course
  • are not studying a Master of Architecture part 2 course which leads to a qualification as an architect

 

Students can choose to study their course at the university in person or by distance learning, and their course can be:

  • a full-time course lasting 1 or 2 academic years,
  • a part-time course lasting 2 academic years that has a 1 year full-time equivalent,
  • a part-time course lasting 3 or 4 academic years that has a 2 year full-time equivalent, or
  • a part-time course lasting up to 3 years that has no full-time equivalent.