A new system of postgraduate loans for Master's courses has been introduced in the UK, beginning from the 2016-17 academic year.
The Master's loan is intended to be a contribution to the cost of an eligible postgraduate Master’s qualification. The borrower will use the loan according to their individual circumstances as a contribution towards the cost of the Master's course tuition fees and/or any other costs associated with study, including their living costs.
- Individuals will be able to borrow up to £10,000 for the purpose of completing an eligible postgraduate Master's qualification. The Student is responsible for paying their tuition fees to the University.
Individual Eligibility Criteria
- Individuals must have been resident in the UK for at least three years prior to the beginning of your course. They must most recently have been resident in England and must not have moved there from elsewhere in the UK and Islands solely for the purpose of attending the course. Exceptions apply to EU students (see below).
- EU students may be eligible for the scheme. You will need to have been resident in the EU for at least three years prior to the beginning of your course. Periods of residency that are purely for the purpose of education will not count towards this three year requirement.
- Individuals aged under 60 will be eligible.
- Individual eligibility will not be based on a means test.
- It is open to individuals who do not already hold a Master's or integrated Master's (e.g. MEng/MComp/MBio) qualification.
Course Eligibility Criteria
Your course must:
- be provided by a university or college in the UK (including the Open University)
- lead to a postgraduate master’s degree.
It can be taught or research-based and studied:
- full-time, lasting 1 or 2 academic years
- part-time, lasting 2 to 4 academic years - no more than twice the length of the equivalent full-time course
- part-time for 3 years, where no equivalent full-time course exists
If you’re studying by distance learning, you can also apply.
Administration of the Loan
- The loans will be administered through the Student Loans Company.
- The Student Loans Company will pay the individual directly in three instalments across the academic year during the period of study. The first payment will be released to the individual once the institution has confirmed their enrolment and attendance.
- The loan payments will stop if the student either changes to a course not eligible in the loans scheme or withdraws from study.
- Repayments will be based on 6% of annual income over £21,000.
- Repayments will be made alongside undergraduate loans.
- Repayments will be due to commence in the April after course completion, subject to meeting the annual income threshold.
- The loan repayments will be deducted directly from the individual’s salary by HMRC. The Student Loan Company will recover loans directly from individuals who are outside of the UK and its tax system.
- There will be a one year delay in loan repayment for courses undertaken in academic year 2016/17, for which repayments will commence from April 2019. Borrowers will be able to make voluntary repayments ahead of April 2019 should they wish.
- The loan interest will be calculated at RPI+3% and interest will accrue from the date the first loan instalment is paid by the SLC to the borrower.
- Any outstanding postgraduate Master's loan balance will be written off 30 years after the date the borrower’s loan balance becomes due for repayment.
You can apply online from late June.
For further information, please visit