Master's and Doctoral Loans

Postgraduate Loans

If you choose a Master's-level postgraduate programme, you can apply for a loan of up to £12,471*. This is paid into your bank account in instalments during the academic year. You may use the loan according to your individual circumstances as a contribution towards the cost of your course's tuition fees and any other costs associated with study, including living costs. You will still need to pay your tuition fees to the University directly.

Loans are administered through the Student Loans Company (SLC) and paid in three instalments across the academic year during your period of study. The first payment is released to you once the University has confirmed your enrolment and attendance. The loan payments will stop if you change to a course which is not eligible in the loans scheme or withdraw from study.

Eligibility Criteria
  • You must have been a resident in the UK for at least three years prior to the beginning of your course. You must most recently have been a resident in England and must not have moved there from elsewhere in the UK 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 a 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.
  • You must be under 60 years of age.
  • Individual eligibility will not be based on a means test.
  • The loan is open to those 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
  • be taught or research-based and studied full-time over one or two years, part-time lasting two to four academic years (no more than twice the length of the equivalent full-time course), or part-time for three years (where no equivalent full-time course exists).

Those who wish to study by distance learning can also apply.

For full eligibility criteria, please visit

Loan Repayment Terms
  • Repayments are based on 6% of annual income over £21,000 and 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 your salary by HMRC. The Student Loan Company (SLC) will recover loans directly from individuals who are outside of the UK and its tax system
  • 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.

These terms are subject to change in line with Goverment policy. For further information, please visit the website.

*Dependant on year of entry. For the latest Goverment information about Master's Loans, please visit

Doctoral Loans

For those considering pursing a research programme, the UK Government offers doctoral loans of up to £29,390* for students enrolling onto full-time PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes. This is designed to help with course fees and living costs while you study.

You can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan in any year of your course, however if you apply after your first year, you might not get the maximum amount. If you are eligible, you will receive the first payment after your course start date, once the University confirms that you’ve registered. The loan will be paid in three instalments each year.

Eligibility Criteria

Whether you qualify depends on:

  • your course
  • your age
  • your nationality or residency status

You will not be able to get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if:

  • you’ve received or will receive Research Council funding (for example, studentships, stipends, scholarships and tuition fee support)
  • you’re already getting a social work bursary
  • you’re already getting an Educational Psychology bursary and your course starts on or after 1 August 2020
  • you’re eligible to apply for an NHS bursary (even if you’re not receiving it)
  • you’re already getting payments from Student Finance England for another course that you’re studying
  • you’ve received a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan before (unless you left your course due to illness, bereavement or another serious personal reason)
  • you already have a doctoral degree, or a qualification that’s equivalent or higher
  • you’re receiving a doctorate by publication
  • you’re behind in repayments for any previous loans from the Student Loans Company

Full eligibility criteria can be found on the Government website at

Loan Repayment Terms

Doctoral Loan repayments currently begin when your income is over £403 a week, £1,750 a month, or £21,000 a year (before tax and other deductions).

For the latest information on repayment terms, please visit the Government website at

Looking for Scholarships?

The University offers a range of merit-based, subject-specific, and country-focused scholarships for UK and international students. University of Lincoln alumni may be eligible for an Alumni Scholarship which can reduce fees by up to 15 per cent for UK students.

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