Postgraduate Loan

Worth up to a total of £10,280 for students starting in 2017/18, these repayable loans are available for most research and taught masters courses, for both full and part-time modes of study.

Impact of Brexit on government funding

Following the UK vote to leave the EU, Student Finance England has confirmed that the eligibility criteria for funding remains unchanged for EU nationals, or their family members, who will be starting a course at a university in England in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years. Students who are assessed as eligible to receive funding in the 2017-18 or 2018-19 academic years will be eligible for this funding for the duration of their course.

The loans are intended to be a general contribution towards the costs of studying. It's up to you to decide how to use the money, be it for living costs, tuition fees or a mixture of both.

The information on this page is for students who will be applying for funding from Student Finance England.

If you normally live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, please refer to the website of the relevant funding body:


In order to apply, you must:

  • Have not achieved a masters or higher qualification previously. Note that previous study on a masters course that was not completed, or completing a lower postgraduate qualification (e.g. PgCert) and topping up to a masters may also affect eligibility; seek advice from the Student Advice Service if you are in one of these situations.
  • Begin your course in September/October 2017 or January 2018.
  • Be studying in one of the following ways:
    • Full-time, lasting 1 or 2 academic years, or
    • Part-time, lasting 2 to 4 academic years and no more than twice the length of the equivalent full-time course, or
    • Part-time for up to 3 years, where no equivalent full-time course exists.
    • Be resident in England while on a distance-learning course
    • Note that students on our flexible masters courses are not eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan. This is because the duration of such courses cannot be defined at the outset.
  • Be under the age of 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your course*.
  • Meet nationality and residency requirements:
    • You are a UK national or have ‘settled status’, (i.e. there are no restrictions on how long you can stay), and you normally live in England, and you’ve been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years before starting your course. Students from elsewhere in the UK and Islands who come to England to study a masters course, and those who came to England in the past, completed a course, and will start a masters course immediately afterwards, will not be eligible and may wish to seek funding from their funding authority in ScotlandNorthern IrelandWalesGuernseyJersey or Isle of Man.
    • You will be starting a masters via distance learning, are living outside the UK and are:
      • A serving member of the UK armed forces, or
      • The spouse or civil partner living with a serving member of the UK armed forces, or
      • A dependent parent living with your child who is a serving member of the UK armed forces
      • A dependent parent living with your child’s spouse or civil partner who is a serving member of the UK armed forces.
    • You are an EU national (but not a UK national), and you’re living in England on the first day of the first academic year of your course*, and you’ve normally lived in the European Economic Area (outside the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man) or Switzerland for the past 3 years (this is also known as being ‘ordinarily resident’).
    • You could also be eligible if you do not fit into one of the categories above, but your residency status is:
      • Child of a Swiss national
      • Child of a Turkish worker
      • Refugee or a relative of one
      • EEA or Swiss migrant worker, or a relative of one
      • In humanitarian protection or a relative of someone who is
      • Not a UK national but you have lived in the UK for at least 20 years (or at least half of your life)

*The first day of the first academic year of your course is considered to be 1 September for courses starting in September/October or 1 January for courses starting in January.

Receiving the loan

The loan is paid directly to the student and is intended to be a contribution towards costs of studying, which means it can be used for either fees or maintenance.

If your course lasts more than 1 academic year, the loan would be split equally between all academic years. The table below shows examples for a student who takes out the maximum loan of £10,280.

Course lengthMaximum loan in each year
2 years£5,140 in each year
3 years£3,426 in each year
4 years£2,570 in each year

The loan amount for each year is split into 3 instalments of 33%, 33% and 34% paid during the course of that year. Once your application has been approved, Student Finance England will send you a letter indicating estimated dates on which you will receive these.

Note that: 

  • Students receive the first instalment shortly after their course start date and only after UAL has confirmed they have enrolled. 
  • In the case of courses which have a duration which includes a partial academic year, the duration would be rounded up to the nearest full academic year, and instalments spread over this duration. This means that you will receive some instalments after the end of your course. Our 4-term courses starting in September and ending in December the following year are examples; such courses are deemed to be 2 years long by Student Finance England.

Paying your tuition fee

According to the University’s Student Fees Policy, students on masters courses are required to either:

  • Pay each year’s tuition fee before they enrol onto that year of the course, or
  • Set up an instalment plan and pay the first instalment of this plan before they enrol.

As you would only receive the first instalment of your Postgraduate Loan after you enrol, you must carefully consider how you will comply with this policy.

If you have any concerns about complying with this policy, please contact the Fees Manager at the relevant College:

Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon College of
Central Saint
London College of
London College of


  • Your repayment period would begin in April, either:
    • After the end of your course, or
    • After you leave your course, or
    • After the second academic year of your course, if you study a part-time course lasting 3 or 4 years.
  • Repayments would be taken on a monthly basis, but only when earnings are over the monthly equivalent of £21,000 per year.
  • The monthly repayment amount is 6% of your income which is in excess of the £21,000 per year.
  • Repayments for the Postgraduate Loan would occur alongside, and in addition to, repayments for any Student Finance England loans taken out for further education and undergraduate study (if any).
  • You can choose to make additional voluntary repayments at any time and there are no financial penalties for doing so.
  • The current interest rate is 4.6% and will be charged as of the first repayment. The interest rate may be subject to change. 

More detailed information about interest and repaying your Postgraduate Loan can be found on the Student Loan Repayment website.


When to apply

Students who have applied to start a course in September/October 2017 or January 2018 are encouraged to apply now. A confirmed place on a course is not required in order to apply.

Applying now will mean that you receive confirmation of your loan to provide to UAL when enrolling onto your course, and that you receive your first instalment shortly after enrolling.

How to apply

You can apply online or by post.

Common problems

Finding your course in the online application form

If your course includes a partial year, you must round up the duration to the nearest full year on the Postgraduate Loan online application form. See the Receiving the loan section above for the relevance of this.


The Student Advice Service is available to provide further information and support on financial matters related to your course.