Skip to main content

Postgraduate Master's Loan

If you're studying a full or part-time master's course, you can apply for a loan worth up to £11,570 from Student Finance England. All of the criteria and application guidance are provided by GOV.UK but here are some key details:


  • Full time or part-time Master's courses.
  • Distance learning courses (if you meet the residency requirements).

You can't apply for a Master's loan if:

  • you're on a flexible mode course
  • you're studying an Integrated masters or any top up from a lower level course. Check out Undergraduate funding.
  • you received a Postgraduate Master’s Loan before - unless you left your previous course due to illness, bereavement or another serious personal reason. Contact the Student Advice Service for advice.
  • if you already have a master’s degree, or a qualification that’s equivalent to a master’s degree or higher.

Nationality, residency and Immigration status

Following the UK's exit from the European Union there has been significant changes to the eligibility rules for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals. If you're starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 you must have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to receive the loan. In most cases, you must have moved to the UK before 31 December 2020 to be eligible for the EU  Settlement Scheme.

You can get a Postgraduate Master's Loan if all the following apply:

  • You're a UK national or have ‘settled status’ or indefinite leave to remain so there are no restrictions on how long you can stay.
  • You normally live in England and didn’t move there just to study.
  • You’ve been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or Isle of Man for 3 years immediately before the first day of the first academic year of your course.*

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

There are many other ways you can be eligible for the loan so please check the criteria on GOV.UK. You can also contact the Student Advice Service for guidance if you're unsure.


You can apply online or by post when the applications system opens which is expected to be in summer 2021 for those starting in the 2021/22  academic year.

Note that:  

Student Finance considers an academic year to be 12 months. If your course includes a partial academic year, the total course duration is rounded up to the nearest full academic year and instalments spread over this duration. This means that you may not receive your instalments equally across your course.

For example:

Our 4-term courses starting in September 2021 and ending in December 2022 have a course length of 1 year and 3 months. Student Finance consider these courses as having a duration of 2 academic years and the loan instalments are split as follows:

Year 1 £5,785 paid in 3 instalments in September 2021, January 2022 and April 2022.

Year 2 £5,785 paid in 3 instalments September 2022, October 2022 and November 2022.

Paying your tuition fees

Students on master's courses must:

  • pay each year’s tuition fee before they enrol onto that year of the course, or
  • set up an instalment plan

Find out more about how your instalment plan will work and contact your college Fees Manager if you have any questions.


Detailed information about interest and repaying your loan can be found on GOV.UK.


Contact the Student Advice Service for further guidance on the loan.