Postgraduate master's loan

Students living in the UK can apply for a postgraduate master's loan. This funding can help with your course fees and living costs while studying for a master's degree, such as an MA or MSc.

Eligibility

Funding for postgraduate loans is different depending on where in the UK you normally live. Moving somewhere to study does not count as normally living there.

England

If you live in England, your application will be assessed by Student Finance England. Find the loan eligibility criteria on the Gov.uk website.

Wales

If you live in Wales, your application will be assessed by Student Finance Wales. Find the loan eligibility criteria on the Student Finance Wales website.

Northern Ireland

If you live in Northern Ireland, you can check your eligibility on the Student Finance NI website.

Scotland

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland will ordinarily only fund students from Scotland to study at an institution in Scotland. In exceptional circumstances, they may fund study outside Scotland if the course is not available in Scotland. Further information is available on the Student Awards Agency for Scotland website.

European Union

EU students starting a course in 2020-21 are eligible for UK postgraduate loans. This has been guaranteed regardless of Brexit, subject to meeting the eligibility requirements.

You may be eligible if you are a child of a Swiss national or child of a Turkish worker. You may also be eligible if you have the residency status of: refugee, humanitarian protection, EEA or Swiss migrant worker, or have a family member in any of these categories.

EU nationals who completed their undergraduate degree in England, or outside the UK, should apply through Student Finance England. EU nationals who studied in Wales should apply through Student Finance Wales. EU nationals who studied in Northern Ireland should apply through Student Finance NI.

Further details can be found on the Gov.uk website.

We will continue to update our Brexit information for prospective students page whenever further information becomes available.

How much can I borrow?

The loan is not means-tested. The amount you can borrow varies depending on where you live. For 2019/20, you can borrow:

  • Student Finance England: up to £10,906, which is paid directly to you. It's your choice how much to borrow and whether to use the loan for tuition fees, living costs or other costs.
  • Student Finance Wales: £17,000, which is paid directly to you. It is a combination of a loan and a grant to help with course and living costs.
  • Student Finance NI: up to £5,500, which is paid directly to your university or college to cover tuition fees. If your tuition fees are less than £5,500, Student Finance NI will lend you the lower amount.
  • Amounts for the 2020/21 academic year have not yet been decided. 

If you are studying for two, three or four academic years, the loan will be divided equally across each year of your course.

You will receive the first payment after your course start date, once your university or college confirms that you have registered. The loan will be paid in three instalments throughout the academic year.

You can request a change in the amount of your loan up to one month before your course end date.

How to apply

You can apply online at:

If you've received funding for your undergraduate study, you should apply to the same funding provider and you can use the same account to apply for the loan. If you haven't previously applied for funding, you should apply to the funding body where you normally live.

You can apply for the loan up to nine months after the start date of your course. If the course lasts two years or more, you can apply for the loan up to nine months after the start date of your second academic year.

Repayment

Postgraduate loans will be repaid at the same time and using the same method as undergraduate loans.

The repayment rate for your postgraduate loan will be 6% of the amount you earn above £21,000 per year. If you also have a loan for your undergraduate study, you will repay this at the same time once you have exceeded the income threshold.

Loans will usually start to be repaid from the April after your course ends, once you are earning over £21,000 per year, similar to the undergraduate loan scheme. You will be charged interest from the day you get the first payment until your loan is repaid in full or cancelled.

The interest rate on the loan is currently 6.3%. Interest is charged at Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%. The rate for RPI is reviewed annually. For the most recent information regarding interest rates, see the Student Loan Repayment website.

Useful websites

Funding enquiries or money worries

Undergraduate and general funding queries:
student-funding@bristol.ac.uk

Postgraduate funding queries:
pg-funding@bristol.ac.uk

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