Postgraduate Doctoral Loan eligibility

Eligibility

To apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan you must:

  • be a UK or Irish Citizen or have ‘settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme or indefinite leave to enter or remain, so there are no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK
  • normally live in England
  • have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 continuous years before the first day of your course, apart from temporary absences such as going on holiday. You can also have been living in the UK, Islands and/or Ireland, or the UK, Islands and/or the specified British Overseas Territories

 

If you’re an EU national or a family member of an EU national you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan if all of the following apply: 

  • you have pre-settled or settled status under the EU settlement scheme. (Irish citizens do not need EU Settlement Scheme status but need to have been living in the UK by 31 December 2020)
  • you’ve normally lived in the UK, EEA, Switzerland, or the Overseas territories for the past 3 years (this is also known as being ‘ordinarily resident’)
  • you’ll be studying at a university in England

 

You may also be eligible if you’re a UK national (or family member of a UK national) or an Irish citizen who either:

  • returned to the UK on or after 1 January 2018 and by 31 December 2020 after living in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein
  • was living in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein on 31 December 2020 and has been living in the UK, the EU, Gibraltar, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein for the past 3 years

 

You can apply for funding if:

  • you’re a UK national (or the family member of a UK national) and living in the EEA or Switzerland on 31 December 2020 or living in the UK on 31 December 2020 after returning from the EEA or Switzerland on or after 1 January 2018
  • have Gibraltarian status as an EU national or family member
  • are resident in Gibraltar as a UK national or family member

 

You may also be eligible if your residency status is one of the following: 

  • refugee (including family members)
  • humanitarian protection (including family members)
  • migrant worker from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein (including family members) with settled or pre-settled status
  • child of a Swiss national and you and your parent have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • child of a Turkish worker who has permission to stay in the UK - you and your Turkish worker parent must have been living in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • a stateless person (including family members)
  • an unaccompanied child granted ‘Section 67 leave’ under the Dubs Amendment
  • a child who is under the protection of someone granted ‘Section 67 leave’, who is also allowed to stay in the UK for the same period of time as the person responsible for them (known as ‘leave in line’)
  • granted ‘Calais leave’ to remain
  • a child of someone granted ‘Calais leave’ to remain, who is also allowed to stay in the UK for the same period of time as their parent (known as ‘leave in line’)
  • you’ve been given settled status (‘indefinite leave to remain’) because you’ve been the victim of domestic violence
  • you’ve been granted indefinite leave to remain as a bereaved partner
  • Family member of a person with Settled Status in the UK
  • you or your family member have been granted leave under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) or the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS)
  • you or your family member have been granted leave to enter or remain in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme, the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme or the Ukraine Extension Scheme

 

You could also be eligible if you’re not a UK national and are either:

  • under 18 and have lived in the UK for at least 7 years
  • 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years (or at least half of your life)

You must have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 continuous years before the first day of your course 

 

Age

You must be under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your course to get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.

The academic year starts on:

 

  • 1 September, if your course starts between 1 August and 31 December
  • 1 January, if your course starts between 1 January and 31 March
  • 1 April, if your course starts between 1 April and 30 June
  • 1 July, if your course starts between 1 July and 31 July

 

Previous study

If you have a loan from a previous undergraduate course or postgraduate master’s course, it won’t affect your eligibility for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.

You can only get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if you don’t already have an equivalent doctoral qualification such as a PhD.

If you borrow a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan for a course but don’t complete it, you won’t be able to get a second Postgraduate Doctoral Loan. However, if you have to withdraw from your course for compelling personal reasons, such as illness, you may still be able to apply for another Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.

 

Course and university eligibility

You must be studying at an eligible university in the UK and your course must be a full postgraduate doctoral course leading to a qualification such as:

 

  • Subject specialist doctorates: a formal programme of study such as a PhD
  • Integrated subject specialist doctorates: a supervised research project carried out alongside a structured taught course, or after you’ve completed a taught course. (You must register for the doctoral degree at the outset to be eligible for Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.)
  • Professional and practice-based doctorates: post-experience qualifications aimed at mid-career professionals, for example an Engineering Doctorate (EngD)

 

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan is not available to ‘top up’ a lower-level qualification to a doctoral degree. The course must be a full standalone doctoral course.

You won’t be able to get Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if you're eligible to receive an NHS bursary or have been awarded a Social Work Bursary.

You can choose to study your course at a university in person or by distance learning. Your course must last between three and eight years and can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis.

 

Other funding

You won’t be able to get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if you’re getting any Research Council Funding / UK Research and Innovation Funding or an Educational Psychology Bursary.