Postgraduate Doctoral Loan - How to apply

Postgraduate 2024 to 2025 applications are now open! The quickest and easiest way to apply is online.

You can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan in any year of your course, but you might not get the full amount if you apply after the first year of your course.

To get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan, you must apply no more than nine months after the first day of the final academic year of your course.

You don’t need to apply each year for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.

Applying online

1. Set up a student finance account

If you’ve had a loan from Student Finance England before, you should sign in to your existing account to apply. If it’s your first time applying, you’ll be given a unique customer reference number (CRN) and be asked to create a password and secret answer. You should keep these safe as you’ll need them to sign in to your account to check the progress of your application.

2. Fill in and submit your application

You’ll be asked for proof of identity. You can easily do this by giving us your valid UK passport details. If you don’t have a UK passport, you may have to send us evidence.

You’ll be asked to give us your uni and course details and how much Postgraduate Doctoral Loan you want.

When you apply for student finance you'll need to agree to our terms and conditions.

3. Send any evidence we ask for

We may contact you to ask for evidence to support your application.



Proof of identity

If you don’t have a UK passport, you may have to send us evidence such as a non-UK passport or a copy of your UK birth or adoption certificate.

You should send this as quickly as possible to avoid any delay in your application being processed. Remember to include your CRN with everything you send us.

In some circumstances you may be asked to send us additional evidence, for example, evidence of your previous addresses or documents from the Home Office. We can’t process your application until we have everything we need, so send us anything we ask for as soon as possible so your application isn’t delayed.

Changing your details

If any of your details change after you’ve applied for student finance, don’t worry – you can simply update your application. To update your details, you need to send us a completed postgraduate 'Change of circumstances' form. You can download this from

What happens next?

Once we’ve assessed your application, we’ll send you a letter confirming how much Postgraduate Doctoral Loan you’re getting. The letter will also show the dates we expect to pay your Postgraduate Doctoral Loan to you. You should keep this letter safe as your university might ask to see it when you register.