Postgraduate Master’s Loan

EU students starting courses in 2022 to 2023

Postgraduate 2022 to 2023 applications are now open! The quickest and easiest way to apply is online.

EU students starting courses on or after 1 August 2021 must have settled or pre-settled status in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme to get student finance. This does not apply to students who are Irish citizens.

It’s important that you’re aware of this requirement before applying for student finance, otherwise you will not be eligible for funding from us.

If you’re an EU national and you want more information on whether you’ll be eligible for student finance in 2021 to 2022, visit www.gov.uk/guidance/studying-in-the-uk-guidance-for-eu-students.

Eligibility

Whether you can get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan depends on your:

  • personal circumstances,
  • course
  • university

Personal circumstances

To get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan you must meet certain criteria on nationality and residency, age and previous study.

Nationality and residency

To apply for a Postgraduate Master’s 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
  • 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’ve 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 Master’s 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

You can only get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan if you don’t already have a Master’s qualification or a higher-level qualification such as a PhD. If you already hold a qualification that is equivalent to or at a higher level than a Master’s level qualification, you won’t be able to get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan.

MAs from Scottish universities, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge or Trinity College Dublin are at a lower level than a postgraduate Master’s qualification. If you have an MA from one of these universities, you may be able to get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan.

You won’t be able to get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan if you’ve previously had government funding for a postgraduate course, unless you only got Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). But if you had to withdraw from your course for compelling personal reasons, such as illness, you may still be able to apply for another Postgraduate Loan.

 

Course and university eligibility

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

  • Master of Science (MSc)
  • Master of Art (MA)
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
  • Master of Research (MRes)
  • Master of Law (LLM)
  • Master of Letters (MLitt)
  • Master of Fine Art (MFA)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Postgraduate Master’s Loan is not available to students wanting to ‘top up’ a lower-level qualification to a Master’s degree. The course must be a full standalone Master’s course (a full master’s course is made up of 180 credits).

You can’t get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan for certain postgraduate courses, such as PgCert (Postgraduate Certificate), PgDip (Postgraduate Diploma), or where the postgraduate course is funded by undergraduate student finance, such as:

  • Initial Teacher Training (ITT) or Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • Integrated Master’s
  • Master of Architecture (MArch)

Students studying a pre-registration, postgraduate healthcare course should apply for Undergraduate funding. You won’t be able to get Postgraduate 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 the university in person or by distance learning, and your course can be:

  • a full-time course lasting one or two academic years
  • a part-time course lasting two academic years that has a one year full-time equivalent,
  • a part-time course lasting three or four academic years that has a two years full-time equivalent
  • a part-time course lasting up to three years that has no full-time equivalent

If you’re not sure if your course qualifies for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan you should check with your university.