You can receive a specific loan when studying a master’s degree in order to help with course fees and living costs.


What Is a Postgraduate Master’s Loan?

A Postgraduate Master’s Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study your master’s degree.


How Much Can I Get for a Master’s Loan?

The amount that you can receive for a master’s loan will depend on when your course starts. If you start your course after the 1st August 2021, you are entitled to receive £11,570.




This amount is independent of your personal income or household income. However, the Department for Work and Pensions may take into account any benefits you receive.

Your loan will be paid directly into your bank account and is at your disposal to use for course fees and living costs. Should your course last for longer than a year, the loan will be divided equally across each year of the course.


When Will You Start Receiving Payments for a Master’s Loan?

You will not receive the first payment of your loan until after your course start date and your university or college will need to confirm that you have successfully registered.

Usually, the loan will be paid in 3 instalments across the year (representing 33%, 33% and 34%).

Once your application has been approved, a letter will be sent to you confirming your payment dates.


Who Is Eligible for a Master’s Loan?

Your eligibility to receive a master’s loan will depend on the course you are applying for, your age and your nationality or residency status.

If you are already receiving payments from Student Finance England for another course that you are studying, you will not be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan.

Similarly, if you have already received a loan or grant for a master’s course in the past, or already hold a master’s degree or the equivalent or higher, you cannot apply. However, if you have a PGCE or postgraduate diploma or certificate, you will still be eligible.




If you are currently behind on your repayments for any previous loans from the Student Loans Company, you will not be able to take out a Postgraduate Master’s Loan.

The course that you are studying must be provided by an eligible UK-based university or college. You can check with your university or college before applying in order to check that your course is registered.

You can be eligible to receive a Postgraduate Master’s Loan regardless of whether you are planning to study your master’s on a full-time or part-time basis. 

You must be under the age of 60 on your first day of the first academic year of your course in order to get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan.


How Can You Apply for a Student Loan for a Master’s Degree?

The easiest way to apply for the Postgraduate Master’s loan is to apply online via

You will first need to set up a Student Finance England account, if you do not already have one from a previous loan. If you are applying for the first time, you will be assigned a unique Customer Reference Number and will need to create a password and secret answer.

Once you have done that, you can fill in and submit an application. To do this, you will need to provide proof of identity, usually by entering your UK passport details. At this stage, you will also be asked how much Loan you want to receive up to the maximum available for your course. If your course is longer than one year, you will be asked how much you want to receive in your first year.

Importantly, you will need to apply no more than nine months after the first day of the final academic year of your course if you want to receive a Postgraduate Master’s Loan.

Finally, you may need to send any evidence to support your application. This may be a non-UK passport or a UK birth or adoption certificate. Sending these off as quickly as possible will help avoid any delays in processing.


How Do I Repay My Master’s Loan?

Repayments of your master’s loan will not start until the April after you finish your course, and this will only be if your income meets the national repayment threshold (currently £21,000 a year before tax and National Insurance).

Payments will be taken in different ways depending on your employment status. If you are employed, repayments will be taken automatically from your salary along with National Insurance and tax. These payments will stop automatically if you stop working or if your salary does not exceed the threshold. 




If you are self-employed, you will need to include the repayments as part of your self-assessment at the same time as paying tax.

If you move away from the UK, you will need to advise Student Finance England and organise direct payment to them.

The amount that you repay will not depend on how much you have borrowed but on your income. In general, you will be expected to repay 6% of your income over £21,000 (annually).


Do I Need To Pay Interest on a Student Loan for a Master’s Degree?

Interest will be charged on your Postgraduate Master’s Loan starting from your first payment from Student Finance England and building until the loan is fully repaid or cancelled.

The interest rate will most likely be charged at the Retail Price Index (RPI), which is a benchmark of UK inflation, plus 3%. 

If the Postgraduate Master’s Loan balance is not paid 30 years after the repayment is due, it will be cancelled.