About Postgraduate

Higher Education

Postgraduate programs


Postgraduate programs include Masters and Doctorates (PhD) courses, also funded by Student Finance England for UK residents. You can undertake postgraduate study after you have completed a Bachelor degree.

If you’re studying full time Master, your course can last for 1 or 2 years. If you’re studying part time you can study for 2 to 4 years.

A Doctorate can last 3 or 4 years if you choose to study full-time and 6 or 8 years part-time.

Depending on the number of years your chosen course has, the loan will be divided equally across each year of your course. Having a loan from a previous undergraduate course won’t affect your eligibility for a Postgraduate Loan.



Whether you qualify for a Postgraduate loan depends on your:

  • Your age
  • Nationality and residency status
  • Previous studies
  • Your course
  • Your institution

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

To apply, you must:

  • Be a UK / EU national or a family member of one;
  • An EU applicant must be ordinarily resident in the UK or elsewhere in the EEA and/or Switzerland for the 3 years immediately before the 1st September of the year in which you start your course (you can ignore any short absences, such as holidays).
  • Non-UK nationals must have settled status on the first day of the first academic year of the course – which could be 1 September, 1 January, 1 April or 1 July.
  • International students can also apply if they have been resident in the EU for the last 3 years or have been a resident in the UK for the 5 years prior to the start of their course, with an immigration status that allows them to stay in the UK, with no restrictions.


You may also be eligible if you:

  • Are a refugee;
  • Have humanitarian protection (as a result of a failed application for asylum);
  • Are a migrant worker;
  • Are the child of a Swiss national or Turkish worker who is working in the UK;
  • under humanitarian protection or a relative of someone who has been granted it;
  • not a UK national but you’ve lived in the UK for at least 20 years (or at least half of your life);
  • a serving member of the UK armed forces (or their spouse or civil partner or a dependent parent living with them);

Having a loan from a previous undergraduate course won’t affect your eligibility for a Postgraduate Loan. You can only get a Postgraduate Loan if you don’t already have a postgraduate Master’s qualification or a higher-level qualification like a PhD. If you take a Postgraduate Loan for a course but don’t complete it you won’t be able to get a second Postgraduate Loan.

The course you’re studying must be in the UK and lead to a Master’s 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)


You can’t get a Postgraduate Loan for postgraduate level 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)/ Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE);
  • Integrated Master’s;
  • Master of Architecture (MArch);

The university you’re studying at must be in the UK and either:

  • publicly funded (paid for by the government); or
  • privately funded but running individual courses that receive public funding;