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Master's Loan

If you’re starting a full master’s course, you could get a Master’s Loan to help with your course fees and living costs while you’re studying. Master’s Loans are available for many of our postgraduate taught degrees and are provided by Student Finance England.

Can I get a Master’s Loan?

You can apply for a Master’s Loan if you’re: 

  • Studying a taught or research master’s course such as an MA, MSc or MBA 

  • Under 60 years old (59 or younger) at the beginning of your course 

  • Studying at a UK university 

  • Ordinarily resident in England or elsewhere in the EU / EEA or Switzerland

Can I get a Master’s Loan if I am studying a PGCert or PGDip?

No, loans aren’t available for shorter postgraduate courses such as postgraduate certificates or postgraduate diplomas. They are only available for full master’s degree programmes. These courses are usually worth 180 credits and include a dissertation or equivalent individual project

How much can I borrow?

You can apply for a loan of up to £10,906 towards your tuition fees, study expenses or living costs. You don't need an offer of a place to apply and you can even apply if you have an existing undergraduate loan.

Do I have to borrow the full amount?

No, £10,609 is the maximum amount you can borrow (for courses commencing in academic year 2018/19). It’s possible to borrow a smaller amount to cover tuition fees or living costs. There is no minimum loan amount.

Are Master’s Loans means tested?

No, Master’s Loans aren’t means-tested. You can apply regardless of your existing income or savings.

When will I be paid my Master’s Loan?

The loan will be paid directly into your bank account in three instalments. If your course is taught over one year it’ll be paid over the following dates: 

  • Course start date 

  • Course start date plus 4 months 

  • Course start date plus 7 months

You’ll receive your first payment within 3-5 working days of the University confirming to the Student Loans Company that you have started your course.

If your course is taught over 12-months, payments will be split equally over the duration of your course.

When will I have to repay my Master’s Loan?

The earliest you’ll start repaying your loan is on the first April after you leave your course and only then if your annual income is over the minimum threshold (currently £21,000). 

For further details including how much you’ll repay and how interest on the loan is calculated please visit Student Loan Repayment.

Will I be charged interest on my loan?

Yes, Master’s Loans will be subject to interest in the same way as other student loans. For further information on how interest is calculated please visit Student Loan Repayment.

How do I apply?

You can either apply online through the Student Finance England website or download and print the application forms to send by post. You’ll only need to apply once, even if your course is longer than a year.

Note: The deadline for applying is nine months after the first day of either: 

  • Your first academic year if you’re on a one-year, full-time course 

  • Your second academic year if you’re on a two-year, full-time course or a three or four-year, part-time course

Will I still be eligible for the alumni discount if I receive a Master’s Loan?

If you've previously completed a Staffordshire University undergraduate or postgraduate taught degree (excluding HND and foundation degrees) you may be entitled to a discount of up to 25% off your course fees. Please note, alumni discount cannot be applied to PGCE and Integrated Master’s courses.  

If you’d like information on how this relates to your circumstances, please contact Enquiries. 

Alumni discount is reviewed annually and may change. The maximum discount rate for students commencing new course registrations in 2019/20 is 25%. To receive the full discount of 25% students must have progressed onto further study within two years of completing their previous studies.* Discounts will be reduced pro-rated if a student leaves the course which results in a fee reduction. If you have any further queries, please contact feesandbursaries@staffs.ac.uk

*Students who progress onto further study more than two years after completing their previous studies will receive 10% off their course fees.

What if I live in Wales?

From 2018/19 Welsh-resident students will be able to apply for a Master’s Loan of up to £13,000 for courses studied at UK universities.

You can apply online through the Student Finance Wales portal, or visit findamasters.com for more information.

What if I live in Scotland?

Scotland offers separate loans for postgraduate tuition fees and living costs. As well as full master’s degrees, postgraduate diploma courses may also be eligible for funding. 

  • Up to £5,500 towards tuition fees (paid direct to the university) 

  • Up to £4,500 towards living costs (paid to the student) 

  • Open to UK applicants ordinarily resident in Scotland for study anywhere in the UK (as long as the course is not available in Scotland) 

  • Pay back 9% of your annual income when it is more than £17,775 

You can apply online through the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) website or visit findamasters.com for more information.

What if I live in Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland offers postgraduate loans for a wide range of courses including master’s degrees, PgDips and PgCerts, but only to cover tuition fees. There’s no additional support for living costs, but you may be eligible for the tuition fee loan even if you already have a postgraduate qualification. 

  • Up to £5,500 towards tuition fees (paid direct to the university) 

  • Open to UK applicants ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland for study anywhere in the UK (as long as the course is not available in Northern Ireland) 

  • Pay back 9% of your annual income when it is more than £17,775 

Apply online through the Student Finance NI portal, or go to findamasters.com for further information.

What if I live in the EU?

EU students are eligible for Master’s Loans. If your course starts in 2018/19, your loan won’t be affected by Brexit and you’ll continue to receive the loan for the duration of your course. Future eligibility will depend on the terms of the UK's Brexit negotiations. 

Most of the eligibility criteria are the same as for UK students, but there are some differences. For more information on applying as an EU national, visit findamasters.com.

Where can I find further information about the Master’s Loan?

Related links: 

For further information or if you have any queries about financial support for postgraduate students, please contact our Enquiries Team.