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Masters Loan

If you’re starting a Masters course, whether studying full or part-time, you could get a Masters Loan to help with your course fees and living costs while you’re studying. Masters Loans are available for many of our postgraduate taught degrees and are provided by Student Finance.

Masters Loans are subject to different financial arrangements and eligibility criteria depending on whether you are domiciled in England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland. The information below applies to eligible students domiciled in England only. You should refer to the website of the relevant funding body for loan amounts and eligibility criteria if you are domiciled in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland

Am I eligible?

You can apply for a Masters Loan if you: 

  • Are studying a taught or research Masters course such as an MA, MSc or MBA
  • Are under 60 years old (59 or younger) at the beginning of your course
  • Are ordinarily resident in England
  • You do not already hold a masters or higher qualification. Holding a PGDip or PgCert will not affect your eligibility, providing you're studying a full masters and not topping up.
  • You are not carrying credits forward from any previous study, which would mean you are not studying the full masters.

How do I know if my course is eligible?

Most full and part time masters courses are eligible for a postgraduate loan, but if you are not sure on a specific course's eligibility please contact us.

You can apply for funding if your course is:

  • A full-time course that lasts for up to 2 academic years (24 months)
  • A part-time course, lasting 2 to 4 academic years, which is no more than twice the length of an equivalent full-time course.
  • A part-time course which lasts for 3 years, where no equivalent full-time course exists.

You won't be able to apply for funding if your course:

  • Makes you eligible to apply for an NHS Bursary (whether or not you are awarded one)
  • You are on a course covered by existing student support provision, such as a PGCE or integrated masters.
  • Does not lead to a masters qualification, such as a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma.

How much can I borrow?

If your course starts in academic year 2022/23 you'll be able to apply for a loan of up to £11,836. 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, it’s possible to borrow a smaller amount to cover tuition fees or living costs. There is no minimum loan request amount and you can amend the amount requested, providing it's not less than has already been paid to you, up to one month before the end of the academic year.

How do I apply?

You can either apply online through the Student Finance 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 Masters 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.  

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 2021/22 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

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

When will I be paid my Masters 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 2, 3 or 4 academic years, payments will be split equally over the duration of your course.

When will I have to repay my Masters Loan?

The earliest you’ll start repaying your loan is from the April after you leave your course and only then if your annual income is over the minimum threshold (currently frozen at £21,000 until 2021). 

You'll repay 6% of your annual income over £21,000. If your salary is £30,000 per annum, the 6%  repayment would apply to £9,000, meaning you'd repay around £45 per month. If your income falls below £21,000 a year, for any reason, repayments will stop until your income rises above the threshold again.

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

Will I be charged interest on my Masters Loan?

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

Are Masters Loans means tested?

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

Can I get a Masters 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're only available for full Masters degree programmes. These courses are usually worth 180 credits and include a dissertation or equivalent individual project.

What if I live in Wales?

From 2021/22 Welsh-resident students will be able to apply for a combination of a loan and grant of up to £17,489 for courses studied at UK universities, which you can use towards your course and living costs.

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

What if I live in Scotland?

Scotland offers separate loans for postgraduate tuition fees and living costs. As well as full Masters 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 £19,390 (due to increase to £25,000 by April 2021)

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

What if I live in Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland offers postgraduate loans for a wide range of courses including Masters 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 £19,390

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

What if I live in the EU?

EU students are eligible for Masters Loans. If your course starts in 2020/21, 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.  

For more information on applying as an EU national, visit

Where can I find further information about the Masters Loan?

Related links: 

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