It's been confirmed that new entrants to postgraduate study will, from academic year 2016/17, be able to apply for a government-backed, non-means tested Masters Loan of up to £10,000.
- The purpose of the loan is to offer a contribution towards the cost of completing your postgraduate study. The student will use the loan according to their individual circumstances (a contribution towards tuition fees and/or living costs)
- Loans can be up to £10,000 per student. For those on part-time courses the loan will be spread over 2 years, with a cap of £5,000 per academic year (including Distance Learning courses)
- Applications are non-means tested
- Monies are paid directly to the student (requires a UK bank account)
Students must be resident in England on the first day of the academic year. They should also be:
- ordinarily living in England, having resided in the UK for three years before the start date of their course; or
- as an EU student, been ordinarily resident in the EEA/Switzerland for the past three years
For full residency criteria, please visit the postgraduate loans page on gov.uk
A student must be under 60 on the first day of the first academic year.
If a student already holds a Master's level or higher level qualification, then they won't be eligible for the Postgraduate Loan. Lower level qualifications such as Postgraduate Diplomas or Postgraduate Certificates of Education will not affect eligibility.
The Postgraduate Loan will be available to students studying a postgraduate Master's course only (taught or research based) either full-time or part-time (including distance learning). This excludes Falmouth Launchpad 2015 and the PGCHE element of the Creative Education MA. PhD students will be covered by the separately proposed research loans.
Full-time taught masters courses, in all subjects, are covered providing they last no longer than two years. Part-time and distance learning programmes studied at an intensity of at least 50% of their full-time counterparts are also eligible. PhD students will be covered by the separately proposed research loans.
How will I receive my Masters loan?
Loans will be paid directly to students in three instalments per year, meaning that:
- students on one-year, full-time programmes will receive £10,000 in three instalments;
- students on two-year programmes will receive £5,000 each year, in three instalments per year. Students don't need to make another application at the start of their second year;
Payment will be subject to the university confirming your attendance, so you will need to have completed the full enrolment process before your first instalment will be paid. Should you leave your programme early, your loan instalments will stop and you'll still have to repay what you've already borrowed.
How will I repay my Masters loan?
Loans will be repaid concurrently with any undergraduate loans, at an interest rate of Retail Prices Index (RPI) + 3%. You will then repay 6% of any earnings over £21,000pa. Repayments will not begin until 2019. All student debt will be cancelled after 30 years.
How to apply
To apply please visit the gov.uk website
What are research loans?
Plans for a separate loans system for Doctoral and research Masters students have also been proposed. These are subject to consultation.