Postgraduate loans for master’s students

If you’re coming to Manchester this year to begin master's study, you could qualify for a loan from the UK government.

The maximum loan for students starting courses on or after 1 August 2022 is £11,836, it is paid directly to you and is non-means tested.

Who can apply?

UK students living in England

  • The loan is available to UK or Irish nationals, or those who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or there are no restrictions on how long you can stay.
  • You normally live in England.
  • You have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland for three continuous years before the first day of your course, apart from temporary absences such as going on holiday.
  • UK applicants from Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man who move to England solely for the purpose of attending the course will not be eligible.

You may also be eligible if you’re a UK national (or family member of a UK national) who either:

  • returned to the UK on or after 1 January 2018 and by 31 December 2020 after living in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein;
  • was living in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein on 31 December 2020 and has been living in the UK, the EU, Gibraltar, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein for the past three years.

EU nationals or a family member of an EU national

You may be eligible if you’re an EU national or a family member of an EU national, and:

  • you have settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme;
  • you’ve lived in the UK, Gibraltar, EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein for the past three years (also known as ‘ordinarily resident’);
  • you are studying at a university or college in England.

You could also be eligible if you’re:

  • the child of a Swiss national and you and your parent have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme;
  • a migrant worker from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein with pre-settled status, or a family member of a migrant worker where both have pre-settled status;
  • a resident of Gibraltar who is a UK or EU national, or your family member.

You may also be eligible with another residency status, see the website for full details.

Other criteria

  • the child of a Turkish worker;
  • a refugee or a relative of one;
  • under humanitarian protection or a relative of someone who is;
  • staying in the UK as a stateless person or a relative of one;
  • 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years or half your life;
  • under 18 and have lived in the UK for at least seven years; 
  • aged under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of the course;
  • you will still be eligible if you have a PGCE or postgraduate diploma or certificate.

You will not be eligible if:

  • you already receive payments from student finance for another course;
  • you have received a postgraduate master’s loan before, unless you received a Disabled Students’ Allowance, or you left your course due to illness, bereavement or another serious personal reason;
  • you already have a master’s degree or a qualification that’s equivalent or higher;
  • you’re behind in repayments for any previous loans from the Student Loans Company.

What courses are included?

Eligible courses at Manchester include LLM, MA, MEd, MBA, MEnt, MPhil, MRes, MSc, MSc by research, MusM.

Intercalating medical students taking a master’s course are eligible to apply. Medical students should note that if they plan to intercalate and take a master’s course between Years 2 and 3, they will not be eligible for undergraduate tuition fee loans when they return to Year 3 of their medical degree. However, there will be no interruption to funding if they intercalate between Years 3 and 4.

Courses not included are postgraduate certificates/diplomas (PGCert, PGDip, PGCE), integrated undergraduate master’s (MChem, MMath), Master of Architecture (MArch), doctoral degrees, and those already funded via an NHS or social work bursary.

How long are the courses?

  • full-time for one or two academic years;
  • part-time and last for two to four academic years (up to twice as long as the equivalent full-time course);
  • part-time for three years if it does not have a full-time equivalent;
  • you can also study via distance learning.

What are the repayments?

The UK repayment threshold is £21,000. Repayment amounts will be 6% of income above the relevant threshold. Students also repaying undergraduate student loans will repay both concurrently (total of 15% deduction from salary).

Interest will accrue at a rate of RPI +3%.

Repayments for postgraduate loans will start from 6 April the academic year after you finish your course.

Annual income before tax (£)* 21,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 40,000
Monthly income (£) 1,750 2,083 2,500 2,916 3,333
Monthly income above the PG threshold (£) 0 333 750 1,166 1,583
Undergraduate loan repayment (£) 0 0 20 58 95
Postgraduate loan repayment (£) 0 19 45 70 95
Total loan repayment (£) 0 19 65 128 190

*Based on repayment thresholds and percentages for students who started an undergraduate degree on or after the first September 2012 (9% of income above £27,295 for undergraduate loans).

Full details explaining the repayment of postgraduate loans can be found on the Student Loans Company website

How do I apply?

Applications for courses starting in the academic year 2022/23 are open now.

You can apply online on the UK government’s website. We encourage you to apply as early as possible so that you receive your loan for the start of your course.

As part of the application process, you’ll be asked to submit information about your intended course of study and university. If you’re unable to see your chosen course at Manchester, please contact or call the funding team at +44 (0)161 676 1761 to discuss whether your course is eligible.

Are there loans for UK students living outside of England? 

Some postgraduate loans are available to UK students residing outside England, such as in Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. The specific arrangements are devolved to local governments. 

  • Wales – a separate postgraduate finance scheme is available from Student Finance Wales. It is means tested and will be paid as a mixture of grants and loans, with amounts varying depending on your household income.
  • Northern Ireland – a postgraduate tuition fee loan is available from Student Finance NI.
  • Scotland – a postgraduate tuition fee loan is available, alongside a separate living cost loan from Student Awards Agency Scotland. However, it is only available to Scottish students studying elsewhere in the UK if that course is not available in Scotland.
  • Islands (including Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man) – some postgraduate funding may be available and differ in each authority, see Skills JerseyStudent Finance Guernsey and Student Awards Isle of Man