Postgraduate loans (PGL) for taught and research master’s students

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

The maximum loan available for 2020/21 is £11,222.

This postgraduate student loan is paid directly to you, and is non-means tested.

The information on this page is about the loan available to English students studying in the UK, and EU students who have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in England for the past three years, and who therefore may also qualify. There are different funding arrangements for UK students resident in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Islands


UK students resident in England

  • The loan is available to UK students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for the three years prior to the first day of the first academic year of the course.
  • Students must most recently have been resident in England.
  • 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.

EU students

Funding for EU postgraduate students for the 2020/21 academic year will be available if you have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK. Specifically if you:

  • are an EU national or have ‘settled status’, meaning there are not restrictions on how long you can stay;
  • you normally live in England, and did not move there just to study;
  • you have been living in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for three years before starting your course.

Funding for EU nationals may also be available if you:

  • have normally lived in the European Economic Area or Switzerland for the past three years.

Other eligibility criteria

You may also be eligible if you are:

  • the child of a Swiss national;
  • the child of a Turkish worker;
  • a refugee or a relative of one;
  • an EEA or Swiss migrant worker, or a relative of one;
  • under humanitarian protection or a relative of someone who has been granted it;
  • 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 at least half your life;
  • under 18 and have lived in the UK for at least seven years. 

Additional criteria

Students must be 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 are already getting payments from student finance for another course that you’re studying;
  • you have received a Postgraduate Master’s Loan before, unless 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.

Course eligibility

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 UG 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.

Ineligible courses include:

  • postgraduate certificates/diplomas (eg PGCert, PGDip, PGCE);
  • Integrated undergraduate master’s (eg MChem, MMath);
  • Master of Architecture (MArch);
  • doctoral degrees (eg PhD);
  • those already funded via an NHS bursary, or a Social Work Bursary.


Courses can be studied:

  • 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.
  • via distance learning.


The UK repayment threshold will be £21,000 in tax year 2020/21. 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 PGL balances will start from 6 April following the academic year that the course is completed. 

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 threshold (£) 0 333 750 1,166 1,583
Undergraduate loan repayment (£) 0 0 32 70 107
Postgraduate loan repayment (£) 0 19 45 70 95
Total loan repayment (£) 0 19 77 140 202

Based on repayment thresholds and percentages for students who started an undergraduate degree on or after the first September 2012 (9% of income above £25,725 for undergraduate loans).

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

How to apply

Applications 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.

Please be aware that 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 when applying online, please contact or call the funding team on 0161 275 5000 to discuss whether your course is eligible for a loan.

Find out more

You can find additional Information on the loan on the Find a Masters and SLC websites. For further information about the application process, please visit Student Finance England’s dedicated student finance zone on The Student Room or the Find a Master’s website.