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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 2018/19 is £10,609.

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


UK postgraduate students

  • 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.

For UK students resident in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, we are aware that the devolved funding authorities are planning to provide their own postgraduate loan package for taught and research master’s students. Further details are set to be announced in the coming weeks, and this webpage will be updated as soon as we have confirmation.

EU postgraduate students

  • Funding support for EU students applying for university places in the 2017/18 academic year has been confirmed by the UK government. The government has also confirmed this support for EU students applying for university places in the 2018/19 academic year
  • If you are a student from another EU country, you will continue to remain eligible for master’s, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support in academic year 2018/19 and will continue to have access to student loans and grants, even if the course concludes after the UK’s exit from the EU.
  • EU nationals will also remain eligible to apply for Research Council PhD studentships at UK institutions for 2018/19 to help cover costs for the duration of their study.
  • The loan is available to non-UK EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the EEA/Switzerland for the past three years but do not meet the requirements to be assessed as English-domiciled students.
  • Students must be attending a course in England or undertake a distance-learning course from a higher-education provider in England or attend a campus in England that is part of a higher-education provider in the UK.
  • The loan may also be available to students who have residency status of refugee, humanitarian protection, EEA migrant worker, child of a Swiss national or child of a Turkish worker, aged 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years or at least half their life.

Additional criteria

  • Students must be aged under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of the course.
  • Applicants will not be eligible if they have outstanding arrears on any Higher Education / Further Education Loan balance.

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 2019/20. 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 30 68 105 142
Postgraduate loan repayment (£) 0 20 45 70 95
Total loan repayment (£) 0 50 133 175 237

Based on repayment thresholds and percentages for students who started an undergraduate degree on or after the first September 2012 (9% of income above £21,000 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.