Postgraduate student loans

Not sure what a postgraduate student loan is? We’ve got this…

Student loans can be difficult to understand, from working out the amount you can borrow as a postgrad, to understanding how your repayments work. But no matter how much money you’re looking to borrow, knowing the ins and outs of postgraduate student loans is essential.

To help you get started, we spoke to the experts at Northumbria University London Campus who told us everything you need to know about postgraduate student loans:


What is a postgraduate student loan?

A postgraduate student loan is a type of financial support provided to UK postgrad students by The Student Loans Company.

The loan is used to help both full-time and part-time students cover the cost of their university living fees, tuition costs, and course materials.


What types of postgraduate student loan are there?

Although undergraduates will get be offered two types of student loans (maintenance and tuition) – as a postgraduate, your loan will be condensed into one.

This is used to cover both your course fees, and your living costs.


Am I eligible for a postgraduate student loan?

If you’re a UK student, you should be entitled to receive a postgraduate student loan.

Some EU students may also currently be eligible, depending on how long they’ve lived in the UK.

Both full-time and part-time students can receive a loan, but those studying part-time or on a distance learning basis must be studying at least 50% of the full-time version of the course in order to be eligible.

You’ll also need to be:

  • Under 60 years old when you start your course
  • Studying in England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland
  • A resident of England for the past three years (minimum)
  • Studying as a postgraduate for the first time (with no previous qualifications at this level)
  • Taking a course that’s worth at least 180 credits


How much will my postgraduate student loan be?

Unlike the loans offered to undergrads, the postgrad student loan isn’t based on your household income, and the amount you borrow will be up to you. The entire loan will be paid directly into your bank account, and you choose how much of it you’d like to put towards your tuition fees and living costs.

If you’re a full-time student, you’ll be able to get a maximum of £10,906 per year, which is paid in three instalments.

Instalments will be spread evenly across the length of your course, and paid each term over a maximum of two years. If your course is longer than that, you’ll still receive your entire loan by the end of your second year.


When do I start paying back my postgraduate student loan?

You’ll only need to start paying back your postgraduate student loan when you’re earning £21,000 or more a year. If you drop below this threshold at any point, you’ll stop making payments.

Repayments will be taken directly out of your wages, on an income-contingent basis at a rate of 6% (of the amount over the threshold). You’ll also need to pay interest as soon as your repayments start, at a rate of 3% (RPI).

If you have any student debt left after 30 years, it will automatically be cancelled.

Student loan repayments: What you need to know


How do I apply for a postgraduate student loan?

You can apply for your postgraduate loan through the Direct Gov website, using your Student Finance details. If you haven’t taken out a student loan in the past, you’ll need to set up an account to get started.

The application can be filled out either online or via post, and must be submitted within set deadlines to be processed properly.

To check whether you’re eligible and to apply for a postgraduate loan, visit:


What if my loan isn’t enough?

If you don’t think your loan will be enough to fund your entire postgrad degree, or you’re not sure you want to borrow the full amount – don’t panic. There are a number of ways you can earn money as you study, whilst gaining practical work experience.

And, because many student jobs are offered on a part-time, freelance, or seasonal basis, your job won’t interfere with your uni workload.

There may also be bursaries, grants, and scholarships available, depending on your financial situation, course, and academic potential. However, taking out a postgrad loan may affect your eligibility to receive other types of finance.

Finally, employers may be able to help towards funding your education, if the course could help towards your career progression. Speak to your manager to find out if funding is an option for you.


Why study with Northumbria University London Campus?

At Northumbria University London Campus, their academic experts and support staff are committed to giving you an educational experience that will set you up for life.

Not only do they offer a range of cutting-edge postgraduate courses that are at the forefront of current knowledge and informed by global perspectives, they also offer a range of options when it comes to your finances.

Some great reasons to study with Northumbria University London Campus include:

  • Northumbria University’s Business School holds the double AACSB accreditation – the first in Europe to gain the double accreditation.
  • 97% of their UK & EU full-time and part-time Postgraduate students are in work or further study six months after graduation (DLHE Survey 2015/16)
  • Their well-placed London campus is conveniently located in a well-known student hub near several other university campuses – giving the site a true campus feel
  • They deliver engaging classes and one-to-one guidance to build your confidence
  • They offer a range of flexible finance options


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Northumbria University London is the London base for Northumbria University which is located in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Their London Campus offers a variety of full-time or part-time programmes, including postgraduate courses in Business, Computing, Cyber, Project Management, Technology and more.