To be eligible for a postgraduate study loan:
- you have to be studying a taught or research Masters course. This applies to MA, MSc, MPhil, MRes, MBA and some LLM courses
- you can be studying at university or by distance learning
- your course can be one or two years long, if you are studying full-time
- part-time courses must be studied at a minimum 50% intensity of the equivalent full-time course
- you must be studying for a full Masters award – you cannot be topping up from previous study or experience, for example receiving exemptions or APL/AP(E)L or starting mid-way through a course.
- you can check your personal eligibility at Gov.uk
Not all postgraduate courses qualify for the postgraduate loan scheme. The following is a summary of the courses that do not qualify:
- Postgraduate Doctoral degrees (see below)
- Masters degrees that are undertaken as an integral part of postgraduate doctoral degrees
- Courses with a postgraduate element that are currently eligible for undergraduate support (e.g. Initial Teacher Training (PGCE), Integrated Masters, Masters of Architecture (MArch). Students may be eligible for a PGL for the MArch course where they are ineligible for undergraduate support for this course, for example, because the gap between RIBA parts 1 and 2 is deemed to be too long, or where the MArch course is studied on a part-time basis.
Some part-time courses do not qualify because they take longer to complete than twice the equivalent full-time course. For further clarification, see the full list of courses that do not qualify (PDF File 63 KB). This list is subject to change, and is being updated as our curriculum develops, so please check regularly to ensure the course you are applying to study on doesn't appear on this list.
Students in receipt of NHS or Social Work bursaries are ineligible for PGLs.
Students who already hold an equivalent level Masters qualification are also ineligible.
PLEASE NOTE: Universities have an obligation to inform Student Finance England of any changes to your programme of study, after enrolment, which may affect your eligibility for the postgraduate loan. These include:
- transfers to programmes that do not qualify for the loan scheme (for example from MSc to PGDip programmes)
- the award of APL or APEL credit giving you exemption from studying the full Masters programme
- withdrawal or interruption from your course
- exiting the course with a lower qualification
As a result of this notification, Student Finance England may cancel your loan and reclaim any overpayment deemed to have been made.