Advice for postgraduate loans

Loans of up to £11,222 are available from the Student Loans Company for eligible students who are studying a taught or research Masters course starting in September 2020. 

Please note that international students are not eligible for this loan.

These loans will be a contribution towards the costs associated with completing a Postgraduate Masters course and can be used towards tuition fees or living costs as you decide. The loan is not means-tested and will be paid directly to you, the student, rather than the University.

  • Postgraduate Loan applications for 2020/21 normally open in late June
  • Please apply via the UK Government website.
  • The basic eligibility criteria below is correct as of 2 June 2020.

Who can get a Postgraduate Loan

Whether you can get a Postgraduate Loan depends on:

  • your personal eligibility
  • your course, and
  • your university

Personal eligibility

To get a Postgraduate Loan you must meet certain criteria on nationality, residency, age and previous study. 

Postgraduate loans are available to UK and EU students, subject to the following criteria: 

  • Nationality and residency (UK) – You must be a UK citizen (or have settled status), be ordinarily resident in England (you can’t have moved there just to study) and have lived in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man) during the previous three years.
  • Nationality and residency (EU) – You must be an EU citizen and have lived in the EU (including the UK), EEA or Switzerland during the previous three years. Postgraduate loans aren’t affected by Brexit for courses in 2018-19.
  • Age – You must be under 60 (aged 59 or younger) on the first day of the first academic year of your Masters. For courses starting in the Autumn term this will normally be 1st September.
  • Previous qualifications – You must not already have a Masters degree or a higher level qualification (such as a PhD).

 You may also be eligible for a loan if you aren’t a UK or EU national, but one of the following applies: 

  • You are the child of either a Swiss national or Turkish worker
  • You or a family member are an EEA or Swiss national working in the UK
  • You or a family member have been granted refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
  • You are 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years and / or half of your life

Previous study

Having a loan from a previous undergraduate course won’t affect your eligibility for a Postgraduate Loan. 

You can only get a Postgraduate Loan if you don’t already have a postgraduate Master’s qualification or a higher level qualification like a PhD. 

MAs from Scottish universities, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge or Trinity College Dublin are at a lower level than a postgraduate Master’s qualification. If you have an MA from one of these universities, you’ll still be able to get a Postgraduate Loan. 

If you take a Postgraduate Loan for a course but don’t complete it, you won’t be able to get a second Postgraduate Loan. If you have to withdraw for compelling personal reasons, such as illness, you may be able to apply for another Postgraduate Loan to allow you to start a new course.

Course eligibility

All LSTM Masters course are eligible for Postgraduate Loans. 

You can also study full-time, part-time or by distance learning, subject to the following restrictions: 

  • Full-time courses can take 1–2 years of study
  • Part-time courses can take 1–4 years of study, but can’t last for more than twice the length of an equivalent full-time course (or three years if no full-time equivalent exists)
  • Distance-learning courses can be full-time or part-time, but you must be living in England on the first day of your course and the rest of your Masters must be studied from within the UK (UK students) or England (EU students) 

Other sources of funding 

You won’t be able to get a Postgraduate Loan if you are able to apply for a healthcare bursary, or are receiving a social work bursary, from: 

  • National Health Service (NHS) – this also applies to intercalating medics.
  • Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS), or
  • Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS).