New postgraduate loans

Lauren Gillie


A new scheme for postgraduate funding for taught masters programmes is currently underway for introduction in 2016. Students under the age of thirty at English universities will be eligible for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover fees and living expenses. You may be able to borrow less, but the limit will be £10,000. The loan is expected to be paid similarly to an undergraduate loan, direct to the student over 3 instalments.

Currently there are no government backed funds for postgraduate study. Up until now, students have had to rely on scholarships and/or self-funding which often means working full time, which is at odds with universities’ suggestions of working no more than 10 hours per week during term time. The other option has been high interest career development loans. There are no payments for the study period and any interest incurred whilst studying is paid by the government, however repayments must be started two months after graduation, regardless of employment, meaning a masters has become as a gamble in recent years.

Like the current undergraduate loans, these new postgraduate loans will be repaid based on income and will incur a low interest rate. This is expected to be payments of 9% of annual salaries over £21,000. EU students are also eligible for the loan but as an EU student you will also have to have lived in England for 3 years prior to beginning a masters.

This is all that is known about these loans at present, as they have been set up by the new government, and as such there are still many more details waiting to be finalised. However, hopefully the new loan scheme will allow for students from increasingly diverse backgrounds to continue their studies without having to risk gambling for their future.