Postgraduate loans for EU/UK Masters students

Published on:
2nd November 2016

Postgraduate loans

From September 2016 students will be able to borrow up to £10,000 towards overall courses costs (including tuition fees, accommodation and living costs) and is available for our MA courses ONLY.

Postgraduate loans

It was confirmed in November 2015 that the UK Government will be introducing a new postgraduate loan scheme for students commencing Masters courses in the 2016/17 academic year. From September 2016 students will be able to borrow up to £10,000 towards overall courses costs (including tuition fees, accommodation and living costs) and is available for our MA courses ONLY.

The key points are summarised below:

    •  Student loans for Masters Degrees will be available up to a maximum value of £10,000.
    • The loan will be paid directly to you, into a UK bank account and will be a contribution towards the costs of study, meaning it will be at your discretion to use the loan towards fees, maintenance costs or other costs.
    • The scheme has been confirmed for the 2016-17 academic year.
    • Masters degrees in all disciplines and subject areas will be covered by the new postgraduate loan scheme.
    • Postgraduate loans will be available for all full-time, part-time and distance learning Masters programmes.
    • Loans will be available at any university with degree awarding powers in the UK and/or are funded by HEFCE. This includes universities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
    • Students aged under 60 will be eligible for Masters loans.


      • • Interest will accrue at a rate of RPI + 3%.
      • • Repayments will start to become due on 6 April following the academic year in which the course is completed.
      • • Repayments for students on the first year of the scheme will not begin until 6 April 2019 (as systems are not yet in place).
      • • Repayment threshold will be £21,000 in tax year 2019/20 (may vary if living overseas).
      • • The repayment amount will be 6% of income above the relevant threshold.
      • • Repayments will be made concurrently with any other student loan repayments due. If you are repaying both an undergraduate and the new postgraduate loan you will have a 15% (UG 9% and PG 6%) total deduction taken from your salary.
      • • Anything outstanding on the 30th anniversary of the date that the repayments became due will be written off.

Taken from


        • • The loan is available to UK nationals (and individuals with settled status in the UK) who have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for three years by the first day of their course (though a temporary absence for study or travel will not harm an application).
        • • Students must also have been most recently resident in England, which means that Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish applicants need to be living in England in order to be eligible (and not have moved to England just to study).
        • • The loan is available to EU students without the UK residency requirements above.
        • • Students who already hold a Master’s qualification (or an equivalent or higher level qualification) will not be eligible for the loan.
        • • Distance Learning applicants must reside in England.

The loans are not available for

          • • PG Certificates and PG Diplomas subjects or
          • • Students who already have a postgraduate Master’s qualification, including an integrated Master’s qualification.

Alternative methods of funding a Masters Degree

Philanthropy, charities and trusts

Our students have also had success securing funding from a range of local, national and international philanthropic sources, most usually charitable bodies. It’s worth investigating parish churches, city councils, and other local bodies, many of which offer scholarships, grants, or bursaries of some kind.

Charitable trusts

Details of charitable trusts and other funding organisations can be found in a number of publications including the Grants Register, published by Palgrave Macmillan, and the Directory of Grant-Making Trusts. These can be found in libraries and university careers services. Most of these organisations make relatively small contributions towards the costs of your studies, but they can augment other sources.


You may have seen stories in the press about people crowdfunding to help pay their tuition fees. Crowdfunding services, such as, or, allow you to raise monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet, and can help you fundraise directly towards the cost of your degree. It’s worth researching the options available via these and other services to see if they suit your needs.

Other sources of funding information


Students relaxing outside of the School
The School is in a beautiful part of Bristol, overlooking a huge park called the Downs. We sometimes take advantage of our close proximity to the Downs during the summer term, practising fight and dance routines, or voice or singing classes! Dan Hall, BA Professional Acting student