Postgraduate Loans Postgraduate Loans

Postgraduate Loans are only available for taught or research based Masters courses.

The course must be at least one academic year in duration and must either be:

  • Full time lasting one or two academic years,
  • Part time lasting two academic years with a one year full time equivalent,
  • Part time lasting three or four years academic years with a two year full time equivalent,
  • Part time lasting three years with no full time equivalent.

(Not eligible: 3 year PT with 1 year FTE and 4 year PT with 1 or no FTE courses)


Part-Time Study

Where student undertake a postgraduate Masters course on a part time basis and the course is one or two years full time equivalent they must study at an average FTE intensity of 50% throughout the course. Where the course is a three year part time course with no FTE course, there is no average intensity requirement.

Students undertaking part time courses that last three or four academic years will have payments allocated as per students who are undertaking two year courses, i.e. the full loan amount requested will be scheduled over the first two years of study only. No payments will be made in years three or four of the course.


Eligible Courses

  • MSc (Master of Science)
  • MA (Master of Arts)
  • MPhil (Master of Philosophy)
  • MRes (Master of Research)
  • LLM (Master of Law)
  • MLitt (Master of Letters)
  • MFA (Master of Fine Arts)
  • MED (Master of Education)
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration)

The eligible course must be a full, standalone Masters course and not a 'top-up' from a lower level course, or a partial Masters course undertaken where previous study and/or work experience has been taken into account.

Intercalated Courses - If an undergraduate course has an intercalating year where the student undertakes a Masters degree, the student is eligible for a Postgraduate Loan (PGL) in the intercalating year. However, this would then make the student ineligible for any further undergraduate funding if awarded the Masters degree, except where the course leads to an exception course such as Medicine or Dentistry, in which case limited undergraduate funding may be available.

For a part-time Postgraduate Masters course to be eligible for funding to Welsh domiciled students, it must last either two, three or four years.

Students may undertake periods of attendance abroad during the Masters course. The qualification must be awarded by the UK HEP and at least 50% of the study completed with the UK. Students are eligible for the maximum loan amount, it is not apportioned to time spent within the UK.

Please note the following exceptions:

  • Where a student in an EU national who has not been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start of the first academic year of the course, the student must attend the course in England only in order to be eligible for PGL.
  • EU students are permitted to attend field trips and placements outside England where they form part of a course that is delivered by a provider in England.

Individuals who already have a postgraduate Masters qualification including an Integrated Masters will not be eligible for the new Masters loan.

If the MPhil degree is undertaken as a standalone Masters degree, students are eligible for the PGL.

PGL is not currently available for Postgraduate Doctoral degrees or Masters degrees that are undertaken as an integral part of a Postgraduate Doctoral degree.


This information was taken from the PGL Course Q&A Edition 3 document. Updates and further editions will be posted here when they become available.

Please note eligibility is assessed by Student Finance and queries can be directed to them on 0300 100 06 07.