UK Government postgraduate doctoral loans

If you're a prospective student from the UK and starting your PhD in September 2018 or later, you may be able to apply for a UK Government postgraduate doctoral loan to support your study here.

Please note that the information provided on this page is subject to change, with details still to be confirmed by Student Finance England and Student Finance Wales.

In July 2017, the Welsh government announced that it intended to introduce a Doctoral loans scheme from 2018/19 academic year.

Eligible students who are ordinarily resident in Wales will be able to borrow up to £25,000 for contributions to costs to study for a PhD. As with its English counterpart, this loan will not be means-tested and can be combined with funding from certain other sources, but not with Research Council funding, NHS funding or other direct Government funding.

We will publish further details on this page once they have been confirmed.

Postgraduate doctoral loans for English residents

Key facts

  • up to £25,000, non-means-tested and paid directly into a UK bank account in instalments
  • available for PhD-level qualifications lasting up to eight years in all subjects
  • available to support study at any UK university with the ability to award PhDs
  • applications to open in Spring / Summer 2018.


  • you must be a UK national and ordinarily a resident in England
  • you must be aged 59 years or under on the first day of the academic year of your course
  • you must not already hold a PhD or equivalent qualification
  • you must not be receiving a Research Council studentship (including tuition fees only studentship), NHS funding or other government finance towards your PhD
  • there are no restrictions on what subject you can study and your PhD proposal will not be checked as part of your application for a doctoral loan.

The government has not yet announced whether EU nationals will be eligible for the PhD loan. This information will be confirmed before the start of the 2018/19 academic year.

Loan repayments

  • repayments for the loan will start when you have completed your PhD and you're earning at least £21,000 per year
  • you will pay at a rate of 6% of your income over that amount, which is frozen until at least 2021
  • please note that if you have previously received a postgraduate loan for Masters study, this will be combined with your doctoral loan. This means that you will have to repay a single debt of up to £35,280 (plus interest) at the 6% rate of what you earn over £21,000.

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