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UK Government postgraduate doctoral loans

If you're a prospective student from the UK and starting your PhD in 2019 or later, you may be able to apply for a UK Government postgraduate doctoral loan to support your study here.

Postgraduate doctoral loans for Welsh and EU residents

Key facts

  • up to £25,000
  • your course must start on or after 1 August 2018
  • available for full standalone postgraduate Doctoral courses that last between three and eight academic years
  • a postgraduate loan may be available for you if you normally live in Wales or you've normally lived in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the past three years


For full details and eligibility criteria please visit the Student Finance Wales website.


  • repayments start when your income is over the repayment threshold which currently stands at £21,000 per year before tax and national insurance
  • once your income is over the repayment threshold you will repay 6% of your income above this
  • if you don't complete your course then you may need to repay any overpaid amount

How to apply

  • you can apply now by logging in to your student finance account and submitting your application
  • you don't need a confirmed place at Cardiff University to apply
  • you will need a valid UK passport (if you have one), your course and Cardiff University details, bank details and National Insurance number
  • you won't have to apply for your Postgraduate Doctoral Loan more than once

For full details and to apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan visit the Student Finance Wales website.

Postgraduate doctoral loans for English residents

Key facts

  • maximum loans for new students starting postgraduate doctoral degree courses in 2019/20 will be £25,700
  • 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


  • 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.

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.