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Doctoral loans

If you're ordinarily resident in the UK and starting your PhD in September 2024, you may be able to apply for a doctoral loan to support your study.

Please note that all figures quoted below are those that were available for 2023/24 academic year. Updated figures for 2024/25 academic year will be provided as soon as they have been confirmed.

The doctoral loan available to you will depend on where you are ordinarily resident before you start your course. Please check the funding information for the country you are normally resident in:

If you ordinarily live in Wales and intend to start a PhD in September 2024 then you may be eligible to apply for a postgraduate doctoral loan from Student Finance Wales.

What funding is available?

If you meet the eligibility criteria then you could get a loan to help with your course costs, such as tuition fees, and your general living costs.

The maximum postgraduate doctoral loan available from Student Finance Wales for students who start a course in September 2023 is £28,395.

Payment of this loan will be divided equally across each year of your course. Each year’s entitlement is then paid directly to you in three instalments; one at the start of each term.

Eligibility

Whether you can receive postgraduate funding from Student Finance Wales will depend on:

  • your nationality and residency
  • your course
  • your university or college
  • your age
  • your previous study
  • if you are receiving other funding, such as an NHS bursary or Social Work bursary

More details about the eligibility criteria can be found at Student Finance Wales.

Additional funding from Student Finance Wales

Depending on your personal circumstances there may be additional funding available to you via the Disabled Students Allowance if you have a disability or long-term health condition. Please visit Student Finance Wales for more information.

How to apply for funding

The application process for students who are ordinarily resident in Wales and who intend to start a course in September 2023 is expected to open in May/June 2023.

You can apply for the loan in any year of your course but if you apply after your first year, you might not get the maximum amount.

Additional funding

Cost of living in Cardiff

Cardiff is considered to be one of the most affordable UK cities to live in while you study. See our living cost calculator for the average cost of living in Cardiff as a full time, postgraduate student.

Repaying a postgraduate loan

If you take a postgraduate loan you become liable to repay this from April after you have left your course.

You’ll only start to make repayments when your income is over the repayment threshold. Currently, the repayment threshold for postgraduate loans is £21,000* per year. If your income falls below the repayment threshold, repayments will stop and only restart when your income is over the threshold again. You can also make additional voluntary repayments to the Student Loans Company at any time.

Postgraduate loan repayments are set at a rate of 6% of your income over the £21,000 per year threshold. Repayments will normally be deducted from your salary through the tax system.

Please see the table below for an indication of the monthly cost of repayments based on income:

Annual Income (before tax)

Approximate monthly repayment amount

£20,000

£0 – salary is below the threshold

£25,000

£20

£30,000

£45

£35,000

£70

£45,000

£120

If you are repaying any undergraduate loans (tuition fee loan and/or maintenance loan), the postgraduate loan repayments will be taken in addition to undergraduate loan repayments. This means you could be repaying both your Undergraduate and Postgraduate loans simultaneously if you earn above the repayment threshold.

*22/23 Repayment threshold

Interest on Postgraduate Loan

You are charged interest on any loan taken from the time it is paid to you until it is paid back in full, or any balance is written off.

The interest rate on Postgraduate Loans is currently 6.5%.

The interest rate on Postgraduate Loans is usually the Retail Price Index plus 3%. However, the interest rate is currently capped until 28 February 2023 due to inflation. Interest rates on Postgraduate Loans will not go above 6.5% while the cap is in place.

You can find out more information about how postgraduate loans are repaid.

If you ordinarily live in England and intend to start a PhD in September 2024 then you may be eligible to apply for a postgraduate doctoral loan from Student Finance England.

What funding is available?

If you meet the eligibility criteria then you could get a loan to help with your course costs, such as tuition fees, and your general living costs.

The maximum postgraduate doctoral loan available from Student Finance England for students who start a course in September 2023 is £28,673.

Payment of this loan will be divided equally across each year of your course. Each year’s entitlement is then paid directly to you in three instalments; one at the start of each term.

Eligibility

Whether you can receive postgraduate funding from Student Finance England will depend on:

  • your nationality and residency
  • your course
  • your university or college
  • your age
  • your previous study
  • if you are receiving other funding, such as an NHS bursary or Social Work bursary

More details about the eligibility criteria can be found at Student Finance England.

  • you can submit an application through your Student Finance England account.
  • you only need to apply once for the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.

For full details and to apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan visit the Gov.uk website.

Additional funding from Student Finance England

Depending on your personal circumstances there may be additional funding available to you via the Disabled Students Allowance if you have a disability or long-term health condition. Please visit Student Finance England for more information.

How to apply for funding

The application process for students who are ordinarily resident in Wales and who intend to start a course in September 2023 is expected to open in May/June 2023.

You can apply for the loan in any year of your course but if you apply after your first year, you might not get the maximum amount.

Additional funding

Cost of living in Cardiff

Cardiff is considered to be one of the most affordable UK cities to live in while you study. See our living cost calculator for the average cost of living in Cardiff as a full-time, postgraduate student.

Repaying a postgraduate loan

If you take a postgraduate loan you become liable to repay this from April after you have left your course.

You’ll only start to make repayments when your income is over the repayment threshold. Currently, the repayment threshold for postgraduate loans is £21,000* per year. If your income falls below the repayment threshold, repayments will stop and only restart when your income is over the threshold again. You can also make additional voluntary repayments to the Student Loans Company at any time.

Postgraduate loan repayments are set at a rate of 6% of your income over the £21,000 per year threshold. Repayments will normally be deducted from your salary through the tax system.

Please see the table below for an indication of the monthly cost of repayments based on income:

Annual Income (before tax)

Approximate monthly repayment amount

£20,000

£0 – salary is below the threshold

£25,000

£20

£30,000

£45

£35,000

£70

£45,000

£120

If you are repaying any undergraduate loans (tuition fee loan and/or maintenance loan), the postgraduate loan repayments will be taken in addition to undergraduate loan repayments. This means you could be repaying both your Undergraduate and Postgraduate loans simultaneously if you earn above the repayment threshold.

*22/23 Repayment threshold

Interest on Postgraduate Loan

You are charged interest on any loan taken from the time it is paid to you until it is paid back in full, or any balance is written off.

The interest rate on Postgraduate Loans is currently 6.5%.

The interest rate on Postgraduate Loans is usually the Retail Price Index plus 3%. However, the interest rate is currently capped until 28 February 2023 due to inflation. Interest rates on Postgraduate Loans will not go above 6.5% while the cap is in place.

You can find out more information about how postgraduate loans are repaid here.

Contact us

If you have any questions about funding your postgraduate course please get in touch with the Student Funding and Advice Team:

Student Funding and Advice Team

Email
studentconnect@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2251 8888