UK Government Postgraduate loans for master's study

If you're a prospective student from the UK and starting your master's degree in September 2018 or later, you may be able to apply for a UK Government postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

Students from the EU, EEA and Swiss nationals can apply for the Welsh postgraduate loan for study at Cardiff University.

How to apply and further information

Apply online on the Student Finance Wales website.

Key facts

  • Up to £13,000 non-means-tested and paid directly to you into a UK bank account.
  • Available for postgraduate taught or research master's degrees
  • A Postgraduate Loan will be available if you don’t already hold a Master’s degree or higher qualification.
  • You won’t be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan if you have a lower qualification and want to top-up to a Master’s degree.
  • Postgraduate loans are not based on your household income.

Course eligibility

To be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan your course must be as follows:

  • a full standalone postgraduate Master’s course such as an MSc, MA, MPhil, MRes, LLM, MLitt, MD, MFA, MED or MBA
  • provided by a university or college in the UK
  • lead to a postgraduate Master’s degree.

Your course can be taught or research-based and studied:

  • full-time, lasting one or two academic years
  • part-time, lasting two to four academic years – no more than twice the length of the equivalent full-time course
    or
  • part-time for up to three years, where no equivalent full-time course exists.

Personal eligibility

A Postgraduate Loan may be available to you if you’re aged under 60 on the first academic year of your course and:

  • you are a UK national or have 'settled status' (that means no restrictions on how long you can stay)
  • you normally live in Wales
    and
  • you have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for the three years prior to the first day of the first academic year of your course.

You could also be eligible if you are:

  • a member of the UK Armed Forces, or a relative of someone in the UK Armed Forces, and studying on a distance learning course outside the UK
  • a refugee, or a relative of one
  • under humanitarian protection as a result of a failed application for asylum and living in Wales
  • granted Discretionary Leave to remain in the UK or a relative of someone granted Discretionary Leave to remain in the UK where no application for asylum has been made
  • granted leave to enter or remain in the UK or a relative of someone granted leave to enter or remain as a result of a failed asylum application
  • an EEA or Swiss migrant worker, or a relative of one
  • the child of a Swiss national, or the child of a Turkish worker.

You may also be eligible if you are from an EU country and studying in Wales.

If you are from another part of the UK but you are currently living in Wales while you study, you will not be eligible for the Welsh postgraduate loan but may be eligible under a scheme from your home nation.

Loan payments

The maximum available will be £13,000 per course. The amount you get per year will depend on the length of the course you are studying.

Following the decision to increase the amount available for the loan to £13,000 details on payments are still to be confirmed. If it follows the same system as in 2017/18, then payments will be made in three instalments for each academic year. This page will be updated as soon as this has been confirmed. You can also find out more on the Student Finance Wales Website.

How to apply

Detailed information and guidance on how to apply to the English postgraduate loans is available on the gov.uk website.

Further details on the English postgraduate loans are available on the official Student Finance England maintained web page on The Student Room and on the gov.uk website.

Key facts

  • Up to £10,280, non-means-tested and paid directly to you into a UK bank account.
  • Available for postgraduate master’s degrees across all subject areas, including MSc, MA, MBA, MPH, MTh, LLM, MPhil and MRes in all subject areas, but not available for the Master in Architecture (MArch), Postgraduate Diplomas (PgDip) and Postgraduate Certificates (PgCert).
  • Available for full-time, part-time and distance learning programmes.
  • A full-time programme can be one or two years long.
  • A part-time programme can last up to four years with the following restrictions: up to two years for the equivalent of a one year full-time course, up to four years for the equivalent of a two year full-time course, or a three year part-time course with no equivalent full-time course.

Eligibility

  • You must be a UK national (or an individual with settled status in the UK) and have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for three years on the first day of the first academic year of the course.
  • You must have a permanent home address in England, but you can have been elsewhere for temporary absences, such as for travelling and education, including for the purpose of completing an undergraduate degree.
  • You must be aged under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of the course.

You would not be eligible if you already possess a master’s or doctoral degree or another higher level degree, this includes integrated master’s degrees such as MEng, MChem and MPharm and even qualifications achieved outside the UK but does not include Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

EU students are eligible to study a distance learning master’s degree at Cardiff University as long as they are a permanent resident in England.

Information on how to apply is available on the Student Awards Agency Scotland website.

The Scottish Government has also introduced Postgraduate Loans. These are currently available up to £10,000 will be available to Scottish-resident postgraduates at universities in Scotland. Other UK universities may be included where courses aren't offered in Scotland.

Northern Ireland has also introduced postgraduate loans. Information on how to apply is available on the nidirect government services website.

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