UK master's loans | University of Oxford
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UK master's loans

The UK government launched a new loans scheme for full-time and part-time master’s courses from 2016/17 entry. If you are a new entrant for 2018/19, find out if you are eligible and how you can take out a loan through the information on this page.

Please note that details for 2018/19 have not yet been released by the UK government. All figures and eligibility criteria on these pages refer to the 2017/18 academic year, and will be updated when further information is available.

How much is the loan?

The type and amount of loan you can apply for depends on where you are ordinarily resident.

England, Wales and the rest of the EU

You can apply for a loan of up to £10,280 towards your course and living costs.

If you’re studying for 2, 3 or 4 academic years, the loan will be divided equally across each year of your course.

This loan is paid into your bank account in three instalments during the academic year.

Scotland

You will only be eligible for support if your course is not available in Scotland.

You can apply for a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. This is paid directly to the University.

Full time students can also apply for a loan of up to £4,500 towards living costs. This is paid into your bank account in three instalments during the academic year.

If your course is one year in duration, you can receive the maximum loan in that year. If you are studying for 2 academic years (full time), or up to 4 academic years (part time), then your loan is divided equally across each year of your course.

Northern Ireland

You can apply for a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. This is paid directly to the University.

If your course is one year in duration, you can receive the maximum £5,500 in that year. If you are studying for 2 or 3 academic years, the loan will be divided equally across each year of your course.

More information

You can find full details about eligibility, application and repayment in the sections listed across the top of this page. An overview of Master's loans and details of how to apply is available from your regional funding agency's website:

Who can take out the loan?

To take out a master's loan, you must be:

  • aged under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of the course (on 1 September 2017 for courses starting in October 2017)*
  • starting an eligible master's course in:
    • the 2016/17 academic year or later (on or after 1 August 2016) if you are from England or the EU;
    • the 2017/18 academic year or later (on or after 1 August 2017) if you are from Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
  • a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, and have been ordinarily resident in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man, for three years on the first day of the academic year of your course start date; you may be eligible if you are an EU national or family member of an EU national, or hold certain other defined statuses
  • you must not already hold a master’s or higher level qualification (borrowers holding postgraduate diplomas and postgraduate certificates are still eligible). Please note that if you hold an integrated master's degree, you will not be eligible to apply for a Master's Loan**
  • you must not have outstanding student loan arrears or have previously been found to be ‘unfit’ for student support (e.g. because of attempted fraud)
  • you must not have received a Postgraduate Loan before - unless you left your course due to illness, bereavement or another serious personal reason.***

Information for EU applicants on the implications of the UK plans to leave European Union membership is available on the Oxford Students website.

You can find full personal eligibility details at your regional funding agency's website.

* There is no age limit for students from Northern Ireland

** Students from Scotland and Northern Ireland may still be eligible for the master’s loan if they have a postgraduate qualification, as long as this was not publicly funded.

*** Students from Scotland may still be eligible for the living cost loan, but not the tuition fee loan, if they have received funding for a previous postgraduate course.

Which courses are covered?

England, Wales and the rest of the EU

Taught, research or professional stand alone master’s courses in any subject (eg MSt, MSc, MSc(Res), MPP, MBA, MPhil). The loan is not available for those students undertaking a partial master’s course requiring a lesser number of credits as a result of previous study.

Eligible postgraduate master’s courses must be either 1 or 2 years full-time in duration or 2 to 4 years part-time at a minimum 50% intensity of full-time. 2 and 3 year part-time courses with no full-time equivalent are also eligible, with no minimum intensity requirement.

A list of eligible Oxford courses for 2018-19 entry will be published on this page when the criteria have been confirmed by the UK government.

Scotland

You will only be eligible for support if your course is not available in Scotland. You will need to submit an application to SAAS, who will determine your course eligibility. If both you and the course are deemed eligible, SAAS will contact the University to confirm the course details before finalising the assessment of your application.

The course must be a taught postgraduate diploma or master’s programme.

Eligible postgraduate master’s courses must be either 1 or 2 years full-time in duration or 2 to 4 years part-time. Diplomas should be no longer than 1 year full-time in duration, or 2 years part-time. Part–time courses should be no longer in duration than twice the length of an equivalent full-time course.

Northern Ireland

Taught, research or professional master’s courses in any subject (eg MSt, MSc, MSc(Res), MPP, MBA, MPhil), postgraduate diplomas and postgraduate certificates.

The course must last no more than three years whether studied full time or part time.

How to apply

Applications for funding in 2018/19 are expected to open in early summer 2018. You are encouraged to apply as early as possible to ensure that funding is in place for the start of your course.

The information below is the University's best understanding of the current position. Any changes the government make to repayment arrangements are outside the control of the University.

Will I be charged interest on my loan?

Interest is charged at the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3% from the day your first payment is made until your loan is repaid in full.

How do I repay my loan?

You have to repay any loan you borrow, but not until your income is over £21,000 a year. Repayments will be based on your income, not what you borrow.

Students from Scotland and Northern Ireland have a different income threshold. This is currently £17,775 a year, and is expected to increase with inflation each year.

If you are studying full time you will start making repayments the April after you finish or leave your course. If you are studying part time you will start making repayments the April two years after the start of your course or the April after you finish or leave your course, whichever comes first.

However, no repayments will be taken before April 2019 and you will only start making repayments once your income is over the current threshold of £404 a week, £1,750 a month or £21,000 a year.

You will repay 6% of what you earn over the threshold. So if you are paid monthly and earn £2,500 before tax you’ll repay 6% of the difference between what you earn and the threshold (£1,750):

£2,500 - £1,750 = £750

6% of £750 = £45

So your Postgraduate Loan repayment would be £45 that month.

What if I already have a student loan?

If you have had any other loans from the Student Loans Company for your undergraduate course, you will also repay these loans. For example if you took a loan for your undergraduate course that started after 1 September 2012, you will repay 9% of your income over £21,000 towards that loan and 6% of your income over £21,000 towards your Postgraduate Loan. So you will repay 15% of your income over the threshold in total.

More information

You can find further information on repayments at the Student Loans Company Repayments website.

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