Master's loans | University of Oxford

Master's loans

UK and EU students who started a master's course from 2016/17 and onwards may be able to receive funding from the UK government to help fund their studies. Find out if you are eligible, what kind of support is available and how you can apply through the information on this page.

How much is available?

The type and amount of support you can apply for depends on where you are ordinarily resident and the year you started your course.

 EnglandWalesScotland Northern Ireland  European Union
2016-entry£10,000 loan for tuition and living costsN/AN/AN/A£10,000 loan for tuition and living costs
2017-entry£10,280 loan for tuition and living costs£10,280 loan for tuition and living costs£5,500 tuition fee loan (full-time and part-time courses); £4,500 loan for living costs (full-time courses only)£5,500 tuition fee loan£10,280 loan for tuition and living costs
2018-entry£10,690 loan for tuition and living costs£13,000 loan for tuition and living costs£5,500 tuition fee loan (full-time and part-time courses); £4,500 loan for living costs (full-time courses only)£5,500 tuition fee loan£10,690 loan for tuition and living costs
2019-entry£10,906 loan for tuition and living costs£17,000 loan and grant for tuition costs£5,500 tuition fee loan and £4,500 loan for living costs (full-time courses only)£5,500 tuition fee loan£10,906 loan for tuition and living costs

Your funding will be divided equally between each year of your course.

How is the funding paid?

The manner is which your funding is paid depends on where you are ordinarily resident.

England, Wales and the EU

The funding will be paid into your bank account in three instalments during the academic year. You will receive approximately a third of your annual entitlement at the start of each term. 

Scotland

The loan for living costs will be paid directly to you by the Student Loans Company, who will send you a payment schedule one month before the start of your course. The tuition fee loan will be paid directly to the University in three instalments during the academic year.

Northern Ireland

The tuition fee loan will be paid directly to the University in three instalments during the academic year.

Course eligibility

England 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). Funding 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. Funding is not available to students undertaking a part-time modular course with an advertised duration of 2 to 4 years.

Wales

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

For 2017-entry: 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.

From 2018-entry onwards: eligible postgraduate master's courses must be either 1 or 2 years full-time duration or 2 to 4 years part-time. Students wishing to to apply for postgraduate finance for a part-time modular course with an advertised duration of 2 to 4 years, and who commenced their course in 2018/19 or later, should contact student.funding@admin.ox.ac.uk and we can then make arrangements for the appropriate course to be set up with Student Finance Wales.

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 full-time, taught or research master’s programme or postgraduate diploma.

Eligible postgraduate master’s courses must be either 1 or 2 years full-time in duration. Diplomas should be no longer than 1 year full-time in duration.

Please note that from 2019-entry onwards, there is no provision for part-time courses outside Scotland.

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

You are encouraged to apply as early as possible to ensure that funding is in place for the start of your course.

England, Wales and the rest of the EU

If you are from England or the rest of the EU, apply to Student Finance England.

If you are from Wales, apply to Student Finance Wales.

You only need to apply once even if your course is longer than one year. The final deadline to apply is 9 months after the first day of the last academic year of your course. For courses which start in Michaelmas Term this will therefore be 31st May of your final year, and for courses which start in Hilary Term this will be 30th September of your final year.

Scotland

You will need to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland for a loan for each year of your course. The final deadline to apply during each academic year is 31st March.

Northern Ireland

You will need to apply to Student Finance Northern Ireland for a loan for each year of your course. The final deadline to apply is 9 months after the first day of each academic year. For courses which start in Michaelmas Term this will therefore be 31st May and for courses which start in Hilary Term this will be 30th September. 

Will I be charged interest on my loan?

The information provided below on repayments and interest rates 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.

England, Wales and the EU

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. Please visit the GOV.UK Repayment Site for further details.

Northern Ireland and Scotland

The interest rate is set by the Department for Education (DfE) each year and is normally based on the Retail Price Index (RPI) or the Bank of England base rate plus 1%, whichever is lower. Interest will be charge from the day your first payment is made until your loan is repaid in full. Please visit the GOV.UK Repayment Site for further details.

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 £18,935 a year (2019-20 tax year), and is expected to increase with inflation each year.

If you’re studying full time you’ll start making repayments the April after you finish or leave your course. If you’re studying part time you’ll 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, you’ll 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’ll repay 6% of what you earn over the threshold. So if you’re 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.

Please visit the GOV.UK Repayment Site for further details.

What if I already have a student loan?

If you have had any other loan from the Student Loans Company then you will continue to make separate repayments alongside those for your postgraduate loan.