There are several types of loan you can apply for to fund your postgraduate studies.
1. Professional and Career Development Loans
A Professional and Career Development Loan is a deferred repayment bank loan set at a competitive fixed interest rate, though you don't have to pay interest for the period you’re learning.
This is paid by the Young People's Learning Agency up until 1 month after you've stopped studying.
Even when you start to repay the loan to the bank, interest rates are set at a fixed rate that is competitive, compared with other commercial unsecured loans.
It can be used to support learning that improves your career and salary prospects. This can be to help protect your current career in times of job insecurity, to gain a qualification to improve your long- term career prospects or learning new skills to move into a different career.
You can borrow any amount between £300 and £10,000 from a participating bank and use it to fund any course lasting up to 2 years (or 3 years if it includes a year on a work experience placement).
The course doesn’t have to lead to a qualification, but must help you with your career in some way.
For example, a Professional and Career Development Loan can be used for:
- a postgraduate course, like a masters
- technical or management training
- a professional qualification
- a course at your local college or learning provider
- an additional bachelors degree (if you’re already a graduate)
The loan can help you with costs such as course fees, living costs (e.g. rent, food, clothing), and other course expenses such as travel, textbooks and childcare.
You can not use the loan for careers advice, help with job hunting, starting a business, or a graduate diploma, access course or foundation course that can lead to a higher qualification.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible, you'll need to be:
- 18 or over
- 'settled' in the UK, and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the three years prior to the start of your learning programme
- intending to work in the UK, the EU or the EEA when the course finishes
'Settled' means having either indefinite leave to enter or remain or having the right of abode in the UK.
Bear in mind that even if you meet these requirements, the decision on whether you've been successful in your application remains with the bank.
The bank’s decision will depend on you meeting their specific lending criteria.
For more information on applying and help with your application, call 0800 585 505. You can also get an adviser to call you back free of charge, or get in touch by email.
2. The Student Loans Company
Students can now receive funding for their taught or research masters from the Student Loans Company, to help all eligible students living in England with the costs of tuition fees, materials and other costs associated with their course.
To find out more, including how to apply for a postgraduate loan, please visit the Student Loans Company website.
For more tips and advice on applying for a postgraduate course, please see:
- Should I do a Masters course?
- Pros and cons
- Postgraduate courses
- Entry requirements
- Choosing a university
- Taught vs Research Masters
- Taught Masters Degree
- Research Masters Degree
- Personal Statements
- Postgraduate funding
- Open days