Postgraduate Loans for Master's Level Study (PGL)

From the 2016/17 academic year onwards, the UK government will be providing Postgraduate Loans (PGL) for up to £10,280 for Master’s level study.

Personal Eligibility

An applicant for a PGL must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Residency – You must be a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, and have been resident in the UK for three years by 1st September 2017. You must have been most recently resident in England or Wales, and must not have moved there from elsewhere in the UK solely for the purpose of attending the course. Northern Irish students may be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £5,550. The Student Loans Company (SLC) will make residency checks as part of the application process. European Union (EU) are also eligible to apply for a PGL. European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss migrant workers may also be eligible to apply.
  2. Age – Must be aged under 60 on 1st September 2017.
  3. Previous Loans – Any applicant with outstanding SLC loan arrears will not be eligible for a PGL. Outstanding SLC loan arrears means having missed any scheduled repayments, as opposed to having an outstanding SLC balance.
  4. Previous Study – Any applicant who already holds a Master’s degree or an equivalent or higher level qualification (ELQ) will not eligible for a PGL. Applicants with lower level qualifications such as Postgraduate Diplomas or Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) will not affect eligibility for PGLs.  

PGLs are non-means tested meaning an applicant’s financial situation will not be taken into account when eligibility is being assessed.

Course Eligibility

The following courses at Central are eligible for PGL funding:

When to Apply

Applications will be accepted from summer 2017 onwards. Find more information.

Payment Information

There isn’t a minimum loan request amount. The maximum is £10,280.

Payments will be made directly to the student in three instalments per academic year.

Examples of payment schedules for a £10,280 loan:

MA Voice Studies (Full-time, 1 year)

  • Payment 1 - 03/10/2016 - £3,500
  • Payment 2 - 22/02/2017 - £3,390
  • Payment 3 - 25/03/2017 - £3,390

MA Applied Theatre (Part-time, 2 years)

  • Payment 1 (Year One) - 03/10/2016 - £1,745
  • Payment 2 (Year One) - 22/02/2017 - £1,695
  • Payment 3 (Year One) - 25/03/2017 - £1,695
  • Payment 1 (Year Two) - 02/10/2017 - £1,745
  • Payment 2 (Year Two) - 22/02/2017 - £1,695
  • Payment 3 (Year Two) - 25/03/2017 - £1,705

For two year courses, the maximum amount that can be paid per year is £5,140.

English-domiciled students will need to provide a valid National Insurance Number in order to receive payment.

Repayment Information

Repayment on PGLs will start in the 2019/20 tax year.

PGLs will be repaid under income-contingent repayment terms. The repayment terms differ from those that apply to undergraduate student loans.

Interest will accrue at a rate of Retail Price Index (RPI) + 3% on all outstanding PGL balances. The repayment due date for PGL balances will be 6th April following the academic year in which the course is completed (or following withdrawal, where this applies). Note that repayments through HMRC will not start before 6th April 2019. Voluntary repayments can be made at any time without penalty.

The UK repayment threshold will be £21,000 in tax year 2019/20. The equivalent monthly threshold is £1,750 and the weekly threshold is £404. Those who are repaying from overseas will have a threshold applied which is based on the cost of living in their country of residence. Repayments from overseas will be made directly to SLC. The thresholds will be frozen until April 2021; any future changes to the thresholds will be confirmed in due course.

The repayment amount will be 6% of income above the relevant threshold. Repayments will be made concurrently with any other student loan repayments due, i.e. borrowers repaying both loans will have a 15% total deduction taken from their salary.

Borrowers may switch to direct debit repayments when they are scheduled to repay in full within two years.

Write off of any outstanding balance will take place on the 30th anniversary of the date that the loans become due for repayment, or when the customer dies or becomes permanently unfit for work unless the borrower has outstanding student loan arrears.