To be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan students must meet certain criteria. We will consider the following:

Nationality and residency



Previous study

Nationality and residency

A Postgraduate Loan may be available to students if:

  • they’re a UK national or have 'settled status' (that means they have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK);
  • they normally live in Wales, and didn’t move there for the purposes of study;
  • they’ve been living in the UK and Islands for the three years prior to the first day of the first academic year of their course.

Students may also be eligible if they’re an EU national and all the following apply:

  • they’re living in Wales on the first day of the first year of their course
  • they’ve normally lived in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the past three years
  • they’ll be studying at a university or college in Wales.

They could also be eligible if they’re:

  • 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.

Students who are from another part of the UK but currently living in Wales while they study won’t be classed as ‘ordinarily resident’ in Wales. They should contact their own award authority for further information on what postgraduate support will be available.


The student must be under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of their course.

Course eligibility

The course must start on or after 1 August 2017, and be a full standalone postgraduate Master’s course such as:

  • Master of Science (MSc)
  • Master of Art (MA)
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
  • Master of Research (MRes)
  • Master of Law (LLM)
  • Master of Letters (MLitt)
  • Master of Fine Art (MFA)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The course must also:

  • be provided by a university or college in the UK (including the Open University); and
  • lead to a postgraduate Master’s degree.

The course can be studied at a university or by distance learning.

It 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.

Postgraduate Loans are not available for:

  • Postgraduate Doctoral degrees;
  • Master’s degrees that are undertaken as part of a Postgraduate Doctoral Degree;
  • Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) or Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip);
  • postgraduate courses that are funded by undergraduate student finance, such as Initial Teacher Education (ITE), or Integrated Master’s.

Master of Architecture

Students who plan to study for a Master’s of Architecture (MArch) qualification full-time, should apply for undergraduate support.

The Postgraduate Loan will only be available for a MArch if they’re either:

  • taking a part-time course
  • aren’t eligible for undergraduate funding for another reason.

Health and social work bursaries

Students can’t get a Postgraduate Loan if:

  • they’re eligible to apply for an NHS bursary; or
  • have been awarded a Social Work bursary.

Any other sources of funding the student receives will not affect their eligibility for Postgraduate Loan.

Previous study

A Postgraduate Loan will be available to students that don’t already hold a Master’s degree or other higher qualification gained either in the UK or overseas. If they have a lower level qualification and want to ‘top-up’ to a Master’s degree, they won’t be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan as they can only get a Postgraduate Loan for a full postgraduate Master’s course.

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