Who qualifies


Whether you can get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan depends on

  • your nationality and residency
  • your course
  • your university or college
  • your age
  • your previous study

Your nationality and residency

You could get this funding if you’re able to identify as one of the following:

A UK National or Irish Citizen or someone with pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or indefinite leave to remain so there are no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK

You must:

  • normally live in Wales
  • have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for the three years before the first day of your first academic year

If you have been living in the UK, Islands or Ireland for the three years before the start of your first academic year, you could get funding to study a course in Wales.

An EU national or family member of an EU national

You could get this funding if you:

  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • are studying in Wales
  • have been living in the UK, Gibraltar, the EEA or Switzerland for the three years before the first day of your first academic year of your course.

Irish citizens do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme but would need to be living in the UK by 31 December 2020 to get funding under these categories.

A UK national or family member of a UK national who has been living in the EEA or Switzerland

You must:

  • both have normally lived in the EEA or Switzerland on or before 31 December 2020
  • both have lived in the UK, Gibraltar, the EEA or Switzerland for the three years before the first day of your first academic year
  • be studying in Wales

Funding is also available to family members of UK nationals where the family member was living in the UK and Islands for the three years before the first day of the first academic year of the course.

You can apply for funding if you’ve been living in the UK, Gibraltar, the EEA or Switzerland for the past 3 years and you have one of the following:

  • pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and you’re the family member of a person of Northern Ireland
  • Gibraltarian status as an EU national or family member
  • been living in Gibraltar as a UK national or family member
  • are a migrant worker from the EEA or Switzerland (including family members) with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • are a child of a Swiss national and you and your parent have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme

You can also apply for funding if you:

  • are a child of a Turkish worker and your Turkish worker parent/step-parent has been granted extended leave to remain in the UK, both you and your Turkish worker parent/step-parent need to have been living in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • have settled status not granted under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • are under humanitarian protection (as a result of a failed application for asylum)
  • have been granted leave to remain on the grounds of family or private life, or you’re a family member of someone granted leave to remain on the grounds of family or private life, and you have been living in the UK and Islands for at least 3 years before the first day of the first academic year of your course
  • have been granted discretionary leave, as a result of failed asylum or where no application for asylum has been made, or you’re a family member of someone who has
  • are a stateless person or a family member of a stateless person
  • have been granted leave to remain under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016, or you’re a child of somebody granted leave to remain under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016
  • are a refugee
  • have been granted ‘leave to remain’ in the UK as a victim of domestic violence or abuse or you’re a dependent child of someone who has been
  • have been granted ‘Calais leave’ in the UK, or you’re a dependent child of someone who has been
  • have been granted ‘leave to remain’ in the UK as a bereaved partner, or you’re a dependent child of someone who has been

Your course

Your course must:

  • be a full standalone Doctoral course (not a top-up course)
  • have started on or after 1 August 2018
  • last between 3 and 8 years

It can be:

  • full-time or part-time
  • taught or research-based

Examples of postgraduate Master’s courses include:

  • PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
  • EdD (Doctor of Education)
  • EngD (Doctor of Engineering)

Teacher training funding

If you already hold an undergraduate degree and are looking to do a Postgraduate Initial Teacher Education course, you should apply for the same funding as an undergraduate student. This means you may be eligible to apply for both tuition fee support and help with your living costs.

You may also be eligible to receive certain Initial Teacher Education incentives. Contact your university about these.

Distance learning

If you’re studying by distance learning, you’ll need to be living both:

  • in Wales on the first day of the first academic year of your course
  • in the UK for the duration of your course

This usually does not apply if you’re:

  • serving in the armed forces
  • under 25 and the child or step-child of a serving member of the armed forces
  • a spouse or civil partner of a serving member of the armed forces
  • a dependent parent living with a serving member of the armed forces

EU nationals must be living in Wales for the duration of their course.

Integrated courses

You can get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if your doctoral programme includes an integrated Master’s degree, even if you already have a Master’s degree.

Your university or college

Your university or college must be both:

  • in the UK
  • designated for funding by the Welsh Government

If more than one university delivers your course and one is overseas, you’ll still be eligible for the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan as long as:

  • the UK university is the lead institution
  • you spend at least 50% of your study time over the whole course in the UK

Check with your university or college if you’re not sure whether it qualifies.

Your age

You must be under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your course.

Your previous study

You cannot get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if:

  • you’ve already had a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan
  • you already have a Doctoral degree, or a qualification that’s equivalent or higher level

You might be able to get funding if you had to leave your previous course because of compelling personal reasons, as long as you did not obtain an equivalent or higher level qualification when you left. Examples of compelling personal reasons are illness or bereavement, but circumstances can be reviewed on a case by case basis. You’ll need to provide evidence of this.

Other funding

You cannot get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if you’re getting funding from:

You cannot get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if you’re eligible to receive an NHS bursary.