Eligibility

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

You won’t be able to get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if:

  • you’ve received or will receive Research Council funding (for example, studentships, stipends, scholarships and tuition fee support)
  • you’ve received or will receive funding from the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) scheme
  • you’re receiving a Social Work Bursary
  • you’re receiving an NHS bursary
  • you’re currently receiving student finance for an undergraduate or Master’s course
  • you received a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan before - unless you left your course due to illness, bereavement or another serious personal reason
  • you already have a Doctoral degree, or a qualification that’s equivalent or higher in level than the course you’re applying for
  • you’re receiving a Doctorate by publication
  • you’re behind in repayments for any previous loans taken from Student Finance

Your nationality and residency

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan may be available to you if:

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

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

  • you’ve normally lived in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the past three years;
  • you’ll be studying at a university or college in Wales.

You could also be eligible if you’re:

  • a refugee, or a relative of one,
  • granted stateless residency status (including any family members),
  • 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 remain in the UK or a relative of someone granted leave to remain in the UK on the grounds of private life,
  • 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,
  • the child of a Turkish worker, or
  • a member of the UK Armed Forces, or a relative of someone in the UK Armed Forces, and studying on a distance learning course while living outside Wales due to an armed forces posting.

If you’re from another part of the UK but you’re currently living in Wales while you study, you won’t be classed as ‘ordinarily resident’ in Wales and won’t be eligible for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan from Student Finance Wales. You should contact your own funding provider for further information on what postgraduate support will be available.

Your age

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

The academic year is a period of twelve months starting on:

  • 1 September, if your course starts between 1 August and 31 December
  • 1 January, if your course starts between 1 January and 31 March
  • 1 April, if your course starts between 1 April and 30 June
  • 1 July, if your course starts between 1 July and 31 July

Your course

Your course must:

  • start on or after 1 August 2018;
  • be a full standalone postgraduate Doctoral course (it’s not available if you’re “topping up” a lower level qualification);
  • last between three and eight academic years;
  • be studied on a full-time or part-time basis (including distance learning)
  • involve taught and/or research based study.

Examples of postgraduate Doctoral qualifications include:

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

Integrated Doctoral

You must register for a full doctoral degree to be eligible for the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan. If your course includes a Master’s degree which is integral to your Doctoral course, then you will be eligible for the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan (even if you already hold a Master’s qualification). However, you cannot apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan in these circumstances.

If you already have a Master’s qualification, you’ll still be entitled to apply for the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan, so long as the new Master’s qualification is an integral part of your Doctoral course.

Distance learning

To qualify for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan for distance learning, you’ll need to be living both:

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

This usually doesn’t apply if you’re:

  • serving in the armed forces and posted outside Wales
  • a spouse, civil partner or child of of a serving member of the armed forces and posted outside Wales
  • a dependant parent living with a serving member of the armed forces and posted outside Wales

EU nationals who are distance learning must be living and studying in Wales for the duration of their course.

Your university or college

The Postgraduate Doctoral Loan is available if you’re studying at a university or college in the UK and it’s either:

  • publicly funded (paid for by the government), or
  • privately funded but running individual courses that are approved for funding by the Welsh Government

If more than one university is responsible for the delivery of your course and the other is overseas, you’ll only be eligible for the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan so long as:

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

EU nationals who don’t normally live in Wales must be studying at a university in Wales.



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