Financial support available

The Postgraduate Doctoral Loan will be paid directly to you as a contribution towards your course and living costs. The maximum available for courses starting on and after 1 August 2020 will be £26,445 per course.

Courses that started from 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020 the maximum available is £25,700 per course.

Your loan payments will be spread out across all the academic years of your course. For example, if your course starts in August 2020 and you’re studying full time over 4 academic years and apply for the maximum loan amount of £26,445, your payments would be £6,611 in the first 3 academic years of your course, and £6,612 in the final year.

Postgraduate Doctoral Loans are not based on your household income.

The Department for Work and Pensions may take account of the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan when working out any benefits you receive.

You won’t be able to get Dependants’ Grants such as Adult Dependants’ Grant, Parents’ Learning Allowance and Childcare Grant.

Maximum yearly amount

The maximum Postgraduate Doctoral Loan you will be entitled to in a year is £10,609. 

Although you can apply in any year of your course, you may not get the maximum amount if you apply after the first year.

For example, if you began a 3 year doctoral degree in September 2019 but don’t apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan until the second year of your course, the maximum you could get for each remaining year would be £10,609. This means the total you’d receive for the whole course would be £21,218.

Getting paid

You will get the first payment after your course start date, once your university or college confirms that you’ve registered.

Payments will be made in three instalments of 33%, 33% and 34% for each academic year. For example, if you've applied for the full £26,445 and are studying over 4 years, your payments each year would be:

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Years 1 to 3




Year 4




After your application has been approved, you’ll be sent a letter with your payment dates or you can check them on your online account.

Disabled Students’ Allowances

You may be able to get Disabled Students’ Allowances of £20,000 per year if you have a disability, including a long-term health condition, mental-health condition, autism spectrum disorder or specific learning difficulty. Find out more about Disabled Students Allowances for postgraduate students

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