How and when to apply

You can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan now.

How to apply

The quickest way to apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan is online by logging into your account.

You don’t need a confirmed place at university or college. If you change your course, you can update your course details later.

There are two simple steps to applying for your Postgraduate Doctoral Loan online:

  1. Log into your student finance account and submit your application.
  2. Provide us with any necessary evidence. We can’t process your application until we have all the evidence we need.

To complete your application, you will need:

  • a valid UK passport (if you have one),
  • your course and university or college details,
  • your bank details, and
  • your National Insurance number.

You only have to apply for your Postgraduate Doctoral Loan once, unlike an undergraduate course where you need to apply every year. You won’t have to re-apply if your course is longer than one year.

We welcome correspondence and calls in Welsh. This won’t lead to a delay in our response.

When to apply

You need to apply within 9 months of the first day of the last academic year of your course.

The first day of the academic year is as follows:

  • 1st September, where the course begins on or after 1st August and before 1st January;
  • 1st January, where the course begins on or after 1st January and before 1st April;
  • 1st April, where the course begins on or after 1st April and before 1st July;
  • 1st July, where the course begins on or after 1st July and before 1st August.


If you submit your application without all the information we need we’ll write to you to remind you to provide this as soon as possible. We won’t make any payments until we have all the information and evidence we need.


We’ve produced a guide that explains all about the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan as well as the terms and conditions of repayment. It’s very important that you read this guide carefully before applying for student finance.

Application forms

If you can’t apply online, you should send in a paper application.

Proof of identity

You can confirm your identity by providing your valid passport number on your application. If you haven't included your passport details in your application you’ll need to send in a ‘UK Passport details form’. Don’t send your passport to us.

If you don’t have a valid UK passport (or it has expired) you can send your original birth or adoption certificate using the ‘Postgraduate Birth or adoption certificate form’.

If you’re an EU national, send your passport or national identity card.

Supporting information

You should use the ‘Postgraduate Document return form’ when providing extra information to support your application.

You may also be asked to complete the ‘UK employment status form’.

Change an application

Use your online account to change your personal details, for example your contact details.

Change the amount you’ve asked for

Use the ‘Postgraduate Loan request form’ to change the amount you’ve applied for - you can’t do this online.

Other changes

Use the ‘Postgraduate Change of circumstances form’ if you need to change any other details, for example your university or college, or your course. You can’t do this online.

Taking a break or withdrawing from your course

Tell your university or college as soon as possible if you decide to withdraw from your course. It may affect your future payments and eligibility for funding. We’ve produced a guide with more information about this.

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