To be eligible for a Postgraduate Master's Loan you must meet certain criteria. We will consider the following:
Nationality and residency
A Postgraduate Master's Loan may be available to you if:
- you're a UK 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 for the purposes of 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’re living in Wales on the first day of the first year of your course;
- you’ve normally lived in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the past three years;
- you’ll be studying at a university in Wales.
You could also be eligible if you’re:
- 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,
- 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 for the purposes of study, you won’t be classed as ‘ordinarily resident’ in Wales and won’t be eligible for a Postgraduate Master's Loan from Student Finance Wales. You should contact your own funding provider for further information on what postgraduate support will be available.
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 must:
- be a full standalone Master’s course (not a top up course)
- be worth 180 credits – check with your university or college if you’re not sure
- have started on or after 1 August 2017
Examples of postgraduate Master's qualification include:
- 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 can be studied at a university or college, 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, three or four academic years.
To qualify for a Postgraduate Master’s 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 UK armed forces and posted outside Wales
- a spouse or civil partner of a serving member of the UK armed forces and posted outside Wales
- a dependant parent living with a serving member of the UK 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.
The Postgraduate Master’s Loan is not available for any integrated master’s course. Apply for undergraduate funding instead.
The Postgraduate Master’s Loan is not available if you’re completing a master’s course as part of an integrated Doctoral course. You may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan instead.
Master of Architecture
If you plan to study for a Master of Architecture (MArch) qualification full-time, apply for undergraduate support.
The Postgraduate Master's Loan will only be available for a MArch if you’re either:
- taking a part-time course
- aren’t eligible for undergraduate funding for another reason.
Health and social work bursaries
You can’t get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan if you’re receiving a healthcare or social work bursary from any of the following:
- National Health Service (NHS)
- Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS)
- Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS); or
- the Care Council Wales
A Postgraduate Master's Loan is 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.
University or college eligibility
The university must be in the UK and either:
- publicly funded (paid for by the government),
- privately funded with specific designation.
The Postgraduate Master's Loan will be available if you don’t already hold a Master’s degree or other higher qualification gained either in the UK or overseas. If you have a lower level qualification and want to ‘top-up’ to a Master’s degree, you won’t be eligible for a Postgraduate Master's Loan as it's only available for a full postgraduate Master’s course.
You won’t be able to get a Postgraduate Master's Loan if you’ve received a Postgraduate Loan before, unless you left your course because of compelling personal reasons, such as illness, bereavement or another serious personal reason. You would need to send us evidence to support this.