Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

All policy is subject to regulatory approval by the National Assembly for Wales.

What’s available

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan helps towards course and living costs while studying a postgraduate Doctoral course. It’s paid directly to the student and isn’t based on their household income.

Students can borrow up to £25,000 during their postgraduate Doctoral course. The total amount they borrow will be paid evenly over the length of their course up to a maximum of £10,609 per year. For example, if they apply for the maximum amount of Postgraduate Doctoral Loan and study over four years, they’ll get £6,250 in each year of their course.

They can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan amount in any year of their course, but they might not get the maximum loan amount if they apply after their first year.

For example, if they begin a three-year doctoral degree but don’t apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan until the second year of their course, the maximum they could get for each remaining year would be £10,609. This means the total for their whole course would be £21,218.

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan may affect any benefits they currently receive.

Eligibility

To apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan students must:

  • be a UK or EU national or have settled status (this means they have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK),
  • normally live in Wales, and have not moved there to study,
  • have been living in the UK for at least three years before the first day of the first academic year of their course.

If they’re an EU national and have been living in the EEA or Switzerland for at least three years before the start of their course, they’ll also be able to apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.

They may also be able to apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if they’re:

  • a member of the Armed Forces, or a relative of someone in the Armed Forces and studying on a distance learning course at a UK university whilst they’re posted abroad or in another country within the UK
  • a refugee, or a relative of one,
  • under Humanitarian Protection, or a relative of someone under Humanitarian Protection,
  • 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years or at least half their life,
  • an EEA or Swiss migrant worker, or a relative of one,
  • the child of a Swiss national, or
  • the child of a Turkish worker.

Age

They must be under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of their course to get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.

Previous study

If they have a loan from a previous undergraduate course or Postgraduate Master’s Course, it won’t affect their eligibility for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.

They can only get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if they don’t already have an equivalent Doctoral qualification or a higher-level qualification such as a PhD.

If they take a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan for a course but don’t complete it, they won’t be able to get a second Postgraduate Doctoral Loan. However, if they have to withdraw from their course for compelling personal reasons, such as illness, they may still be able to apply for another Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.

Course eligibility

The course they’re studying must be in the UK and be a full postgraduate Doctoral course leading to a qualification such as:

  • Subject specialist doctorates: a formal programme of study such as a PhD
  • Integrated subject specialist doctorates: a supervised research project undertaken alongside a more structured taught course, or may depend on successful completion of taught elements and be undertaken in later years. Integrated doctorates normally offer exit awards at Master's level based on successful completion of taught modules. (Students must register for the doctoral degree at the outset to be eligible for Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.)
  • Professional and practice-based doctorates: post experience qualifications aimed at mid-career professionals, for example an Engineering Doctorate (EngD)

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan is not available to students wanting to ‘top up’ a lower-level qualification to a Doctoral degree. The course must be a full standalone Doctoral course.

You can choose to study your course at a university in person or by distance learning. Your course must last between three and eight years, and can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis.

University eligibility

The university you’re studying at must be in the UK and have research degree awarding powers.

Repayment of Postgraduate Loan

Visit the loan repayment page.



^ Back to top