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Postgraduate Loans (PGL)

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The Government has announced a new loan for Masters students, starting from the 2016/17 academic year. This scheme will be administered by Student Finance England alongside the undergraduate funding programme.

The loans, which are up to £10,000 per student, are:

  • a contribution towards the cost of study. They can be used for fees, maintenance or other costs associated with your study
  • non-means tested
  • paid directly to the student into a UK bank account

Application process

Applications are now open and can be made via the Student Finance England website. You will only need to apply once, irrespective of the length of your programme.

Eligibility

In order to qualify for a loan you must be:

    • Under 60
    • A UK national (or someone with settled status in the UK) who has been resident in England for at least three years before the start of the course*
    • Studying towards your first Masters degree

* You may also be eligible if you are an EU national or have the residency status of refugee, humanitarian protection, EEA or Swiss migrant worker, a family member of any of the previous categories, or a child of a Swiss national or child of a Turkish worker.

Please note Student Finance England, not Goldsmiths, is responsible for assessing your eligibility for this loan.

Course eligibility

The course you want funding for can be full-time or part-time. There are no subject restrictions. It must also be:

  • A taught or research based Masters (ie MA, MSc, MRes)
  • Based in the UK (if it has an overseas element, this cannot exceed 50% of the course)

The following courses are not eligible:

  • Postgraduate Certificates (PGCert)
  • Postgraduate Diplomas (PGDip)
  • PGCEs
  • MPhil/PhDs
  • MSci

Payment

Once Goldsmiths has confirmed your place of study, payments of the loan will be made directly to you in three equal instalments per year.

The first will be on the date the course starts. This will be followed by two further payments - one 4 months from the course start date and one 7 months from the course start date. 

If your programme is longer than 1 year (including part time) you can apply for up to £5000 in your first year and for the remainder to be paid in your second year. Please note that if your programme is 15 months long, you will receive the final 2 payments after you complete your studies.

Payment on these dates depends on your course provider confirming that you are still attending your course. 

Change of circumstances

Students are able to transfer between eligible Masters programmes and still continue to receive payment.

Repeat years of study are generally not funded, and funding will not continue if you don't complete your programme during the specified time. However, students can suspend and resume their programme without affecting their loan. Payments will stop during the suspension and resume once the student begins studying again. 

If you withdraw from your programme, Goldsmiths will notify the SLC so that no further payments are made. 

Repayment

  • The loans have an interest rate of RPI + 3%. Interest is charged from the day the first payment is made to you until the loan is repaid in full.
  • Repayments start the April after you finish or leave your programme of study. However no payments will be taken before April 2019. 
  • You will only start making repayments once you're earning over £21,000. These will be automatically deducted from your salary each month at a rate of 6%.
  • If you're paying back any other student loans administered by the SLC, then these will be deducted at the same time, meaning you'll pay 15% of your monthly salary above the threshold towards your student loans (see box below)
  • You can make additional repayments at any time without penalties
  • Any outstanding balance will be written off after 30 years or in the event of your death or if you become permanently unfit for work

Repayments for students who started their Undergraduate study after 1 September 2012: 

Income (before tax) Monthly salary Undergraduate loan repayment Postgraduate loan repayment Total (assuming you borrowed UG and PG loans)
 £21,000 £1,750 £0  £0  £0
 £25,000 £2,083

£30

£20 £50 
 £30,000 £2,500 £67  £45  £112 
 £35,000 £2,916 £105  £70  £175 
 £40,000 £3,333  £142  £95  £237 
 £45,000 £3,750  £180  £120  £300 

Repayments for students who started their Undergraduate study before 1 September 2012: 

Income (before tax) Monthly salary Undergraduate loan repayment Postgraduate loan repayment Total (assuming you borrowed UG and PG loans)
£17,335 £1,444  £0  £0  £0 
£21,000  £1,750  £27  £0 £27 
£25,000  £2,083  £57  £20  £77 
£30,000  £2,500  £94  £45  £139
£35,000  £2,916  £132  £70  £202 
£40,000  £3,333  £169  £95  £264 
£45,000 £3,750 £207 £120 £327

 

If you need more information, The Student Room offers resources which explain more about the Postgraduate Loan Scheme. These include FAQs and information on repayments.

Student Finance England have also produced a video explaining the process of applying for a Postgraduate loan: