Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

Full-time: available
Part-time: available
Prospective PG students (inc. current UG): available
Current PG students: not available
Entry year: 2018/19
Undergraduate: not available
Postgraduate taught: not available
Postgraduate research: available

About the loan

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan helps towards course and living costs while studying a postgraduate Doctoral course. It’s paid directly to you by Student Finance and isn’t based on your household income.

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan may affect any benefits you currently get.

It has to be repaid, but not until the April after you finish or leave your course, or the April four years after they begin you course, whichever is earlier. Interest is charged on the loan from the day Student Finance makes the first payment until it’s repaid in full or canceled.

Students studying lower-level postgraduate courses, partial Doctoral courses or other Level 8 qualifications can’t get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.

Eligibility criteria


To apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan you must:

  • be a UK or EU national or have settled status (this means you have no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK)
  • normally live in England
  • have been living in the UK for at least three years before the first day of the first academic year of your course

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

You may also be able to apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if you'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 institution whilst you are posted abroad,
  • 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 your 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.


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

Previous study

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

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

If you borrow a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan for a course but don’t complete it, you won’t be able to get a second Postgraduate Doctoral Loan. However, if you have to withdraw from your course for compelling personal reasons, such as illness, you 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, and your course can be:

  • a full-time course lasting at least three years,
  • a part-time course lasting up to eight years,

Other funding

You won’t be able to get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if you are getting any Research Council Funding.

Eligible countries

  • Anguilla
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bermuda
  • British Antarctic Territories
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Bulgaria
  • Cayman Islands
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus (European Union)
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • England
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland, the Republic of
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Martinique
  • Mayotte (French Territorial Collectivity)
  • Montserrat
  • Netherlands
  • Northern Ireland
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oenno Islands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Scotland
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • Sweden
  • Turks & Caicos Islands
  • Wales

Payment amount & frequency

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

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

Payments are made directly to you after your course start date, once the University of Bradford confirms that you have registered.

You must have a UK bank or building society account in your own name. The loan will be paid in three instalments after the start of each term.

Your entitlement letter will tell them how much you'll get and when you should expect each payment.

If you complete or leave your Doctoral course early, Student Finance will stop any future payments.


A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan has to be repaid. Interest will be charged from the day the first payment is made to the student. Interest will be charged at the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%. RPI is a measure of UK inflation and measures changes to the cost of living in the UK.

You'll be due to start making repayments the April after you finish or leave your course, or the April four years after the beginning of your course, whichever is sooner.

You'll only start repaying when your income is over £21,000 per year.

You will repay 6% of what you earn over the threshold. So if you're paid monthly and earn £2,500 per month before tax, you'll repay 6% of the difference between what you earn and the threshold.

How to apply

Applications for the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan will be available in the summer.

Find out more

For more information see

Share this