Postgraduate research: money matters

When and how to pay your tuition fee

From payment deadlines, links to our online payment portals and advice on sponsorship, tuition fee loans and debts - everything you need to know about paying your tuition fees.

Find out more information on how you can pay your fees

Postgraduate Masters Loans (PGML)

Thinking of starting a postgraduate master’s course this year? You could get help to pay for your course and living costs. 

You can find more information on the website.

When the programme started Maximum loan fee amount
On or after 1 August 2020–2021 academic year £11,222*
On or after 1 August 2021–2022
academic year

*subject to amount changing each academic year.

Am I eligible for a postgraduate master’s loan?

If you have a loan from a previous undergraduate course this will not affect your eligibility for applying for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan.

It can depend on your age, course, nationality or residency status to be eligible for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan. To check your eligibility please refer to the Government website.

How to apply?

You can apply online for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan to Government website at Please remember to check your eligibility before applying.

Student Finance England – ‘How and when to apply’ video

Other exclusions

  • You will not be eligible for Postgraduate Master’s Loan if you have outstanding student loan arrears or have previously been found to be ‘unfit’ for student support (e.g. because of attempted fraud).
  • You will not be eligible if you already have a Master’s (or qualification equivalent or higher) degree already.
  • A Postgraduate Master’s Loan is not available to students wanting to ‘top-up’ a lower level qualification to a Master’s degree. The course must be a full standalone master’s course.
  • You must register for the full 180 credits in order to receive the loan. Prior Accredited learning cannot be used to reduce the number of credits taken.
  • Postgraduate Master’s Loans are not available for postgraduate level courses such as PgCert (Postgraduate Certificate), PgDip (Postgraduate Diploma) or where the postgraduate course is funded by undergraduate student finance, such as:
  • ITT (Initial Teacher Training)
  • Integrated Master’s

All information about the Postgraduate Master’s Loan can be found either through The Student Room or through the Government websites.

Postgraduate master's loan explained

Postgraduate Master’s Loans video explained 2020–2021

Postgraduate Doctoral Loans (PGDL)


A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course, such as a PhD.

When the programme started   Maximum loan amount
On or after 1 August 2020 £26,445
On or after 1 August 2021 £27,265

Am I eligible?

You’ll not be eligible for a PhD loan if you already hold a PhD or equivalent qualification or are receiving a Research Council studentship (including fees-only), NHS funding or other government finance towards your PhD.

Your eligibility will depend on your course, age and nationality or residency status. To check your eligibility please refer to the Government website.

PhD loans are not available if you began your PhD before 2018/19.

How do I apply for a loan?

You can apply online for a loan on the Government website from late spring/summer at.

Details of repayment requirements and the interest rate payable

Repayments will start once you have completed your PhD. You’ll pay at a rate of 6% of your income once you're earning at least £21,000 per year. Please check the most recent information at the Government website.

Further information

Postgraduate doctoral loan explained

Find out about what help you can get if you’re applying for a postgraduate doctoral course by viewing this video created by


View a full listing of current studentships available at the University of Plymouth.

Additional fees

Some research programmes have additional fees to cover student training, laboratory costs and other resources. These are sometimes called 'Bench fees' or ‘RTSG – Research Training Support Grant’. If you have any questions about these additional fees, please contact the Doctoral College at

Living expenses

Accommodation, meals and other personal expenditure are not included in fees. We recommend a minimum maintenance allowance of at least £9,750 each year for a single student (for the full calendar year) and more for students with families or dependants.

Please note: Fees may be increased by up to 5% per annum in accordance with, and if so permitted by changes in, legislation or government policy. For further information on current tuition fees in general and any proposed increases in particular, please visit our fees and funding pages.

Postgraduate research degrees

Find out more about the research degrees we offer, our areas of expertise and supervision, what studentships are available and how to apply.

You will join a vibrant, supportive and forward-thinking community, that is committed to meeting global challenges in creative and imaginative ways.

Explore the opportunities available to you