Funding for taught postgraduates

Postgraduate opportunities

Postgraduate Masters Loans (PGML)

A postgraduate masters loan is funding to help with course and living costs whilst studying a postgraduate masters-level course.

When the programme started Maximum loan fee amount
On or after 1 August 2019 £10,906
On or after 1 August 2020 £11,222
The loan is paid directly to you as a contribution towards the cost of postgraduate studies and can be spent on tuition fees, accommodation, books, general living expenses etc.

Am I eligible?

You must be under the age of 60 at the commencement of the course

Loans are available for both full-time and part-time study.

You'll need to meet certain residency criteria (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales resident students are not currently eligible) –
Masters courses covered include:

  • MSc (Master of Science)
  • MA (Master of Art)
  • MPhil (Master of Philosophy)
  • MRes (Master of Research)
  • ResM (Research Masters)
  • LLM (Master of Law)
  • MLitt (Master of Letters)
  • MFA (Master of Fine Arts)
  • MEd (Master of Education)
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration).
Postgraduate loans are not available if you have an equivalent or higher level qualification already with the exception of PgDip or PGCE).

Other exclusions

You'll not be eligible for PGL 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 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.

How do I apply for a loan?

You can apply online for a loan to Student Finance England from late June 2019 online at Applications can be made up to nine months after the start date of the programme. Where the course lasts two years or more, applications can be submitted up to nine months after the start date of the second academic year. You can request that the amount of the loan be changed up to one month before the programme end date.

When will I receive the loan proceeds?

You must firstly be registered on the programme of study. Payment is made into your UK bank account in three termly instalments during the academic year. If the programme is longer than one year you can apply for up to £5,453 in the first year and the remainder in year two. If you are studying on a part-time basis your payments will be spread across all years of your programme, in accordance with the length of study stated in your loan.

  • 1st instalment of 33% – payment is due on the start date of the programme
  • 2nd instalment of 33% – payment is due on the last Wednesday of the fourth month of the programme. For September starters payment will be received in late December.
  • 3rd instalment of 34% – payment is due on the last Wednesday of the seventh month of the programme. For September starters payment will be received in late March. 

When am I expected to repay the loan and what interest rate will I be charged?

The loan is repayable but not until you have left or finished your course and your income is over £21,000 a year. Postgraduate loans will be repaid under income contingent repayment terms. The repayment terms differ from those that apply to undergraduate student loans. Interest will accrue at a rate of RPI + 3% on all outstanding PGL balances.

Visit a student loan repayment website for more information about repaying a postgraduate loan.

Further information

Funding for care leavers

If you're a care leaver there are lots of extra funding options to help you to pay for your studies.

Find out more on our care leavers page

Postgraduate master's loan explained 2019/20

Thinking of starting a postgraduate master’s course this year? You could get help to pay for your course and living costs. This film created by Student Finance England explains what you can get. For more information go to the website

Alumnus loyalty reward for postgraduate study

The University applies a discretionary alumnus reward where alumni meet certain criteria on particular postgraduate taught courses.

  • A 20 per cent discount on home tuition fees.
  • Or a £2,000 discount on international tuition fees.
  • A 10 per cent alumni discount is available on the following programmes: MSc Advanced Psychology, MSc Clinical Psychology, MSc/PgDip Psychology and MSc Occupational Therapy.

For further details, programme exclusions and contact information, please see our alumnus discount policy.

Santander scholarships 

The University has officially launched a number of new scholarships courtesy of its partnership with Santander Group.

The scholarships range from £200 to £5,000 and they include funding for research projects in the UK and overseas; language exchange programmes; funding for strategic sectors such as ocean renewable energy projects; and initiatives to promote volunteering and the development of employability skills.

Visit the Santander scholarships pages for further information.

Dr Manning Award

The Dr Manning fund aims to encourage the study of biological and biomedical sciences at University of Plymouth, through alleviating financial hardship and recognising academic excellence in this area. An annual award of up to £1500 will be made to provide financial support for one female student. Visit the Dr Manning Award pages for more information.

Programme-related scholarships

More information on programme scholarships can be found in our subject and course specific funding page.

Programmes include:

  • Law.
  • International relations.
  • Business and management. 

Scholarships for international students

The University has a variety of scholarships if you are a postgraduate student from overseas. More information can be found on our  funding for international students page .  

Master Your Future – Professoriate Scholarships

Professoriate Scholarships of £1,000 are awarded to selected students undertaking postgraduate study in Plymouth Business School or the School of Law, Criminology and Government each year.

The opportunity to apply for a professoriate scholarship is available to applicants currently in receipt of an offer for postgraduate study.

Find out more and how to apply

Win a £3000 scholarship for our MSc Psychological Research Methods

All you need to do is tell us what psychological question you’re burning to answer, and how you plan to do it.

The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding

This resource is recommended for anyone looking for alternative financial support towards funding postgraduate study. Current students can access by using their student email address and graduates or non-Plymouth students can also access the platform by typing in a PIN.

To access the platform, register with your email address and the following pin number if required: 8337. Once registered, you will be sent a password to gain full access.

Find out more about the Alternative Guide