Postgraduate Loans in England
Postgraduate Loans were introduced in the 2016/17 academic year. The information here applies if you plan to start a full masters qualification after 1st August 2017.
Loans are issued and applied for through Student Finance England.
- Non-means-tested loans of up to £10,280 will be available to masters degree students aged under 60 when the course starts who live in England.
- You must be studying a masters degree which can be completed in no more than three years, although study breaks may be allowed.
- Loans won’t be available if you intend to study postgraduate certificates or diplomas, or if you already have a masters degree or higher qualification.
- The loan will be issued after you start studying with us, not before. That means you'll need to register with us and pay (for example, by debit or credit card, bank transfer, Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA) or employer sponsorship) in order to begin your studies. The loan will then be paid to you after your studies have begun.
Please note: You’ll need to have started your masters degree in August 2016 or later. You won’t be eligible for a postgraduate loan if you’re counting any study completed before this date towards your degree. This includes previous Open University study, top-up qualifications and any previous study that counts towards your Open University qualification under our credit transfer system. If you commenced your Masters from 1st August 2016 you can apply for a postgraduate loan up to 9 months after the start of the final year of your course.
What will I receive?
You can receive up to £10,280. If you're studying for three or more years you'll receive up to £3,426 in the first year, and the rest in the second and third years. The loan will be paid directly to you to rather than to us.
When will I receive the loan?
The first loan instalment will be paid directly to you after your qualification start date, but not before. For you to receive your first instalment, The Open University is required to confirm to Student Finance England that you are actively studying. We will do this on or after your module start date. Actively studying is taken as logging onto your module website or submitting a Tutor Marked Assignment (TMA).
This example is for a £10,280 loan for a three year course starting in October. Alternative payment schedules will apply to different qualification start dates and durations.
When will I repay the loan?
The earliest you’ll start repaying your loan is April 2020.
While your income is below £21,000, you won’t make any repayments. Once you're earning £21,000 and over, you'll then pay back 6% of your income over £21,000, in affordable monthly instalments.
So, for example, if you’re earning an average annual salary of £25,000, a year your repayments would be £20 per month.
Interest will be applied to your balance at the Retail Price Index plus 3%, starting from the date you receive the first instalment. For further information, check the UK government website.
Please note that your loan repayments will be in addition to any repayments you’re making towards an undergraduate loan.
Apply for a loan
To learn more about Postgraduate Loans and submit your application for the 2017/18 year, visit Student Finance England.
We anticipate that Student Finance England will be accepting online loan applications for the 2017/18 academic year in June 2017.