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The pros and cons of the new UK Postgraduate Loans Scheme

15 April 2016

3 mins

If you’re considering postgraduate study with the financial backing of the new UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme, then this blog is for you. We wanted to give you an honest assessment of the new Loans Scheme to help you make a well-informed decision about your studies.

The good news

  • Unlike traditional government bursaries or loans, the Postgraduate Loans Scheme isn’t means tested, so it won’t be affected by your own income or your parent’s income
  • Most taught postgraduate courses are eligible for the loan
  • If you received an undergraduate loan from Student Finance England, you are likely to match the living criteria for the loan
  • Just like your undergraduate maintenance loan, you can use the loan to pay for any expenses you wish
  • You will repay nothing until you earn over £21,000, and this amount has been frozen until 2021
  • Even if you start earning over £21,000, you won’t start paying back the loan until April 2019
  • The loan will be written off:
    • After 30 years
    • If you die
    • If you are permanently disabled or unable to work because of disability
  • Postgraduate study can add £200,000 to your lifetime salary (Guardian, 2013), so the loan could be a worthwhile investment for your future
  • There’s just one application form, easy!

The not-so-good news

  • If you are a UK national living in the UK, but you don’t live in England (e.g Scotland, Ireland, Wales) you are not eligible for the loan
  • EU, EEA or Swiss nationals can only choose programmes in England
  • Distance learning courses must be from an Institution based in England
  • The loan does not cover part-time courses lasting 4 years
  • The loan doesn’t cover many research courses, included PhD’s
  • £10,000 will probably cover your tuition costs, but it is unlikely to cover the cost of fees and accommodation in big cities such as Manchester, Newcastle and London

Here’s why we think it’s a good idea…

Studying for a postgraduate qualification is a significant, but rewarding investment for your future. A Masters can bring you faster career progression, greater earning potential and a huge sense of personal and professional achievement.

Since 1993, the percentage of the UK population with a degree has more than doubled, which means it’s now twice as hard for new graduates to get noticed. Having a postgraduate qualification could really boost your chances of standing out from the crowd, and get you the job you’ve been aiming for.

The new Postgraduate Loan Scheme demonstrates a strong political commitment to make postgraduate level education accessible to everyone.  The loan is a lifeline for the many thousands of students who have the academic potential to study a masters, but were previously unable to access this level of education because of their financial position.

Read our blog to find out more about the new UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme.

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