PhD loans of up to £25,000 have been confirmed by the UK government for individuals starting an eligible level 8 qualification in 2018. The loan is intended to be a contribution to the cost of the qualification, whether on tuition, maintenance, or any other costs associated with study.
The key terms are as follows:
- Eligible individuals will be able to borrow up to £25,000 for the purpose of completing an eligible postgraduate doctoral qualification.
- The loan will be available if you are a UK national ordinarily resident in England who wishes to study in the UK.
- Individuals will only be eligible for the loan if they are aged 59 or under on the first day of the first academic year of their course.
- Individual eligibility will not be based on a means test.
- Individuals already holding an equivalent level qualification will not be eligible for the loan.
- There will be no restrictions on subjects, disciplines, research areas or topics.
- Students will only be eligible for the loan if the programme of study is a minimum of three years and a maximum of eight years.
- Loans can be combined with funding from your University or other sources, but not with Research Council funding, NHS funding or other direct Government funding.
- Repayments will commence once the borrower has an annual income of £21,000 or more.
- The loan interest will be calculated at RPI+3% and interest will accrue from the date of the first loan instalment.
- The loan will be added to the master's loan if the borrower has also previously taken this loan out. The loan repayment will be calculated at 6% of income above the income threshold. These repayments will occur alongside any outstanding undergraduate student loan repayments.
- Any outstanding doctoral loan balance will be written off thirty years after the date the borrower's loan balance becomes due for repayment.
PhD loans are currently available for students from England and Wales, as well as EU students studying in England. Northern Ireland has made plans for its own PhD loans in the future.