Students Staff

Postgraduate loans

Postgraduate Master’s Loan for UK / EU students

Postgraduate Master’s Loans to help with course fees and living costs are now available through the government for students from the UK and EU studying taught or research Masters programmes. Worth up to £10,609, the loan:

  • has no subject restrictions - MA, MSc, MBA, LLM, MRes and MPhil are included, for example
  • isn’t means tested, so is not dependent on your income or your family's income
  • is available for full-time, part-time (with at least 50% intensity) and distance learning courses

For full-time study you can borrow £10,609, paid directly to you in three instalments over the year. For part-time study (two years), the loan amount will be split across the two years.

Following the UK's decision to withdraw from the European Union, the Government has confirmed that EU students starting in 2018 will be eligible for a loan for the duration of their course.

  • Eligibility

    You could be eligible if:

    • you have lived in the UK or the EU for at least three years prior to starting your Masters (UK residents must have been resident most recently in England and not solely for the purpose of attending this course)
    • this is your first Masters-level qualification
    • you’ve not received a Postgraduate Loan before - unless you left your course due to illness, bereavement or another serious personal reason
    • you're under 60 years of age

    You're not eligible for a Postgraduate Loan if you're eligible for an NHS Bursary or Social Work Bursary.

    You can read more about Postgraduate Loan eligibility on GOV.UK and Student Finance England have produced the video below:

  • How to apply

    Student Finance England have produced a video about applying for Postgraduate Loans:

  • Repayments

    • You won’t need to start repaying the loan until at least April 2019, and only if you earn over £21,000.
    • Repayments are 6% of earnings over £21,000 each month (for a £25,000 salary this would be around £24 per month).
    • If you also had a UK student loan for undergraduate studies, repayment will be combined. Repayment amounts will depend on what loan repayment plan you’re on.
    • Any outstanding balance is written off after 30 years

    • More about Postgraduate Loan repayments on GOV.UK

  • Loan payments

    You’ll need to register on your course and have your loan confirmed by Student Loans Company (SLC) before any payments can be made. You must return your signed declaration to the SLC in order for official confirmation to take place.

Erasmus+ Masters loan

If you're from an Erasmus+ country and are applying for a Masters at Essex, you could be eligible to receive an Erasmus+ Masters loan to help you with your living and tuition costs. For a one-year Masters degree, a loan of up to €12,000 will be available. For two-year courses, the maximum will be €18,000.

  • Eligibility and how to apply


    You are eligible if:

    • you are a student from one of the 33 Erasmus+ programme countries
    • the UK isn't your country of residence
    • you did your undergraduate or first degree in a country other than the UK

    Erasmus+ list full eligibility criteria.

    How to apply

    Funding for this loan is provided by Future Finance. Applications or enquiries need to be made directly to Future Finance.

US Direct loans

If you're from the United States, you may be eligible for a federal direct loan from the US Department of Education.