Postgraduate Doctoral Loans - Student Finance England 2023-24


Type of funding Loan
Loan Amount £25,700 maximum 
Level of study Postgraduate
Nationality UK national, or "settled status"
How to apply For further information on eligibility and how to apply, please refer to the site for postgraduate doctoral loans

You can get the postgraduate doctoral loan if all of the following apply:

  • You’re a UK national, or have "settled status" so there are no restrictions on how long you can stay
  • You normally live in England, and did not move there just to study
  • You’ll have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for three years before starting your programme

You will not be able to get a postgraduate doctoral loan if:

  • You’ve received or will receive Research Council funding (for example, studentships, stipends, scholarships and tuition fee support)
  • You’re receiving a social work bursary
  • You’re eligible to apply for an NHS bursary (even if you’re not receiving it)
  • You’re already getting payments from student finance for another course that you’re studying
  • You’ve received a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan before - unless you left your course due to illness, bereavement or another serious personal reason
  • You already have a doctoral degree, or a qualification that’s equivalent or higher
  • You’re receiving a doctorate by publication
  • You’re behind in repayments for any previous loans from the Student Loans Company

You will not be able to apply for a separate Postgraduate Master’s Loan.

Your age:

You must be under 60 on the first day of the academic year of your programme. The academic year is a period of 12 months starting on:

  • 1 September, if your course starts between 1 August and 31 December
  • 1 January, if your course starts between 1 January and 31 March
  • 1 April, if your course starts between 1 April and 30 June
  • 1 July, if your course starts between 1 July and 31 July

What you'll get:

  • You can get up to £25,700, if your course starts on or after 1 August 2019
  • The amount you’ll get is not based on you or your family’s income.
  • The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) may take account of the loan when working out any benefits you receive.
  • The loan is paid directly to you. You can use it for your programme fees and living costs.
  • The loan will be divided equally across each year of your programme.
  • You can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan in any year of your programme. But if you apply after your first year, you might not get the maximum amount.
  • You can get up to £10,906 per year, if your programme starts on or after 1 August 2019
  • You get the first payment after your programme start date, once your University confirms that you’ve registered.
  • The loan will be paid in three instalments of 33%, 33% and 34% each year. After your application has been approved you’ll be sent a letter with your payment dates or you can check them in your online account.

How to Apply

You can apply online by following the doctoral loan links on If you’ve taken out a loan with Student Finance England before, use your account to apply. If you do not already have one, set up an account. If you cannot apply online, apply by post – the address is on the form.

You only need to apply once for the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan. Student Finance England will write to you in the summer to tell you how much you’ll get in the next academic year.

You will not be eligible for an Adult Dependants’ Grant, a Childcare Grant or Parents’ Learning Allowance from Student Finance if you’re studying a doctoral programme.

The deadline for applying depends on when you start your programme. You need to apply within nine months of the first day of the last academic year of the programme. The academic year is a period of 12 months.

Course start date between First day of academic year
1 August and 31 December 1 September
1 January and 31 March 1 January
1 April and 30 June 1 April
1 July and 31 July 1 July

For example, if your programme starts in October 2022 and you’re studying for three years, you need to apply before end of May 2023.

Regent's requirements:

All students in receipt of confirmation of loan funding are required to bring their entitlement letters to their registration.

We are required by UK regulations to confirm students' registration to Student Finance England only after we meet with students in person.

Registration for Student Finance England will be confirmed for students with fully approved entitlement only. If you haven’t received your entitlement letter yet (in post or online), please check with Student Finance England.