Scholarships and Student Funding

Postgraduate Doctoral Loans (England)

The UK government offers a postgraduate doctoral loan scheme for those that meet their nationality and residency criteria who have most recently been resident in England.

Students from England

Postgraduate doctoral loans will be a non-means tested loan of up to £28,673 for students commencing a doctoral programme of study in 2023-2024 academic session.  The loan can be used for fees or living costs.

Personal eligibility

  • you must be a UK national (or have settled status*) and been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for three years on the first day of the first academic year of your degree programme;
  • you must be 'ordinarily resident' in England (temporary absence from your home address, such as for education or travelling, will not prevent you from being eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan);
  • you must be aged under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your degree programme.


* Please visit  Doctoral Loan - GOV.UK ( for further information on nationality and residency criteria


You will not be eligible for a postgraduate doctoral loan if:

  • you already have a doctoral degree, or a qualification that’s equivalent or higher;
  • you’ve received or will receive Research Council funding (for example, studentships, stipends, scholarships and tuition fee support);
  • you are in receipt of other forms of government support (eg NHS and Social Work bursaries);
  • you have outstanding loan arrears or have previously been found to be 'unfit for student support' (eg because of attempted fraud).

Programme eligibility

  • a postgraduate doctoral programme between 3 and 8 years duration.
  • a full, standalone doctoral course (not a top-up course).


You can find further information and apply online at Student Finance England


The total amount you borrow will be paid evenly over the length of your course.  You can apply for a doctoral loan amount in any year of your course but you may not get the maximum loan amount if you apply after your first year.

Payments will be released after you have registered on your doctoral degree programme and the University has confirmed your attendance to the Student Loan Company (SLC). 

Payments will then be made in three instalments each academic year.

No payments will be released until you have given the SLC your valid National Insurance Number (NINO).


If you have previously taken out a postgraduate loan to fund Masters study, this will be combined with your doctoral loan.

Debt from your undergraduate student loan will be paid concurrently rather than combined.  

Student Finance England guide