Scholarships and Student Funding

Postgraduate Loans (PGL) (Northern Ireland)

The Northern Ireland government has introduced a new postgraduate loan scheme for UK Nationals (and those with settled status in the UK) who have most recently been resident in Northern Ireland.

Loans are available to those who are due to commence Masters, Diploma and Certificate programmes in the 2017-2018 academic session.

Information for the 2018-2019 academic session has not yet been published by the Northern Ireland Executive - below is an indication of funding available in the 2017-2018 academic session. 

Students from Northern Ireland

The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 for postgraduate study.  You have to be studying a taught or research Masters, Diploma or Certificate programme.

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 Northern Ireland (temporary absence from your home address, such as for education or travelling, will not prevent you from being eligible to apply for a PGL);
  • there is no upper age limit.

You will not be eligible for PGL if:

  • you already have an equivalent or higher qualification;
  • you have outstanding loan arrears or have previously been found to be 'unfit for student support' (eg because of attempted fraud);
  • you have applied for postgraduate funding previously.

Programme eligibility

  • taught or research Masters degree programmes of no more than three years in length;
  • taught or research postgraduate diploma programmes of no more than three years in length;

  • taught or research postgraduate certificate programmes of no more than three years in length;

  • study an eligible programme by undertaking distance learning in Northern Ireland (subject to restrictions on personal eligibility).

Programmes not eligible

  • programmes invoiced at course level (ICL) with a part-time intermittent method of study;
  • masters programmes currently funded by the undergraduate support system (eg Master of Architecture, Integrated Masters);
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE in Scotland).


You can apply online at Student Finance Northern Ireland

You only apply once, even if your programme is longer than one year.

You can amend the amount of loan requested up to one month before the end of the academic year but you cannot request less than has been paid.


The maximum TFL available is £5,500 per course, capped as follows:

  • £5,500 for a one year  course
  • £2,750 for each AY of a two year course and
  • £1,833 for each AY of a three year course (£1,834 in the final year)

Payments will be released after you have registered on your degree programme and you have been in attendance for two weeks at the start of the academic session.

Payments will be made direct to the University in three instalments per academic year.

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


For Northern Ireland domiciled students Plan 1 repayment terms apply to the PG TFL.