Services for Students

Student Loans from the SLC* for Doctoral students

(Please note that international students are not eligible for this loan)

The Government, through the Student Loans Company (SLC), is offering Postgraduate Doctoral Loans of up to £28,673 for eligible students who are studying a standalone taught or research Doctoral course  that start between August 2023 and July 2024.

The loan will increase to £28,673 for courses starting from August 2023.


For students who started their course between August 2018 and July 2022 the loan offered is less.

The loan is a contribution towards the costs associated with completing a Doctoral degree and can be used towards tuition fees or living costs as you decide. The loan is non means tested and will be paid directly to you, the student, rather than the University.

While providing a substantial contribution, the loan is very unlikely to be sufficient to cover both your tuition fees and livings costs. Therefore it is important that you source funding in addition to the loan, to ensure you can cover all costs before starting your course.

Important information

The University has to confirm your registration to the SLC to release your Doctoral Loan. However, due to the data checking that is required by the SLC, this confirmation can take up to three weeks from when you are fully registered with us for your course and from the start date of your course/year. Payment will not be made until after the start date the SLC have recorded for your course/year.

Where data provided by the SLC doesn't match what is in your University record, or the University identifies any other information affecting your eligiblity, registration will not be confirmed until these issues are resolved. 

If your home is in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Eligibility criteria

    The information below is for guidance only:
  • The course you are studying must be a standalone, eligible course. Recognition of other Learning (ROL) or Accredited Prior Learning (APL or APEL) credits used towards the Doctoral course will make you ineligible for the loan, as you will no longer be studying on a full course. The University will inform the SLC if ROL/APL/APEL is carried into the Doctoral course
  • You will be unable to take out the Doctoral Loan if you are:
    • in receipt of Research Council funding, NHS Bursary, Social Work Bursary or other public HE funding for your course (including Research Council fees only awards);
    • if you are 'topping up' a previous postgraduate qualification or are transferring to a new course when you originally started the course before August 2018.
  • You can take out the loan for both full time (3 or 4 years long) and part time courses (up to 8 years long)

If you have any questions about the above please contact us at or 0115 823 2071




Applying for the loan

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How and when will I receive the money/loan?

  • Loans will be paid in three instalments per academic year, so how much you receive is determined by the length of your course and the amount of loan borrowed
  • There is a cap on the amount of loan you can receive in an academic year of £12,167  - for new starters from August 2023
  • The first instalment will be released when the University confirms your registration to the Student Loans Company; generally within 3 weeks of you being fully registered on your course
  • The University has to confirm your Registration to the SLC to release the payments to you in a similar way as for undergraduates. However, we also have to verify that the course information held by the SLC matches with the course you have commenced at the University as well as other data checks. If these additional checks show incorrect data the University is unable to confirm your registration until the necessary changes have been made.

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Repayment terms

  • Interest will be calculated at 7.3% (from September 2023) and will accrue from the date the first loan instalment is paid by SLC to you
  • Repayment will commence in the April after you graduate (or leave) University, or the April following the fourth anniversary of your course start date, where the course last longer than 4 years. You must have an annual income of £21,000 or more to commence repayments
  • You will pay 6% of your income above the threshold to the loan. Repayments will be made alongside the repayment of any outstanding undergraduate loan but combined with any Postgraduate Masters loan
  • You can make voluntary payments if you wish
  • Any outstanding Doctoral Loan balance will be written off after 30 years

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Any questions?

If you have any questions about the loan please call a member of the Funding & Financial Support team on 0115 823 2071 or email us at 

Other sources of funding

If you are not eligible for the new loans please ensure that before signing up for a course you investigate the funding available, for example through Research Councils, Studentships, Professional & Career Development Loans and charitable trusts.   

Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland

Student Finance Wales

Offering a loan of up to £28,395 - paid to the student  

Student Finance Northern Ireland (NI)

Please refer to the SFNi web pages

Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)

Please refer to SAAS web pages

Please note: If you move straight from an undergraduate course to a postgraduate course you must apply to the original awarding authority eg: If Student Finance Wales funded your undergraduate course you must apply to them for postgraduate funding. 

*SLC- Student Loans Company 



Student Services

University Park

Please see our need help page for telephone and online contact points