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Doctoral Loans

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course, such as a PhD.

You can apply for a Doctoral Loan, as a contribution towards your course and living costs. Postgraduate Doctoral Loans have to be paid back. If you have a disability, including a mental-health condition or specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, you might be able to get Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs). DSAs don’t have to be paid back.

How much can I apply for?

You can apply for one loan, which will be divided equally across each year of your course. The maximum amount of loan you can apply for will depend on when you began your course:

  • £26,455* if your course will start between 1 August 2020 - 31st July 2021
  • £25,700 if your course started between 1 August 2019 - 31st July 2020
  • £25,000 if your course started before 1 August 2019

* Subject to Parliamentary approval

Eligibility

Whether you're eligible for a Postgraduate Loan depends on:

  • if you've studied on a postgraduate doctoral course before
  • your course (please see the list of 2019-20 qualifying courses)*
  • your age
  • your nationality or residency status

Please note: you will not be able to get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if you have or will receive Research Council funding, a social work bursary, or if you are eligible for an NHS bursary.

You can find the full eligibility criteria on the gov.uk website.

EU students, who don’t normally live in England, may also be able to get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan for a course at an English university or college.

*If you can't find your course listed or if you can't find your course during the Student Finance England Doctoral Loan application process please contact Warwick Student Finance Fees team. Do not submit a Postgraduate Doctoral loan application to Student Finance England unless you are certain you have selected the correct course. Before a loan payment can be released to you the University must confirm that the course information stated on their loan application matches the course information on their Warwick student record. If this can't be done you will not receive any loan payments but will still be required to make tuition and accommodation fee payments.

Applications

Applications for postgraduate loans for 2019/20 are open now. Here are our top tips:

  • Visit gov.uk/studentfinance to make your application
  • You do not need to have a guaranteed place on the course to apply for a doctoral loan. If your plans change before you are due to start, you can easily cancel or amend your application
  • You should make your application as early as you can to ensure your assessment is made by the time you start the course
  • You’ll only have to apply once, Student Finance England will write to you in the summer to tell you how much you'll get in the next academic year.

Payments

The Loan will be divided equally across each year of your course. It will be paid into your bank account in three instalments of 33%, 33%, 34% each year.

Interest

Interest is charged from the day the first payment is made until the loan is repaid in full. Interest will be charged at the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%.


Repayments

Repayments will be based on your income, not what you borrowed. Your repayments will start in the first April after you leave your course or the April 4 years after the course started whichever comes first. However, no repayments towards Doctoral Loans will be taken until your income is over the current threshold of £404 a week, £1,750 a month or £21,000 a year. You’ll repay 6% of what you earn over the threshold. If you already have a Postgraduate Master's Loan then you'll make a combined repayment of 6% covering both postgraduate loans.

For example, if you’re paid monthly and earn £2,500 before tax you’ll repay 6% of the difference between what you earn and the threshold (£1,750):

£2,500 - £1,750 = £750

6% of £750 = £45

So your Postgraduate Loan repayment would be £45 that month.

Student loan repayments will be taken even if you don’t earn over £21,000 in a year but exceed the weekly or monthly threshold at any time, for example, if you work overtime or get a bonus. Any loan remaining 30 years after you’re due to start making repayments will be written off.

If you took a loan for your undergraduate course, payments for your Postgraduate Loan will be made alongside your undergraduate loan repayments. For more information about how your repayments will be calculated visit the Student Loans Company repayments web page.

Please note: The recent change to the repayment threshold for undergraduate student loans does not affect the repayment threshold for Postgraduate Loans which will remain at £21,000.