Postgraduate and Part-time Tuition Fee Loans

The Government will provide tuition fee loans for postgraduate and part-time study.

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan

From 2018/19 academic year, the Government will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500* per student for postgraduate study. The Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan is available for postgraduate courses studied full-time, part-time 'in attendance', or distance-learning full-time or part-time, over no more than three years.

The Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan for postgraduate study will be:

  • Non-means tested
  • Available for courses commencing during the 2018/19 Academic Year
  • Paid directly to the Higher Education Provider (HEP)

Personal eligibility

  • Applicants must commence the course in the academic year 2018/19 or later (i.e. on or after 1st August 2018)
  • Northern Ireland-domiciled students studying at authority/publicly funded institutions in the United Kingdom, and EU students studying at authority/publicly funded institutions in Northern Ireland
  • The same residency criteria as for undergraduate student support will apply
  • There is no age limit

Course eligibility

The Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan will be available for the following postgraduate courses:

  • Postgraduate Master’s courses (taught or research)
  • Postgraduate Diplomas
  • Postgraduate Certificates

The loan will not be available in respect of PhD, Integrated Masters, or Postgraduate Certificate in Education courses.

Students can avail of the loan even if they hold an equivalent or higher qualification – however, students will be entitled to one postgraduate tuition fee loan only.

Payments

The maximum loan amount available is £5,500* per course and is capped as follows:

  • £5,500 for a one-year course;
  • £2,750 for each academic year of a two-year course
  • £1,833 for each academic year of a three-year course

Please note that students will become eligible to make loan repayments from the beginning of the tax year (April 6th) following their completion of, or withdrawal from, the course – subject to their income exceeding the minimum repayment threshold (for Academic Year 2018/19 this is £17,775 per year, £1,481 per month, or £341 per week before tax and National Insurance). The Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan will be added to the balance of any undergraduate student loan that the student may have, and a repayment rate of 9% of any earnings over the minimum income threshold will apply to the total loan balance.

Guidance on the Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan is available from Student Finance NI, and application forms are available, both on the Student Finance NI website and from the Student Finance NI Postgraduate office.

*Correct at time of print. Visit studentfinanceni.co.uk for up-to-date information for 2018/19 entry.

Part-time Undergraduate Tuition Fee Loan

From 2018/19 academic year, the Government will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £3,120 for students studying on undergraduate part-time courses or full-time and part-time distance learning courses.  The current fee grant support will also remain in place unchanged.

The Part-time Tuition Fee Loan will be:

  • Non-means tested
  • Available to new and continuing students from the beginning of the 2018/19 academic year
  • Paid directly to the student’s Higher Education Provider (HEP)

Personal Eligibility

  • New and continuing students who are undertaking a part-time undergraduate course in 2018/19 academic year may be eligible for the loan
  • Any student who has already received a part-time grant or loan funding from any source for 16 years will not be eligible
  • Students who already hold a qualification, gained in the UK or overseas, which is equivalent to or higher than the new qualification being undertaken will not be eligible for the part-time undergraduate (or distance learning) tuition fee loan
  • Loan is available for NI and EU students - Northern Ireland-domiciled students studying at authority/publicly funded institutions, and certain private colleges, in the United Kingdom, and EU* students studying at authority/publicly funded institutions in Northern Ireland

Course Eligibility

  • The course must be at level 4, 5 and 6 of the Framework for HE Qualifications for England, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • The Part-time Tuition Fee Loan will be available for Higher National Certificates, Higher National Diplomas, Foundation Degrees and Undergraduate degrees
  • The Course must be at least 25% intensity level
  • Courses must be completed in four times the full-time equivalent or less

Please note that students will become eligible to make loan repayments from the earlier of April 6th after the course end date; or April 6th after four years have elapsed from the first day of the course - subject to their income exceeding the minimum repayment threshold (for Academic Year 2018/19 this is £17,775 per year, £1,481 per month, or £341 per week before tax and National Insurance). A repayment rate of 9% of any earnings over the minimum income threshold will apply to the loan balance.

Students will still be able to apply for a means tested non-repayable tuition fee grant of up to £1,230 per academic year, and a course grant of up to £265 towards books and travel. The grant income thresholds and amounts will not change under the new arrangements. The grants don’t always cover the full cost of course fees so students will be able to apply for the part-time tuition fee loan as a top-up. Students in receipt of tuition fee grants will simply see their tuition fee loan level reduced accordingly.

Guidance on the Part-time Tuition Fee Loan is available from Student Finance NI, and application forms are posted directly to those students who continue on the same course they studied during the 2017/18 academic year. All NEW starts from September 2018 can obtain a PTL1 Form from Student Finance NI or from their University/College.

* EU application forms will be available from -

Student Finance Services PO Box 89
Darlington
County DurhamDL1 9AZ
Telephone: 0141 243 3570
From outside the UK: +44 (0) 141 243 3570 Opening hours: Monday to Friday – 9am to 5:30pm