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.


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.

Apply now for academic year 2018/19. Download the application form and guidance notes or you can also apply online at Student Finance NI.

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