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UK Government doctoral loans

New MPhil/PhD research students can apply for a UK government doctoral loan of up to £26,445 (if your course started on or after 1 August 2018). The amount that you can receive is not means-tested (i.e. - it is not determined by your household income). 


  • You must be: 
    • a new student OR a continuing student if your course started on or after 1 August 2018
    • applying for an MPhil/PhD degree or a professional doctorate
    • a UK or EU national, or have 'settled status' (some exceptions may apply)
    • resident in England 
    • aged 59 or under.
  • You are ineligible if: 
    • you started an MPhil prior to the 2018-19 academic year and are upgrading to PhD in 2019-20 (you are not considered a new student) 
    • applying for a stand-alone MPhil or MRes degree (you can apply for the government's postgraduate loans
    • you are already in receipt of government funding, such as a Research Council studentship (including fees-only awards). 



  • You can apply at any point up until the ninth month of your final academic year. 


  • Doctoral loans are repaid on the same terms as the government's postgraduate loans. 
  • The repayment rate is 9% for a doctoral loan and for a postgraduate and doctoral loan combined. 
  • Find out more about repayment