Scottish postgraduate loans offer up to £10,000 towards tuition fees and living costs for a UK Masters degree or Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip). UK students must be ordinarily resident in Scotland. EU students from outside the UK must be living and studying in Scotland.
This guide explains how the loans work, with a quick summary of key details and a detailed FAQ.
|Overview:||Student loans for taught Masters degrees and Postgraduate Diplomas.|
|Value:||Up to £10,000: £5,500 for tuition fees and / or £4,500 for living costs.|
|Eligibility:||UK students ordinarily resident in Scotland. EU students may be eligible for the £5,500 tuition-fee loan.|
|Location:||Scottish universities, or other UK universities (for courses not offered in Scotland).|
|Repayment:||9% of income over £17,775. Debt combined with any undergraduate loan.|
|Applications:||Online, through the SAAS website. See our walkthrough and FAQ for more advice.|
The Scottish postgraduate loan has two parts:
The loans have slightly different eligibility criteria:
|Tuition-fee loan||Living-cost loan|
|Up to £5,500||Up to £4,500|
|UK & EU students||UK students only|
|Full-time &: part-time courses||Full-time courses only|
|No age restriction||Only for students under 60|
|Paid to your university||Paid to you|
Scottish postgraduate loans work differently to others in the UK, with two separate loan components. It's important to keep this in mind and make sure you know whether criteria apply to a specific loan, or to both.
No. The Scottish postgraduate loan is not means tested. You can borrow up to the maximum £10,000 amount regardless of your financial circumstances.
Your university will receive an appropriate payment for your fees, up to a maximum of £5,500. No extra money will be paid if your course costs less.
If your fees are higher than £5,500 you will need to make up the difference yourself.
In principle, yes. The £4,500 you can borrow for living costs will be paid directly to you in instalments. You can spend this as you wish.
No. The amount of living cost loan you request is up to you. You cannot borrow more than £4,500, but can take less if you wish.
How much does a UK Masters degree actually cost? Our guide explains typical postgraduate fees and living costs.
To get a Scottish postgraduate tuition-fee loan you must be:
To get a Scottish postgraduate living-cost loan you must also be:
The living-cost loan is not available to EU students.
In order to qualify for a loan as a UK student your home address must be in Scotland. This means you are living there normally (not just as a student).
Other UK postgraduate loans are available for students who normally live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
For funding purposes, the start of your course is the first day of the first academic year in which you begin postgraduate study. This will be 1st August for courses beginning in autumn 2017 or 1st January for courses beginning in spring 2018.
You must be under 60 on this date in order to apply for a living-cost loan.
If you received a loan or grant from the UK Government (either through SAAS or another organisation) you will not be able to apply for a postgraduate tuition-fee loan.
However, you may still be eligible for a living-cost loan.
Potentially. You (or a family member) must have be working in the UK, or have been granted permanent residence.
Students from elsewhere may be eligible for a Scottish postgraduate loan if one or more of the following apply:
EU eligibility for UK postgraduate loans is not affected by Brexit next year. Fee and funding guarantees are in place for the duration of courses beginning in 2018-19.
Your course must be a taught postgraduate programme that awards a Masters degree, or Postgraduate Diploma.
The following courses won't be eligible for the postgraduate loans described on this page:
Yes, provided the university defines your programme as a taught course.
UK students can receive a loan to study any eligible course in Scotland, or elsewhere in the UK (provided the same course is not available in Scotland).
EU students from outside the UK must study in Scotland. If you wish to study a Masters abroad in another UK country as an EU student you should look at other UK postgraduate loans.
Tuition-fee loans are available for full-time and part-time courses. Living-cost loans are only available for full-time courses.
You can't apply for a Scottish postgraduate loan to study a distance learning course delivered by a 'physical' university with a campus in the UK. However, you can apply to study an eligible Masters with the Open University.
This depends on your course:
You will repay your loan on an income-contingent basis, at 9% of income over £17,775 a year.
If you already have a Scottish undergraduate loan, your two debts will be combined. You will make one monthly payment towards the total amount.
Repayments will be taken by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - either as automatic deductions from your salary, or as part of your self-assessment tax return (if you are self employed).
Separate arrangements will be made with EU students living outside the UK or other graduates who do not pay UK income tax to HMRC.
Repayments begin in the April after you graduate from your course. Note that you will still be required to repay any loan received towards a course you do not complete.
Yes. Your postgraduate loan will begin accruing interest after the first payment is made to you. The rate for this follow the 'Plan 1' system (used for undergraduate and postgraduate loans in Scotland and Northern Ireland). The current interest rate for Plan 1 student loans is 1.25%.
Any remaining loan balance will be written off after 35 years.
Applications for a Scottish postgraduate loan should be made directly to Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) not to your university.
You can apply for a loan online at the SAAS website.
Yes. In order to receive a postgraduate loan in the 2017-18 academic year you must apply before 31st March 2018
Ready to apply for your postgraduate finance? Our Masters loan application guide includes detailed walkthroughs and FAQs.
Postgraduate loans are now available across the UK. The following table compares the different systems:
|Level||Full Masters||Up to Masters||Full Masters||Up to Masters|
|Courses||Taught & Research||Taught & Research||Taught & Research||Taught|
|Length||Up to 4 years||Up to 3 years||Up to 4 years||Up to 4 years|
|*The maximum value of English postgraduate loans will rise to £10,609 in 2018-19.|
|**Wales will increase the value of its postgraduate loans to £13,000 for 2018-19.|
|***Scotland offers two separate postgraduate loans for tuition fees and living costs. Their eligibility criteria differ slightly.|
You can stay updated with postgraduate loan news and changes by subscribing to our newsletter.
There are no confirmed changes to Scottish postgraduate loans for 2018-19. However, Scotland is considering increasing the availability of loans for part-time and distance-learning students. We'll update you as soon as we know more.
There are currently no confirmed plans for PhD loans in Scotland, however, doctoral loans are expected to be introduced in England and Wales for 2018-19.
Brexit will not affect EU students applying for a loan next year. Postgraduate funding guarantees are in place for the duration of courses beginning in 2018-19.
Looking for a Masters in Scotland? You can use our search to view postgraduate courses at Scottish universities.
Our newsletter will provide the latest Masters funding information, direct to your inbox.
Last updated - 20/12/2017