Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

If you're a UK* student who lives in England and you don't receive a Research Council living allowance, you may be able to take out a non-means-tested loan of up to £28,673 if starting in 2023-24, to help you cover the cost of a PhD. You must be aged under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of the course (1 September 2023 for autumn starters). 

*Some EU/EEA students who meet EU Settlement Scheme and residency requirements may also be able to apply. Check out for more information, or email our Student Money and Accommodation Advice team at

Repaying student loans

The Postgraduate Doctoral Loan will not need to be repaid until you have finished your course (or withdrawn) and are earning more than £21,000 per year.

You will pay 6 per cent of your income over the threshold of £21,000 per year. If your income falls below £21,000, your repayments will stop.

The interest on the loan is calculated at the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3 per cent on all outstanding PhD Loan balances. From 1 September 2023 to 30 November 2023 the maximum interest rate is capped at 7.3%. For December 2023 the interest rate will be capped at 7.5%.

Repayments will be made concurrently with any other student loans such as undergraduate loans.

How to apply

You can apply for a Doctoral Loan online or by post.

Student reading in the Calcutta House library

At a glance

Maximum value:

£28,673 (2023-24 starters) 

Open to: UK students
Studying at level: PhD
The information on this page applies to students starting courses in these academic years (as indicated):