Consultation on postgraduate doctoral loans

09 November 2016

A consultation has been published which seeks views on the specific details of the proposed income contingent loan for doctoral study, to be available from 2018-19.

Geographical extent - Higher Education is a devolved matter in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This consultation relates to Higher Education policy in England only, as will the Government response. It is intended that the loan would be available to eligible UK nationals ordinarily resident in England and other students that meet the loan’s eligibility and residency requirements in place at the time.

The proposed loan would be available to all Level 8 doctoral degrees, including professional doctorates (e.g. DBA etc).

Eligible students ordinarily resident in England would be able to take their loan to any UK university offering a doctoral programme.

Repayment of the doctoral loan would be income contingent and in line with the repayment threshold of the master’s loans, currently set at £21,000 until April 2021.

The intention is for doctoral loan repayments to be calculated at 6% of income above the income threshold. This is pending a final policy decision which will be informed by this consultation, and made on the grounds of affordability, feasibility and value for money. Repayments would be made concurrently alongside repayment of any outstanding undergraduate loan.

For those students with a master’s loan, the intention is for repayment to be taken through one single postgraduate loan repayment of 6% of income above the repayment threshold, covering both master’s and doctoral loan balances.

The loan will not be available until academic year 2018/19.

The consultation on postgraduate doctoral loans closes on 16 December 2016.