Version 1.0 - Last Updated: 16 Feb 2021

Creating a postgraduate doctoral course - Eligibility

Course structure


Some doctoral degrees are structured around a '1+3' model. If this is the case, the following rules apply.

The student will be eligible for the £27,265 Postgraduate Doctoral Loan as long as: 

  • year 1 of the course (the master’s degree) is an integral part of the 4-year doctoral degree course
  • the student registers for the full doctoral degree course at the outset.

The student is not eligible for postgraduate master’s funding for the first year of the course.

If a student has already been awarded postgraduate master’s funding for a separate master’s course, they remain eligible for the full £27,265 Postgraduate Doctoral Loan to undertake a full '1+3' doctoral degree course.

Students who do not need to complete the first year of a '1+3' doctoral degree course must instead register on a separately designated 3-year doctoral degree course to be eligible for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.

Students who withdraw from a '1+3' doctoral degree after using their Postgraduate Doctoral Loan allocation cannot apply for another. This is regardless of the qualification they gain. This is subject to normal compelling personal reasons (CPR) rules.

For postgraduate funding purposes, a student cannot transfer between master’s and doctoral courses without submitting a new funding application. They must be undertaking the full course to be eligible for postgraduate funding in either case (master’s or doctoral). They must submit a new funding application if they start a new qualification.


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