Version 1.0 - Last Updated: 16 Feb 2021

Creating a postgraduate master’s course


Postgraduate Master’s Loans are only available for postgraduate master’s courses. These can be either taught or research-based and in any subject area.

The course must lead to a master’s qualification, the most common of which are:

  • MSc (Master of Science)
  • MA (Master of Arts)
  • MPhil (Master of Philosophy)
  • MRes (Master of Research)
  • LLM (Master of Law)
  • MLitt (Master of Letters)
  • MFA (Master of Fine Arts)
  • MEd (Master of Education)
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration)

There are many different types of master’s degree, but all such degrees must meet the outcomes identified by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).

These are set out in 'The framework for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ), 2018' and 'The framework for qualifications of higher education institutions in Scotland 2001'.

When you set up a course with a postgraduate master’s funding level, you will have this list of options in the Qualification dropdown:

  • taught Master’s
  • research Master’s
  • Master of Architecture (postgraduate Student Finance England and Student Finance Wales courses)
  • Postgraduate Certificate (postgraduate Northern Irish courses only)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (postgraduate Scottish and Northern Irish courses)

The following course types are ineligible for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan:

  • undergraduate-funded courses
  • postgraduate initial teacher training (ITT) courses
  • Scottish Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Architecture (where Parts 1 and 2 are completed as a single course)
  • English postgraduate healthcare courses
  • integrated master’s courses which will continue to receive undergraduate funding
  • doctoral courses (PhDs)
  • other postgraduate-level courses (such as PGCert and PGDip)
  • postgraduate courses at Republic of Ireland providers (universities and colleges in the Republic of Ireland should not add any postgraduate courses for Northern Irish students)

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