A Doctoral Loan is available to help you pay for your PhD or DBA degree. You can apply for a loan of up to £27,892, split evenly across each year of your course. Applications for the the loan are open to UK and EU students with settled or pre-settled status.

At a glance

  • Funding valueLoans of up to £27,892
  • Suitable for Applicants fromUK
  • DeadlineOn going
  • Funding provider(s)Student Finance England

What it covers

You can apply for a loan of up to £27,892 (2022/23 amount) as a contribution towards your course and living costs.

Applicable courses

This funding opportunity is applicable to PhD courses at Cranfield University. Please see the 'Who can apply' section for more information.

Who can apply

To apply for a Doctoral Loan, you must meet the requirements detailed below.

Your course

Your course must:

  • Be a full, standalone doctoral course (not a top-up course),
  • Have started on or after 1 August 2018,
  • Last between three and eight academic years.

It can be:

  • Full-time or part-time,
  • Taught or research-based, or a combination of both.

Your age

You must be under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your course.

Your nationality or residency status

You can get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if all of the following apply:

  • You’re a UK or EU national, or have ‘settled status’, so there are no restrictions on how long you can stay;
  • You normally live in England, and didn’t move there just to study;
  • You’ll have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for three years before starting your course.

You may also be eligible if you’re an EU national and all of the following apply:

    • you have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (no restrictions on how long you can stay)
    • you’ve normally lived in the UK, Gibraltar, EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein for the past 3 years (this is also known as being ‘ordinarily resident’)
    • you’ll be studying at a university in England

You will not be able to get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if:

  • You’ve received or will receive Research Council funding (for example, studentships, stipends, scholarships and tuition fee support);
  • You’re receiving a social work bursary;
  • You’re eligible to apply for an NHS bursary (even if you’re not receiving it);
  • You’re already getting payments from Student Finance for another course that you’re studying;
  • You’ve received a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan before, unless you left your course due to illness, bereavement or another serious personal reason;
  • You already have a doctoral degree, or a qualification that’s equivalent or higher;
  • You’re receiving a doctorate by publication;
  • You’re behind in repayments for any previous loans from the Student Loans Company.

Further information

More information can be found on The Student Room website.


The earliest you start repaying your loan is when your annual income is over £21,000 and it’s either the:

  • First April after you leave your course;
  • April four years after the course started.

Contact Student Finance England if your circumstances change or you leave your course early. You’ll have to pay back any overpayment straight away even if your income is less than £21,000.

How much you’ll repay

You’ll pay back 6% of your income over the minimum amount (‘threshold’). This is £21,000 a year, £1,750 a month or £404 a week.

If you already have a Postgraduate Master’s Loan then you’ll make a combined repayment of 6% covering both postgraduate loans.

You must repay any undergraduate student loans you have at the same time.

Interest rate

You’ll be charged interest from the day you receive the first payment until your loan is repaid in full or cancelled.

Interest will be charged at the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%. The interest rate is updated in September every year, using the RPI from March of that year.

How to apply

Applications are now open at gov.uk/doctoral-loan.