Masters loans for Scottish/EU students

Masters loans for students from Scotland

The system of postgraduate loans from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) will change for the beginning of the 2017/18 academic year. Applications for the new loans of up to £10,000 for full-time students opened this month.

The introduction of a new universal student loan entitlement will replace the old system of funding limited to a number of listed postgraduate diploma courses.

Tuition fees and living costs

Unlike the system for English students, the loans from the SAAS are split into two parts – a tuition fee loan and a loan for living costs.

Eligible domiciled full time students on a one-year course can borrow up to £5,500 towards tuition fees and £4,500 towards living costs. Neither of the loan components are income assessed.

Part-time students (on courses lasting two years) can borrow up to £2,750 per year towards tuition fees.


  • The loans are open to full-time students taking a taught masters course over one year, or part-time students taking a taught masters course over two years.
  • Applicants must be studying on campus at a publicly funded institution.
  • If you have already received UK public funds for a postgraduate vocational course you will not be eligible for the new financial support. If you’re an EU student, you’ll also be illegible if you’ve already received that financial support from another EU country.

Residency criteria

Students normally resident in Scotland are eligible to apply for either a tuition fee loan (if studying part-time) or a tuition fee and living cost loan (if studying full-time).

EU students taking a full-time one year taught masters programme or a part-time masters programme over two years are eligible to apply for the tuition fee component of the new scheme.

Scottish students studying elsewhere in the UK

The cap on the number of SAAS funded places for Scottish students studying an eligible course elsewhere in the UK is another change for 2017/18. The new academic year will see the abolition of the limit on funded places imposed in previous years.

Many of the arrangements for students studying elsewhere in the UK will remain; funding will be offered provided that a similar course is not available at a Scottish university.


The repayment arrangements for the new loans will work as an extension of the undergraduate system. The postgraduate loan amount will be combined with any undergraduate loans and repayments made on the one loan balance.

What you need to know

  • The introduction of new postgraduate loans for 2017/18 for taught masters students from Scotland and the EU.
  • The ‘universal student loan’ has two parts – a tuition fee loan and a living cost loan – totalling £10,000.
  • Eligible masters courses will be studied over one year for full time students, or two years for students studying part time.
  • Full-time Scottish students can apply for the tuition fee loan and a living cost loan.
  • Part-time Scottish students and EU students can apply for a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 (split over two years for part-time students).
  • Applications are open for the 2017/18 academic year.