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SLC Doctoral Loan 

UK Students starting a doctoral degree in 2024/25 may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan through Student Finance England. The loan will be: 

  • Up to £29,390 per student for the duration of the course 
  • A contribution towards the cost of study, i.e., it will be at the student’s discretion to use the loan towards fees, maintenance costs, or other costs. 
  • Non-means tested
  • Paid directly to the student (3 equal instalments each year). 

Please note that funding can’t be backdated, so if you wait to apply for funding in your second year, you won’t be able to claim retrospectively for your first year. 

Important note: course length is counted from initial registration to the expected final thesis submission (standard full-time PhD course: 3 years of supervised study + 1 year of writing up period (CO) = 4 years in total). 

For additional information and to see if you qualify, please visit Student Finance England website. 


  • You must be a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, and have been ordinarily resident in the UK, Channel Islands, or Isle of Man, for three years on the first day of the academic year of your course start date. 
  • You must be aged 59 years or under on the first day of the academic year of your course. 
  • You must not already hold a PhD or equivalent qualification. 
  • You must not receive a Research Council studentship (including tuition fees only studentship), NHS funding or other government finance towards your PhD. 

Course Eligibility: 

  • be a full, standalone doctoral course (not a top-up course)
  • have started on or after 1 August 2018
  • last between 3 to 8 academic years
  • be provided by a university in the UK with research degree awarding powers.
  • If more than one university delivers your course and one is overseas, you’ll still be eligible for the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan so long as:
    • the UK university is the lead institution.
    • you spend at least 50% of your study time over the whole course in the UK.
    • It can be:
      • full-time or part-time
      • taught or research-based, or a combination of both.

Examples of postgraduate doctoral qualifications include:

      • PhD / DPhil (Doctor of Philosophy)
      • EdD (Doctor of Education)
      • EngD (Doctor of Engineering)



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

  • April following course end date or student withdrawal date 


  •  April following the fourth anniversary of the course start date, where the course lasts longer than 4 years. 


Application process for the 2024/25 academic year is now open. 

This website will be updated regularly as we get updates from Student Finance England so please keep on checking it for further information. You can also send any queries to 

Durham University makes every effort to ensure that the information published or contained on its website is accurate. However, the University cannot guarantee the information may not be altered owing to circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) change in Government policy, or change of law. Any changes will be incorporated into the University’s website. Any person wishing to obtain confirmation of any particular item should contact the University via .