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Postgraduate Funding In Wales

In 2019 Wales introduced a new postgraduate funding system, enabling masters students  to claim up to £17,000 through a combination of loans and grants. For the academic year 2021/22 that amount has been increased to £18,025 for 2021/2022 and the proportion of grant versus loan received will depend on your household income. The maximum grant that you can receive is £6,885.

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Welsh masters funding 2021-22: at a glance

Who Is eligible for Welsh funding?

Wales student fundingThe following are the eligibility criteria for Wales’ Postgraduate Masters’ Finance courses

If you are a  UK National or Irish Citizen or someone with pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or indefinite leave to remain, you must have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for the three years before the first day of your first academic year to qualify for the scheme.

If you are an EU national or family member of an EU national, you must have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, be studying in Wales and have been living in the UK, Gibraltar, the EEA or Switzerland for the three years before the first day of your first academic year of your course to qualify for funding. EU nationals must be living in Wales for the duration of their course.

If you are a UK national or family member of a UK national who has been living in the EEA or Switzerland you must BOTH have lived in the UK, Gibraltar, the EEA or Switzerland for the three years before the first day of your first academic year and be studying in Wales to be eligible for funding.

If you’re studying by distance learning, you’ll need to be living BOTH in Wales on the first day of the first academic year of your course and in the UK for the duration of your course to qualify for funding.

Some conditions to keep in mind

You do not qualify for Postgraduate Masters Finance if:

a)     you’ve already had Postgraduate Masters Finance or a Postgraduate Masters Loan

b)    you already have a masters degree, or a qualification that’s equivalent or higher level

c)      you’re getting funding from:

●    the KESS 2 scheme

●    a social work bursary

●    any equivalent schemes in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland

d)    you’re eligible to receive an NHS bursary.

Please check with Student Finance Wales for up-to-date information on eligibility.

Value of funding

Students beginning a masters degree program in the 2021/2022 academic year could receive up to £18,025 towards tuition fees and living costs from a combination of a non-means-tested loan and a means-tested grant. The size of the grant (up to £6,885) depends on the household income and the remainder of the loan will consist of a postgraduate loan of up to £17,025 from Student Finance Wales. grant and the postgraduate loan of up to £17,025. Students can also choose how much of the postgraduate loan they'd like to request, as long as the total amount of funding including the grant is not more than £18,025.

How are the payments made?

The money is paid to the student rather than the university in regular instalments for the duration of the course. The value of each instalment depends on how much loan is requested, how much the grant eligibility is for and how long the masters course is. If the masters course is longer than one year, the postgraduate funding will be divided across each year of the course.

Notice of Entitlement letter

Once your application for obtaining student finance has been approved, you will receive a Notification of Entitlement letter which will detail when you will receive payments and how much you will be getting. Do take the time to ensure that the details on notification letter are accurate and up to date.

What are the repayment terms?

Repayment terms will be similar to those for undergraduate loans. Graduates needn't repay anything until their income exceeds £21,000 a year, £1,750 a month, or £403 a week, before tax and National Insurance, at which point 6% of their income will be deducted. If the full amount has not been repaid after 30 years, the remaining debt will be cancelled. Postgraduate funding in Wales is available to UK students who have lived in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for the past three years and are ordinarily resident in Wales (not just living there to go to university) and EU students who have lived in the EU (including the UK), EEA or Switzerland for the past three years. Applicants must also be under 60-years-old on the first day of the first academic year of the course and not already hold a masters degree. UK students who normally live in another part of the UK are unlikely to be eligible for Welsh Masters Funding. Please check with Student Finance Wales for up-to-date information on eligibility. 

How to apply

Applications for Welsh Masters Funding are open for masters degree courses beginning in the 2021-22 academic year. The easiest and quickest way to apply is online at www.studentfinancewales.co.uk/pgfinance although it’s also possible to apply via post. Do keep in mind that you must apply no later than 9 months after the start of the final academic year of your course. You do not need a confirmed place at university or college to apply. Also, you only need to apply once, even if your course lasts for more than a year. Go to Student Finance Wales for more information and to apply.

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