Government masters/MBA loans in Northern Ireland

How much can I borrow? 

MBA students in Northern Ireland can access postgraduate loans of up to £5,500 in 2022/23 to cover their tuition fees.

This amount is not means tested and all students are entitled to apply for it. 

Does the value of the MBA loan depend on course fees?

It is paid directly to the university in three lump sums during the academic year, normally around the start of each term. The first two payments are both 25% of the total amount borrowed, the final payment is the remaining 50%.

Just like England, Scotland and Wales, the loan amount available in Northern Ireland is not linked to the course fees. The total amount available is £5,500 and this is for tuition fees only.

Which students are eligible?

If you are over 60 when you start your course, you can still apply for the loan, but you must normally reside in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. Students can be studying their MBA program either part time or full time, but they must not already have a masters-level qualification.

Who should you apply to?

You can apply for an MBA loan in Northern Ireland online by logging into your Student Finance NI – Login where you will find the relevant forms to complete.

What are the application deadlines?

You should apply as early as you can. Student Finance Northern Ireland publicises when their loan applications open on their website, and you should apply within nine months of your course starting.

What about the repayments?

The repayments are similar to the repayments in Scotland, which begin when the applicant earns over £20,195. Students pay 9% of any income earned over this threshold through the tax systems in the same way as students in England, Scotland and Wales do.

The loan will be available to:

UK Nationals (and individuals with settled status in the UK) who have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for three years on the first day of the academic year of their course. They must have been most recently resident in Northern Ireland and must not have moved there from elsewhere in the UK and Islands solely for the purpose of attending the course.

Temporary absences from the home address, such as for education or travelling, will not prevent an applicant being eligible. Eligible UK nationals may use the postgraduate tuition fee loan in any UK authority funded Higher Education Provider.

EU Nationals

Individuals may be eligible if they are an EU national or if they have residency status of refugee in the UK, leave to enter or remain in the UK, EEA or Swiss migrant workers, a family member of any of the previous categories, or a child of a Swiss national, or child of a Turkish worker.

Eligible EU nationals may use the postgraduate tuition fee loan in any NI authority funded Higher Education Provider.

The Northern Ireland Department for the Economy (DfE) provides a tuition fee loan of
up to £6,600 per student for postgraduate study. (announced 27 October 2022)

Please note that for courses completed over more than 1 year, you may not be able to draw down the maximum available loan. If your course fees are higher in any year than the amount of loan available, you will need to pay the difference to the university. 

Overview:Student loans for taught and research postgraduate courses in all subjects.
Value:The maximum you can apply for is up to £6,500 for tuition fees. There are NO conditions associated with how the loan can be used to fund study across more than 1 year.
Students:UK nationals ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland / EU students studying in Northern Ireland.
Location:Any UK university.
Repayment:9% of earnings over £18,935 per year, £1,481 per month or £341 per week before tax and national insurance

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