Back to top      

UK & EU student loans

RCM opera singer during a production of Handel's Giove in Argo
UK and EU undergraduate students on one of our Bachelors courses (BMus or BSc) may be eligible for funding support from the UK Government through the Student Loans Company (SLC). The UK Government has also introduced a Postgraduate Student Loan scheme.

Loans will cover tuition fees, living costs (‘maintenance’ loans) or both. Every loan has its own eligibility criteria, which are set by the UK Government. You are reminded to check these thoroughly before making an application.

European Union flag

The UK's departure from the EU

As the process of the UK's departure from the European Union unfolds, the Royal College of Music will continue to provide updates for current and prospective EU students and those studying on the Erasmus scheme. We are pleased to confirm that EU students applying for entry in 2018 will be eligible for home fee status and to apply for UK student loans and grants.

Latest news for EU students

European Union flag

Undergraduate loans

Tuition fee loan for UK & EU students

All eligible students, regardless of household income, can apply for a loan to cover the full tuition fee. This is paid by the government directly to the RCM. You need to apply for a tuition fee loan for each year of study. 

Student maintenance loan for UK students only

For courses starting in 2018-19 eligible students living away from home in London can apply for a loan of up to £11,354 a year to help with living expenses whilst studying. The exact amount you can borrow depends on your household income. Use the Student Finance Calculator to check how much you can borrow. 

Students from Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland

The application procedure and nature of support available is slightly different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Students from these countries are advised to check the following websites for further details:

Student Awards Agency for Scotland

Student Finance Wales

Student Finance Northern Ireland

How to apply

You can find out more information about undergraduate student loans and make an online application via the UK Government website.

Apply from an undergraduate student loan

Repayments for undergraduate students from England & the EU

You will only begin paying back your student loan once you are earning more than £21,000 per year. You pay 9% of your income over £21,000.

If your income falls below £21,000 per year, your repayments stop. After 30 years, if you have not repaid your loan in full, the rest is written off.

  • If annual income is £21,000 or less, monthly repayments: £0.
  • If annual income is £25,000, monthly repayments: £30.
  • If annual income is £30,000, monthly repayments: £67.
  • If annual income is £50,000, monthly repayments: £217.

From the 2018/19 financial year the earnings threshold for repaying undergraduate student loans will rise from £21,000 to £25,000, and thereafter will be adjusted annually in line with averge earnings.  You should check the UK Government website for the most up-to-date information.

Students engaging with an academic class

Postgraduate loans

Postgraduate students from the UK who are ordinarily resident in England and enrolling on courses that begin in Autumn 2018 will be able to borrow up to a maximum of £10,609 for their entire course. Many EU students will also be eligible.

Payments will be made directly to students in termly instalments.

Students on two-year Masters programmes (eg MPerf) will receive £5,304 per year.

Payments for part-time students will be made over the first two years of study.

Find out more

Education provision is a devolved matter for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so students who are ordinarily resident in these nations of the UK will not be eligible for loans from Student Finance England. Please refer to the websites of Student Awards Agency Scotland, Student Finance Wales and Student Finance Northern Ireland for further details of alternative arrangements and to check your eligibility. 


Only Masters degree courses are eligible, not other postgraduate qualifications. Courses can be for one or two years full-time, or three or four years part-time.

Students who already hold a Masters qualification, or other equivalent or higher level qualification, will not be eligible to apply.

Borrowers must either be:

  • UK nationals, who have been ordinarily resident (ie not just for the main purpose of education) in the UK for three years before the first year of the course, and most recently in England.
  • EU students who are starting a degree course at an institution in England (ie the RCM) who have been ordinarily resident in the EU/EEA or Switzerland for three years prior to starting their course.

You may also be eligible if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are an EEA or Swiss migrant worker or the family member of one.
  • You are the child of a Turkish worker.
  • You have refugee status / humanitarian protection or are the family member of someone who does.
  • You are aged 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years or at least half your life.

How to apply

Applications are now open, and you are advised to apply as soon as possible to ensure that your funding is in place by September.  

Applications should be submitted online via the UK Government website. If you already have an undergraduate student loan for a previous course, you can log in using the same account.  

You will need your passport details and, if you are a UK national, your National Insurance number. Depending on your circumstances, you may also need to provide some supporting documentation to prove your residency.  You only need to apply once for a postgraduate loan, even if your course lasts more than one year.  

Apply for a postgraduate student loan

Repayments for postgraduate students

The interest rate on the loan is currently 6.1%. The rate is set by adding 3% to the Retail Price Index (RPI), which is reviewed each September.  

Repayments will be calculated at 6% of annual income above £21,000. For example, a graduate earning £25,000 per year would repay £30 of undergraduate loan and £20 of postgraduate loan each month, making a total monthly repayment of £50. 

Payments will be made concurrently alongside repayment of any undergraduate student loan.

Repayments through HMRC will not start before 6 April 2019, although voluntary repayments can be made at any time.

Any outstanding loan will be written off after 30 years.

Please note that these details may change and you should check the UK Government website for the most up-to-date information.

Additional information

You can find lots more information at The Student Room, where you can also find an active student community forum.

Visit The Student Room