Bursaries: how to apply

At the City & Guilds Foundation, we are committed to supporting people who face barriers to developing skills and sustaining employment.


Criteria for

Other funding


Registrations for our bursary programme are currently closed.

What’s included in a bursary?

Bursaries cover the total cost of studying, so learners can study for their qualifications without worrying about paying anything back. We want to make sure that receiving a City & Guilds bursary gives you the best possible chance of finding employment opportunities.

You can apply for funding to study towards a qualification in one of the industries listed below which we know is facing skills shortages and requires skilled workers now and in the future.

These include:


You can apply for a bursary of up to £6,000. This is to cover the total cost of your training programme and any tools or learning materials required. In exceptional cases, we may award the costs for travel as required for training, which will be agreed upon in advance of the start date, and childcare which we will pay directly to Ofsted registered childcare providers.

Most bursaries granted are for amounts between £2,500 and £5,000. If you are awarded a bursary, it may be a partial award and not the full requested amount.

The application process

Our bursary programme opens three times a year – in Spring, Autumn and Winter.

Our application process is completed in 4 stages:

  1. The registration of interest form opens and application forms are sent to those eligible (check the criteria here)
  2. Application forms are reviewed by the bursaries team and a shortlist is created for interviews
  3. Interviews take place for shortlisted applicants and recommendations are made for each person on whether to fund
  4. Recommendations are reviewed by the City & Guilds bursary panel and a final decision is made

The entire application process can take up to 3 months from registration opening to final decisions being made.

How do I start my application?

Applications are currently closed. We will be due to reopen again in the summer - please check back here for updates.

How do the interviews work?

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a virtual interview. This is really informal and acts as a chance for us to get to know you better and build a stronger case for funding your course. Interviews are completed by volunteers from across the City & Guilds organisation.

What happens after applications close?

After the closing date, our dedicated bursaries team will review all applications and shortlist those most in need of funding. The people shortlisted will be invited to an informal interview to discuss their application in more detail.

What happens after the interviews?

A recommendation is made on whether or not to award funding to each person shortlisted and this is put to the City & Guilds bursary panel. The panel has the final say on the amount of funding available for bursaries and who receives grants.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must meet certain criteria to be eligible for a City & Guilds bursary.

You must meet the following criteria to be able to apply for a bursary:

  • You must be at least 18-years-old to apply
  • You must be in genuine financial need (meaning: ‘When someone is unable to afford a course and has reached out and explored other options’)
  • You must be living in the UK and wanting to study your course here
  • You must not have started your course yet

The bursary panel are also keen to see evidence that applicants have thought about the employment opportunities available and possible career routes.

Bursary recipients will be required to keep in touch with the Foundation team to help us evaluate the impact of receiving a bursary, so we can continue to support those in need.

I have previously been awarded a bursary, can I apply again?

We are aware that the world of work is changing at pace, and you may need to reskill to sustain employment. If you can show that you have used the previous course or qualification gained through the bursary, and there is a significant reason to need a further qualification, we will consider this. Please make your reasoning clear on the application form.

I have previously been rejected for a bursary, can I apply?

Yes. Although please bear in mind the feedback given as to why we were not able to support your application, and whether your circumstances have changed.

You must also apply for funding to study towards a qualification in one of the industries listed below which we know is facing skills shortages and requires skilled workers now and in the future.

These include:

Why do you only fund certain qualifications?

City & Guilds is at the forefront of the skills gap debate, and a big advocate of jobs for the future. We are keen that the bursary programme helps solve the two big skills issues of the day: those who need skills the most are not currently able to develop skills and those key sectors with significant skills shortages. We need more people skilled in these industries.

Do I need to secure a place on a course before I apply?

We don’t need you to secure a place, but we do need to know that you have the credentials to do the relevant qualification (and that your chosen training provider agrees), and there is availability. We are unable to provide funding for past courses or currently enrolled courses.

How do I find a course to study?

Think about what you’d like to study and what you would like to do, in the interview you will be asked about that qualification and how that links to a job or career you may be able to do as a result. Find a preferred course centre that runs these courses or C&G or ILM qualifications and that has great reviews, easy to get to, has a timetable that works for you. They may also be able to give you career advice about which qualifications are suitable for which jobs.

Do I need to know exactly when I want to start in order to apply?

No you don’t, but it would be good to have some clarity about when you might be able to start, depending on the length and regularity of start dates. We know sometimes course dates may have to change, and that this might be out of your control, but this shouldn’t affect your bursary. You do need to have started the course within a year of being given a bursary though.

Free courses and other funding options

Not eligible for our bursary programme or want to start learning now? Here is a list of free courses, other sources of funding available and funding searches and directories.

IBM SkillsBuild Platform

Just launched: exclusive access in the UK to IBM's world-class training platform offering digital skills that will help you land a job.

Forestry Training Fund

A shortage of foresters has prompted the government to offer free courses in the industry.

Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust

The QEST accepts new applications for funding towards Heritage Craft skills in July and August each year for up to £18,000.

Helena Kennedy Foundation

Bursaries are available to students currently studying at an FE college or sixth form college and applying to enter university from September.

Cockpit Arts

Bursaries and subsidised studio spaces are available for talented craftspeople in London, along with in-house business support and coaching. Applications are open until 11th April for September intake each year.

Heritage Crafts

Heritage Crafts offers funding throughout the year to makers including the Endangered Crafts Fund, training bursary for those experiencing financial hardship, training bursary for Black and ethnically diverse makers (sponsored by the City & Guilds Foundation) and training bursary for crafts involving precious metals.

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