One of the biggest barriers to getting back into education for adults is how to pay course fees.
Adults who earn up to £16,009 (£17,004 from 1 August 2020) each year are able to benefit from free adult courses* subject to eligibility.
You can choose to study a wide range of full and part-time courses** without having to pay any tuition fees.
This means you could potentially save thousands of pounds.
To be eligible for free adult courses you must:
- be 19 or older, and
- be in full or part-time employment and earn less than £16,009 a year (you will need to provide wage slips or your last self-assessment form to evidence this), and
- want to study a pre-entry, entry, level 1 or level 2*** course.
Many courses are also free for people in receipt of certain benefits, including Job Seekers Allowance, Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance.
You can choose to study more than one part-time course a year if you want to and it doesn’t matter whether you already have higher qualifications, so long as you are applying to study something different.
Courses are available in a wide range of subjects** including:
- art, design, and graphics
- beauty therapy and make-up
- brickwork and plastering
- build environment and construction
- business and management
- carpentry and joinery
- electrical installation
- fashion, footwear, and upholstery
- hospitality and catering
- maths and English functional skills
- motor vehicle
- music and sound technology
- painting and decorating
- performing arts
- plumbing and gas
- science, social science, and humanities
- skills for work – courses designed for adults looking for work
- sports and fitness
- teacher training
- travel and tourism
- uniformed public services
- video and photography
- part-time hobby courses
On some courses, there are also materials fees to pay, to cover the costs of equipment and materials that you use while studying. However, depending on your circumstances you may be able to apply to our Learner Support Fund for help with paying these.
You may also be interested in our level 2 distance learning courses, which are all free to anyone who is 19 or older.
If you want to study a different level course, or one which isn’t eligible for tuition fee remission you may be able to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of the fees. If you are going to be studying a university-level course you can apply for a Student Loan for fees, as well as a maintenance loan to cover your living costs. If you are a parent with children under 15 and studying at university level full time you may also be eligible for a childcare grant and parents’ learning allowance.
* You must be 19 or older on 31 August 2019. Tuition fees remission is subject to eligibility criteria. If you are unsure about whether you are eligible, or if remission is available on the course you are interested in please contact us for advice, 0116 224 2240 or see full details of our course fee disclaimers.
**We have tried to list courses which are eligible for funding, but there are occasionally anomalies. Please check individual courses for details.
***A full level 2 qualification is equivalent to five or more GCSEs at grade 9 to 4.