Fees & Funding

Do you need help paying for a qualification?

You may find that you qualify for free study but where a fee is payable, we can help.


2 min read

Finance & Funding 23/24

Find out about Funding, Fees and Loans

Our Apprenticeship, Study Programmes and Community Learning provisions are part funded by the ESF.  Who/What is the ESF? The ESF is Europe’s main instrument for supporting jobs, helping people get better jobs and ensuring fairer job opportunities for all EU citizens. It works by investing in Europe’s human capital – its workers, its young people and all those seeking a job. ESF financing of EUR 10 billion a year is improving job prospects for millions of Europeans, in particular those who find it difficult to get work. 

Affordability is a key factor when considering further education so it’s good to know that many of our courses are fully funded, meaning there are no fees and usually no student loans to repay (subject to certain eligibility criteria).

Whether you receive funding how much and through what method depends on your personal circumstances but we’re always happy to talk through your options with you.

Study Programmes (Aged 16-24)

Fully funded for those ages 16 to 24 and qualified up to Level 3.

Apprenticeships (Aged 16+)

Fully funded.

You are paid the National Minimum Apprenticeship wage or more by your employer.

Maths, English & ESOL

Fully funded if you do not hold an equivalent level qualification.

Functional Skills Maths & English are funded up to and including Level 2.

Free Level 3 Courses

A number of our Level 3 qualifications are free courses as part of the Free Courses for Jobs offer, funded by the government for eligible adults.

Who is eligible?

Adults aged 19 and above  can get a free level 3 qualification if they: 

    • are 19 or over and do not already have a level 3 qualification 
    • already have a level 3 qualification or higher but earn below the National Living Wage annually (£20,319 from April 2023) 
    • already have a level 3 qualification or higher but are unemployed

I am not eligible, what now?

You can pay the course fee directly, or you may be able to take out an Advanced Learner Loan.

Community Learning 19+ Years

Important note:
Government funding for academic year 23/24 has changed – how this affects you…
You can only enrol on ONE free* workshop/course at each level, e.g. one Taster, one Starter… and so on. Our new levels are designed to encourage you to learn and progress in your chosen area of interest. If you enrol on multiple workshops/courses at the same level, we’ll contact you to discuss (as there are exceptions), or you’ll be given the opportunity to pay for your place, (costs are detailed on each course page).

Community Learning levels…

  • Taster – Short workshop suitable for beginners and no longer than 1 day in duration. Designed to provide an overview, intro to a subject. Suitable for learners who wish to gain insight to the subject and see if it’s for them.
  • Starter – Beginner level workshop/course, which explores the basics of a subject. Suitable for learners who know they wish to learn about the chosen subject but don’t yet have knowledge and experience.
  • Developer – Suitable for learners who have completed a Starter Level in the chosen subject or within a similar subject area, and who wish to progress and explore the subject in more depth.
  • Enhancer – Suitable for those who have completed a Developer Level and wish to explore further and learn more extensively.

Our Community Learning workshops and courses are FREE if you are aged 19+, AND are unemployed / earn less than £25,000 per year AND live in Somerset (not including Bath & North East Somerset) AND you have lived in the UK/EU for the last 3 years OR you have refugee status / right to remain. Please note – proof of eligibility may be requested.

There is a course fee of £8 per learning hour (subject to change) if you are aged 19+ AND you earn over £25,000 AND live in Somerset OR you live in Bath & North East Somerset OR you live anywhere else in the UK.


Other Funding & Finance Options

There are a variety of schemes on offer to help people enter or re-enter adult education. Eligibility rules apply so it’s best to discuss your circumstances with us so we an explain what options are available to you.


To be funded you have to have lived in the EU for the past 3 years and currently living in England outside of:

  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • Greater Manchester
  • Greater London
  • Liverpool City Region
  • Tees Valley
  • West Midlands
  • North of Tyne
  • Sheffield City Region
  • West Yorkshire
  • West of England (WECA – covering Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire)

Course Fees

Some people will not be eligible for funding and will prefer not to take out a learning loan, in these circumstances a course fee will apply. These fees are shown on the course information pages and will be required to be paid in full prior to the course commencement. Financial support is available to help cover travel and equipment for those who are eligible – please ask.

These are some of the ways we can help


Care to Learn

If you’re a young parent up to the age of 20 who wants to continue their education or training, then the Care to Learn scheme provides help with the cost of childcare and related travel expenses. For further information contact the Care To Learn helpline on 0800 121 8989 or visit www.gov.uk/care-to-learn/overview.

Advanced Learner Loan

The Advanced Learner Loan helps students aged 19+ to pay for higher level courses. It’s easy to apply for, doesn’t require a credit check and repayments don’t start until you earn over £25,000/year. Eligible courses include A Levels, Access to Higher Education Diplomas and Certificates and Diplomas at Level 3 and above. For further information visit our blog Advanced learner loans make it possible…, contact the Customer Advice Team on 0330 332 7997 or contact them here.

Parents & Carers

We know that parents and carers play an important part in an individual’s education decisions and that’s why we’re always happy to talk to you to answer your questions and ensure you have the information you need to help your young adult make the right choices. You can call us on 0330 332 7997 or contact the Customer Advice Team here.

Let us talk you through the options

We don’t want the funding to get in the way of you taking the next step with learning, we understand that discovering what support you are entitled to can be confusing, so we encourage you to contact us. One of our team will happily talk through the options with you. Use our contact form to get in touch or call us on 0330 332 7997.

Finance & Funding

We don’t want the funding to get in the way of you taking the next step with learning, we understand that discovering what support you are entitled to can be confusing, so we encourage you to contact us.

One of our team will happily talk through the options with you. Use our contact form to get in touch or call us on 0330 332 7997.

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