Upskill or change career with our free online short courses

Free online courses to help you upskill or reskill.

Thanks to the support of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and Scottish Government, we’re able to offer a limited number of funded places on a range of online short courses this year. 

These courses have been chosen because they: 

  • meet known skills gaps in the Scottish economy
  • help you upskill to progress in your career, or reskill to change career
  • are short, flexible and fit around full-time work or family commitments.

You can use them to study with experts, enhance your CV, and gain credits you can build towards postgraduate qualifications. 

Graphic showing available course thumbnails

You can apply if you are:

  • domiciled in Scotland (Scotland is your primary place of residence).

This year, you’re welcome to apply even if you’ve received a funded place before.

You cannot apply if you’ll be in education when your funded course starts.

How to apply to study for free

We will release a limited number of fully funded places in phases throughout 2021 and 2022:

  • Phase One is closed.
  • Phase Two features courses starting on 24 January 2022.
  • Phase Three features courses starting in spring/summer 2022.

Be the first to hear about Phase Two courses

Sign up below and we’ll email you as soon as our list of Phase Two courses is confirmed, so you can be among the first to apply.

Courses featured in Phase One

To give you an idea of the kind of courses that have been on offer through the scheme, here are the September-start courses we featured in Phase One.

What it’s like to study online with us

We’ve been delivering online and distance learning for decades.

We support thousands of online students each year. People join us from all over the world, from all walks of life, to enjoy flexible lifelong learning that works for them.

Tricia Fox

The second module, about change management, was really crucial for me. It ultimately helped us create a road map out of the pandemic, which has been really useful.

Tricia Fox, Business Owner – studied ILM Level 5 Leadership & Management. Read Tricia’s story.
Marcus Herbert

The opportunity to study online couldn’t have come at a better time. It introduced structure to my day, and now I’m having conversations with potential employers about my studies and that’s been really well received.

Marcus Herbert, Energy Sector Worker – studied Decommissioning of Offshore Installations. Read Marcus’ story.
Tori Petrini

I was delighted that I was able to use techniques and knowledge that I’d picked up on the course to ultimately help one of my patients get better.

Tori Petrini, Mental Health Nurse – studied Discovering Mindfulness. Read Tori’s story.

More about the SFC

The SFC and Scottish Government are providing millions of pounds across Scottish universities and regions this academic year to upskill Scotland’s workforce. It’s providing this funding to help universities:

  • tackle skills gaps identified in the Scottish economy
  • provide more agile support for employees and employers to upskill and reskill
  • fund individuals made unemployed, facing unemployment, or whose jobs are at risk as a result of Covid-19 and/or Brexit
  • support sectors that have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and, through upskilling and reskilling interventions, move workers into growing sectors
  • support the transition to net-zero by enabling more people to access opportunities in the emerging green jobs sector
  • increase the number of people with advanced digital skills
  • provide flexible learning options so that more people can learn while they work.
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