Learning for free
Many courses in literacy and numeracy are free, and you may not have to pay for tuition if you’re going for your first qualification equivalent to GCSEs or A levels. There’s a wider range of free courses available if you’re on income-related benefits, and there are opportunities for everyone to learn for free online.
Get on a free course
Skills and qualifications can help open up new options for work and further study - or with everyday things like helping your child with their homework. There’s a range of courses available free of charge, especially if you lack qualifications at the moment. So what have you got to lose?
Free courses to improve your reading, writing and number skills
Looking to boost your reading, writing or number skills? Courses in literacy and numeracy are often available free of charge. Find an Essential Skills course near to where you live.
Free tuition to help you get new qualifications
If you don’t already have GCSEs, A levels or equivalent qualifications, you may be able to study for them without having to pay any tuition fees. You’ll be able to get free tuition:
- for a course which leads to your first full Level 2 qualification
- if you’re 25 or under, for a course which leads to your first full Level 3 qualification
Getting a Level 2 qualification can help you develop skills suitable for a range of jobs - and a Level 3 qualification could get you into university or higher education. A full Level 2 is equivalent to five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C, and a full Level 3 to two A levels. But you’re not limited to just GCSEs and A levels. You could, for example, choose to do an NVQ or BTEC qualification that fits in with your career plans.
Free tuition for other courses
You can get free tuition for a wider range of courses if you’re getting certain types of benefit or financial support.
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- the ‘Guarantee Credit’ element of Pension Credit
- Working Tax Credit (as long as your household income is less than £15,050 per year)
You’ll also qualify if you’re not working and you’re financially dependent on someone who gets one of the forms of financial support listed above. In some cases, free tuition is also available to asylum seekers.
Find a free course that suits you
Choose a course
Follow the link below for information on choosing a course. You’ll also find contact details for the Careers Service - free help finding a course to suit you. The Education Guidance Service for Adults can also advise you on suitable courses
Check whether you can get financial help while you’re on your course
Whether you qualify for free tuition or not, there may be other charges you need to pay - like registration or exam fees. You may be able to get financial support to help with these and other costs while you’re learning - like travel and childcare.
Other opportunities to learn for free
Learning for free at work
Many employers are keen for their staff to develop new skills, and may offer free training relevant to your job - for example through an Apprenticeship, Training for Success scheme or Bridge to Employment. If you’re looking to get back into work, you may be able to take part in the Steps to Work or other programmes for unemployed people.
- Training and learning for work
- Training for Success
- Bridge to Employment for Jobseekers (employment section)
- Steps to Work (employment section)
Free learning online
Anyone can learn on the internet for free. The BBC website offers free courses in literacy, numeracy, computers, languages and many other subjects.