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 equal to GCSEs or A levels. There are also many opportunities 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 don't have any qualifications.

Improve your reading, writing and number skills

If you want 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 equal 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 equal 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 may get free tuition for a 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

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.

Learning at work

Many employers are keen for their staff to develop new skills and benefit from free training relevant to your job - for example through an apprenticeship.

Opportunities to learn if you're unemployed

If you’re unemployed and trying to get back into work, you may be able to take part in the Steps 2 Success or other programmes for unemployed people. To find out more, contact your local Jobs and Benefits office.

Learning online

Anyone can learn on the internet for free. Some websites offer free courses in literacy, numeracy, computers, languages and many other subjects.

More useful links

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