Start of year guide

We have created a start of year checklist so new and returning students, parents and carers can find all the information needed to make the start of term as seamless as possible. You can find this checklist and other important information in the Start of Year Guide.

Home » Funding/Free Courses

funding & free tuition

Depending on your circumstances and the course you would like to study, there may be funding available to help you.

Adult Skills Fund (ASF)

The Adult Skills Fund (ASF) is a funding stream that helps adults (19+), who have lived in the UK for the last three-years and are a UK resident, to gain the skills they need in order to; retrain and change careers, upskill to progress in a chosen career or to gain qualifications to access higher level learning. Funding is also available to bring communities together which allows the College to run free courses without qualifications that are linked to local needs.

funding and free tuition

ASF funding is focused on specific provision for particular groups of learners and can be fully-funded or part-funded.

  • Full-funding can be available for courses at Level 2 and Level 3 for adults who do not have a previous Level 3 qualification, other courses might be part-funded.
  • All Maths and English qualifications are free (up to GCSE level) for 19+ learners who have not previously attained a GCSE at grade C, grade 4 or higher in these subjects. Learners will be required to complete a self-declaration form to confirm they do not hold the qualification.
  • Free Digital Skills Qualifications (up to level 1) are available for adults who do not have the basic digital skills they need for life and work. Learners will be required to complete a self-declaration form to confirm they do not hold the qualification.
  • If you are unemployed or receive benefits such as Universal Credit, Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) or Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) some courses can be free or part-funded. Learners will be required to provide supporting evidence.
  • If you are in receipt of a low-wage (up to £25,000 employed or self-employed) some courses can be free or part-funded. Learners will be required to provide supporting evidence.

What does 'part-funded' mean?

In some cases the Government expects learners and employers to contribute to covering some of the costs of eligible courses and qualifications, in this instance the learner is 'part-funded'.

To find out more, please email the Adult Learning Team at

advanced learner loan

These are loans very much like a student loan and do not need to be paid back until you are earning over a certain wage.

Advanced Learner Loans are available for individuals aged 19+ undertaking approved qualifications at Level 3 to 6. Advanced Learner Loans are paid directly to the College or training organisation on behalf of an individual, they are not means tested or subject to credit checks and household income is not considered. Any individual who meets the criteria will be able to apply for a loan regardless of their current employment status.

For help and advice, please email Alice Shaw on

Advanced Learner Loans are administered by Student Finance England (SFE). Student Finance England is a Student Loans Company Service, providing financial support to students on behalf of the UK Government.

More information is available here: Advanced Learner Loan: Overview - GOV.UK (

For the majority of qualification courses, any fees payable to the Awarding Body for registration, examination entry and certification will be collected, together with the course fee payable, before the start of the course.

Where this is not the case, the additional payment due will be stated. If you are enrolled on a qualification course, you will automatically be registered with the awarding body and entered for any examinations provided the fee has been paid. 

If you need to re-take any examinations, you will need to enter for these separately and make a re-entry payment to the examinations office. You will then receive written advance notification of the arrangements for formal examinations and written confirmation of your results.

Certificates will be posted to the address given on your enrolment form, so please do contact the part-time courses team about any change in your contact details.

Any questions about registration, examinations or certification should be directed to the Exams Office on 01872 308179  for Truro-based students or 01736 809019 for Penwith-based students. The email contact for both sites is EXAMSOFFICE@TRURO-PENWITH.AC.UK.

If you are a candidate attending at either site and require examination concessions for medical reasons or because of learning difficulties, please contact the Exams Officer, Emily Moss, as early on in your course as possible on 01872 308179 or EMILYMOSS@TRURO-PENWITH.AC.UK.

If you are eligible for free tuition (see categories above) or your gross annual household income is less than £25,000, you may be entitled to financial support towards childcare while attending your course.

Financial assistance for the purchase of materials for certificated courses may also be available. For guidance, contact Student Services on 01872 305711.

Apply now at

The Future Skills Institute adult learning team can help with funding:

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