The CIPD Trust bursary fund

How we support people from all backgrounds get in to HR, Learning & Development, Organisational Development and all people professional roles.

We are currently closed for applications.

Please read the FAQ section below for information on how to apply in the future.

Looking for support to fund your qualification?

The CIPD Trust Bursary fund is available to help even more people kick-start their career in the people profession, by providing financial support where it’s needed most.


Who can apply?

  • Learners looking for support with funding for Level 3 Foundation in People Practice or Level 5 Associate Diplomas
  • Anyone aged 18 and over and experiencing financial hardship*
  • Anyone based in the UK and wanting to study here.
  • Learners who have not yet started their course.
  • Please note that funds are limited and are awarded on a discretionary basis, based on the decision of the interview panel, which is final.  Not every applicant will receive funding towards their course and applicants should factor this into their individual planning and situation.

*Financial hardship is defined as being unable to afford the course without financial aid and having exhausted any other available options.

Still, deciding if an HR qualification is right for you?

Try our FutureLearn HR Fundamentals Course. Get a FREE limited online access to a 5- week introduction to the practice of Human Resources, and discover how good HR practices can support organisations and their people.


What does the bursary cover?

Bursaries cover partial or full costs of studying a CIPD qualification, plus the cost of the CIPD student membership fee while studying on your course. Funding is paid directly to your study centre.

When can I apply?

Our bursary fund is currently closed and not expected to reopen prior to July 2024.

How quickly will I receive a decision? How do I apply?

It can take between 14-30 days to be notified of a decision. We recommend you apply one month prior to your course start date. Please note that this is only a guide and not a guarantee.

You and your study centre fill out a short application and, once completed, the centre will submit this to the CIPD Trust.

Once we have received your application form, you may be invited to a short interview, after which we will decide if we are able to offer you a bursary, and for what amount.

We complete all our interviews online through Microsoft Teams or Zoom, so you will need access to a device with video capabilities.

How do I find a centre?

Find a centre based on your learning needs via our: Find a centre portal.

What happens at the interview? How do I prepare for the interview?

The purpose of the interview is to understand your situation. We want to talk to you about why you’re interested in pursuing a career in HR, learn more about you and your aspirations and see if we can help.

You’ve done the hard work through the application! Just have a think about why you want to be CIPD qualified and what it’ll mean for your future. And at the interview, just be yourself. We will also want to understand your financial situation to see how best we can help.

Do you fund Level 7 CIPD Qualifications? Why not?

No. The CIPD Trust Bursary Fund is designed to support those facing barriers to entering the profession and kick-starting their career in HR.

Do you keep in touch once I’ve completed the course?

We are on hand throughout your course to support you with updates on CIPD conferences, resources and how to make the most of your membership. We’re also keen to capture your thoughts on how the bursary has impacted your situation and made a difference. We’ll ask you to share your thoughts with us so that we can support others in a similar situation to reach their potential.

We also want to stay connected to help you as you establish and progress your career in the People Profession.

Tap into resources to develop your HR Career


Qualification Providers

There are many centres to choose from to meet your learning needs.

Find a study centre portal

Future Learn Courses

Learn new skills, pursue your interests or advance your career with free short online courses about HR.

Access here

Student hub

Resources for students and aspiring students. Join over 20,000 students across the world building their HR expertise.

Explore the hub

Member to Member mentoring

If you’re based in the UK, contact your local branch to ask about mentoring opportunities.

Find your branch

The CIPD Trust and City & Guilds Foundation Bursary Fund

The CIPD Trust shares a mission with the City & Guilds Foundation to remove the barriers to meaningful work, particularly with refugees who have some of the highest rates of unemployment in the UK. Together and working with charity partners supporting refugees, we aim to support individuals with previous experience working in HR or who want to start their career into HR gain access to bursaries and CIPD qualifications as well as skills building courses from City & Guilds Foundation.  

I've been working in Human Resources for over three years in Ukraine until last year when I was forced to leave my country. I was trying to find a job as a people assistant or manager, but most employers require the CIPD qualification, which I couldn't get due to financial difficulties at that time. I was really excited and overwhelmed by the support I received from the bursary fund. I feel very grateful for the opportunity"


City and Guilds Foundation

Refugees are often highly qualified in their own countries. But they have some of the highest rates of unemployment in the UK. The City and Guilds Foundation supports our bursaries for refugees looking to gain CIPD qualifications or transfer their experience.  
The city and guilds foundation logo, established in 1878.