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.

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Open for applications

Please read the FAQ section below, prior to applying.

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I have been struggling for a long time in jobs with a low income, so this help from the CIPD Trust bursary fund will improve my family’s quality of life. I am delighted!”


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.

*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 so learners can study for their qualifications without worrying about paying anything back.

When can I apply?

Our bursary fund is open for applications during the following dates:

  1. Summer Round: 1 July- 15 September*
  2. Autumn & Winter Round: 20 October- 31 January
  3. Spring Round: 3 April- 21 June

*note we closed 31 of August due to volume in 2023. Exact dates will vary slightly each year.

**please note, we reserve the right to open, close or extend the fund depending on application numbers and funding available.

How quickly will I receive a decision?

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.

How do I apply? What’s the process?

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?

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.

How do I prepare for the interview?

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.

Will I receive feedback if I’m rejected?

If you are invited for an interview and are not successful, we will explain why we weren’t able to offer you a bursary at this time and signpost you to alternative resources and support.

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.

I’ve previously applied and was rejected for a bursary -can I apply again?

Yes, you can re-apply 6 months after the initial decision was given. Although please bear in mind the feedback given as to why we were not able to support your application, and whether your circumstances have changed.

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.

Still have questions?

Contact your study centre directly or speak to a member of our team by contacting

Find a CIPD Centre Portal CIPD Student Hub

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"


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.  

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.