Free Tuition: GCSE Courses for Adults

Obtaining GCSEs are important as most employers now request at least a GCSE in maths or English. If you've missed out on obtaining your qualifications the first time round you can take one of the GCSE courses for adults provided by educational bodies (such as Learn Direct) and become qualified, no matter your age.

The skills and qualifications your earn from taking GCSE courses for adults can open up new career options or even further education opportunities; in some cases, many adults seek to obtain a GCSE qualification or top up their existing knowledge to further themselves personally and learn a new skill.

Tuition Fees - If you don't have any qualifications already you may not have to pay tuition fees towards your GCSE course. The actual eligibility for this rule will depend on the provider, but it's normally the case that you shouldn't have to pay to obtain your first set of qualifications. You can study for free if you want to obtain your first Level 2 qualification (GCSEs or other equivalents) at any age and can study for your first qualification leading to a Level 3 (A-Levels or equivalent) if you're under 25.

In some cases your employer may offer NVQ opportunities and pay the expenses; if you don't already have GCSEs these will be included in the NVQ course (as you normally need a Level 2 qualification before working towards a Level 3).

Skills Fund Agency - You qualify for free tuition from the Skills Fund Agency if you are receiving some type of benefit and don't already have a qualification relevant to what you want to study. The Skills Fund Agency offers GCSE courses for adults alongside other courses, from healthcare to ESOL classes. Courses are funded by the Skills Fund Agency through colleges and learning centres, such as Learn Direct or a University. You only qualify for free tuition by the Skills Fund Agency if you:

  • Are on Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Receive Income Support
  • Are a recipient of Council Tax Benefits
  • Receive income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Receive Working Tax Credit and an annual income of less than £15,276.


You can find more information about GCSE courses for adults, including search options to find a course near you, from the DirectGov website: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning/AdultLearning/FinancialHelpForAdultLearners/DG_10033130 .

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