Take a look below at the various options available to support you financially during your time at College…

NVQ Tuition Fees

NVQ tuition fees are covered by the Welsh Government for all UK residents:

  • Free to anyone over the age of 16
  • No upper age limit
  • No qualification or experience requirements
  • No limit on the qualifications you already hold (our courses are still free even if you already have a Masters Degree!)
  • Regardless of your income

Support during your studies

At Black Mountains College, we understand that financial hardship if often a barrier to pursuing higher or further education. Our aim is to make studying as accessible as possible as we believe no one should be held back from pursuing their studies due to their background or financial situation.

There are many support options available through both government maintenance allowances and learning grants, as well as through the college’s support fund, which have been detailed below.

City & Guilds Adult Bursaries

City & Guilds Adult bursaries are designed to change people’s lives through skills. If you are successful in applying for a City & Guilds bursary, you do not need to pay it back.

You can apply for a bursary of up to £6,000 which could cover the cost of any tools, learning materials, travel costs, or childcare.

You are eligible to apply if:

  • you are aged 18 and over
  • you are in genuine financial need
  • you are a UK resident
  • your course has not yet begun
  • you are applying to study on our Level 2 NVQ in either Regenerative Horticulture or Coppicing & Greenwood Trades

The bursary programme opens three times a year – in Spring, Autumn and Winter. Applications will reopen in Spring 2023. Most applicants will know if they are successful in being awarded a bursary within two months of the applications opening.

You must apply for this before your course starts. Do not wait until you are accepted – apply early! 

Find out more and apply >

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

Education Maintenance Allowance provides £30 a week to support studying, paid every two weeks.

Students must be aged between 16-18 and UK/EU nationality with three years continuous residency or refugee status. Students must have a household income situation of one of the following:

  • £20,817 or less if you are a young person in full-time education in the household
  • £23,077 or less if there are other young people in your household who are aged under 16 and eligible for child benefit or aged 16-20 and in full-time education and eligible for child benefit
Find out more and apply >

Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG)

The Welsh Government Learning Grant provides a termly payment throughout your course of up to £1,500p/a.

To apply for this, students must:

  • be aged 19 and over
  • be in full or part-time study with a minimum of 275 hours per year
  • reside in Wales
  • have a household income of £18,370 or less
  • ensure a minimum attendance rate of 90% throughout the year
  • complete a minimum of 2 weeks full attendance at the start of each term
Find out more and apply >

NPTC Group Financial Contingency Fund

NPTC Group are our Further Education partners who validate our NVQs. This means you are a BMC student AND an NPTC student and can receive the benefits of both institutions.

NPTC have their own Financial Contingency Fund that you can apply for which provides financial help to put towards:

  • College meals (you will receive a Morrisons’ voucher)
  • Course equipment (50% reimbursement of course equipment – safety clothing, study materials, etc.)
  • Childcare (£42 per college day for one child only)
  • Accommodation (Monday-Friday during term time for students studying at a campus that is not a commutable distance from their home and where the course is not available at a closer location)
  • Transport costs (if you live more than 3 miles away) up to a maximum of £175 per term.
  • Mandatory course trips (50% reimbursement)

You must first successfully apply to the EMA or WGLG but students in financial difficulty will also be considered.

Find out more and apply >

BMC Financial Contingency Fund

At Black Mountains College, we offer our own Financial Contingency Fund which is designed as a last resort to provide a small financial boost to struggling students. This can provide a maximum of £200 per person at one time.

NOTE: this is different to the NPTC FCF, which is provided by NPTC. This comes directly from BMC.

Any student enrolled in our Further Education courses is eligible but:

  • if you are aged between 16 – 18 by the start of the academic year, you must first apply for the EMA.
  • if you are aged 19 or over by the start of the academic year, you must first apply for the WGLG.
  • you must first apply for NPTC’s FCF before applying to BMC’s fund.

If you do not qualify for any of the above or have already received help from a fund but are still in financial difficulty, you can apply for BMC’s FCF if your personal earnings do not exceed £12,000 annually.

You can apply directly once your course has begun by speaking with your tutor or emailing Ria on ria@blackmountainscollege.uk

Email us to apply >


We recognise that BMC offers some rather unique courses and that this often attracts students from further afield. We believe that students pursuing a further study or a career in supporting the environment shouldn’t be limited by the cost of their commute.

My Travel Pass (MTP) is available to 16–21-year-olds and gives the holder 1/3rd off your bus ticket. This is free to apply for.

Students aged between 16 – 18 who live more than 3 miles from their campus can also receive a free Powys County Council bus pass via the Powys CC website. If you live outside of the County of Powys, you must apply to your local authority for transport help.

Apply for MTP here >

All information is correct for 2022-2023 academic year

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