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DfE funding withdrawal for low-uptake qualifications

Student creating art on a white wall
Student creating art on a white wall

Written by
UAL Awarding Body
Published date
13 February 2020

Department for Education (DfE) has announced that more than 5,000 qualifications in England may no longer receive funding from August 2021. There is minimal impact on UAL Awarding Body qualifications.

Centres in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are wholly unaffected by this review.

The qualifications affected are those being studied by fewer than 100 students per year. The funding withdrawal is expected to impact a very low number of students on UAL Awarding Body qualifications.

Ross Anderson, Director of UAL Awarding Body, made the following statement on DfE’s decision to withdraw funding.

“Whilst UAL is supportive of the DfE’s intention to simplify the qualification system for students, we remain clear that a variety of qualifications and approaches to teaching and learning are required to support young people as they enter the world of work, and the creative industries specifically.

In the future, we will welcome a qualifications landscape that includes highly-regarded and well-established Applied General qualifications, alongside A levels, T levels and Apprenticeships.”

A small number of our Short Course certificates in printmaking, photography and drawing are affected.

Nested qualifications

A small number of UAL Awarding Body Level 1 and 2 Awards are also included in the review.

These qualifications provide our centres with the opportunity for students to be recognized for work completed if the student is not able to commit to the full diploma. This option provides positive outcomes for both students and centres and we will be appealing their inclusion in the review.

If you have any questions please contact us at We would also welcome any feedback about the value of smaller awards at levels 1 and 2 as a valuable fallback for centres and students.

The full list of qualifications affected is available on the DfE website.