Innovation & Enterprise


Short course development funding

Get the support you need to deliver an effective short course and inspire people to make a difference to the world around them.

What courses will qualify

You can apply for support to develop either a single course, or a suite of courses with a common theme or for a particular audience. Funding is only available for non-credit bearing courses. 

Your proposal will need to show that:

  • there’s a clear need and audience for your topic
  • your approach will benefit the wider world, not just the learner
  • funding is essential for you to develop this course 
  • departmental resources are available to support the administration of the course(s) and ongoing updates to content

Your course(s) will also need to be:

  • fully online or blended
  • for a professional audience (and have potential to carry professional accreditation)
  • delivered within the funding period (1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020)
  • research-based 
  • able to evidence impact 
  • structured in a way that you could offer credit in smaller blocks in the future (subject to Registry resource)

You'll also need to charge learners a fee to take your course(s).

You’ll find best practice guidance and templates for planning a course in our online short course development resource.

What funding is available

This is a competitive call. A total of £150,000 of funding is available.

You’ll be able to apply for funding to cover the cost of course content development time.

Successful projects will also be supported through centrally-funded expert resources, such as media services, learning technologist/instructional designer, etc.

When to apply and timings

Applications for 2019/20 are now closed.

Your new course must be delivered within the funding period (1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020).

How to apply

You’ll need to complete the following forms:

  • Costing and pricing spreadsheet
  • Short course planning template
  • Checklist of desk research into the market for your course and your competitors
  • Course initiation questionnaire (CIQ) on Portico. Make sure you attach the costing and pricing spreadsheet, and get it approved by your Head of Department and Faculty Tutor

If you’re working with external partners, we’ll ask to see written agreement from them too.

To request the application forms and talk through your course ideas, contact the Short Course Support team at shortcourses@ucl.ac.uk

After you apply

Your proposal will be reviewed after the submission deadline by a panel from Innovation & Enterprise and Digital Education.

How we’ll work together

If your proposal is successful you’ll need to:

  • follow our team’s best practice process
  • work with our chosen experts to help design the online content
  • agree to your course being offered online by partners like FutureLearn (where appropriate)
  • share course data and a written case study at the end of the project

Funding source

  • Research England, Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF)