Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about the SkillsFuture Study Awards for Design. If you have more questions, please email

Q1: What courses are eligible for SkillsFuture Study Award for the design sector? 
A1: A whole range of courses! Depending on whether you are looking to deepen your skills as a professional or to widen your skills, you may consider courses from both the Institute of Higher Learning (IHLs) or from private providers. What is important is to demonstrate how this course will you grow in your career plan. You may also refer to the Skills Framework for Design, which has information to help individuals to make informed decisions as they chart and grow as a design professional.  

Emerging design areas include: 

  • Courses from the experience-making cluster (e.g. Design Strategy, Service Design, User Experience/User Interface Design, and Design Research etc); or 
  • Design courses which incorporate business (e.g. Systems Thinking, Organisational Transformation) and/or innovation (e.g. Innovation management) and/or technology (e.g. Drones, Artificial Intelligence) aspects 

Supportable courses may include certificate courses, diplomas, degree programmes, postgraduate programmes (include specialist diplomas/graduate certificates) and executive education programmes. However, post-graduate and executive education programmes will only be considered for non-designers, who can demonstrate evidence in their career plan and CVs their intent and ability to advocate and champion design adoption in their organisations. 

Q2: Do I have to be enrolled in the course before I make my application? 
A2: No, you do not have to be enrolled at the point of application. However, you will have to submit supporting documents to show your enrolment by the closing date of that application period. Otherwise, your application is considered an incomplete application and will be closed. 

Q3: Do I have to be nominated to make an application?  
A3: No, you do not have to. However, it will be great if your organisation could write you a nomination to show your contribution. Nominated applicants will be considered more favourably. 

Q4: I do not have 3 years working experience. May I still be considered? 
A4: Unfortunately, as this is an award for early mid-career applicants, you may wish to apply when you have gained a minimum of 3 years working experience. 

Q5: What happens if my course fees are less than $4,000?  
A4: You may choose to add on another course such that both the course fees add up to a total of more than $4,000.  

Q6: Is SFSA only for people wanting to be UX designers?  
A6: No, it’s for design and non-design professionals! If one is a design professional looking to deepen their skills in the design discipline they are currently in, (say an architect looking to take some in-depth architectural programme) or looking to widen their skills (say a designer who needs to take on some business or leadership skills since they run their own consultancy and have staff under them), they can do so. A non-designer may also apply for SFSA if they can demonstrate how the programme can help in their career plan to advocate and champion design adoption in their organisations. For non-designers, do note that the course should be either a post-graduate or executive education programme. 

Q7: Must I get a job immediately in order to get the subsidy? If not, do I have to pay back the support I received? 
A7: No, this is an award to encourage upskilling and whilst it is a bonus if one can get a job after the programme, there is no penalty if one does not. In fact, one does not need to be currently employed to apply but needs to have prior 3 years working experience.  

Q8: What if I want to take up a UX course but want to do UX writing or content/research/ strategy-related roles - would I still be subsidised? 
A8: It depends! If one can demonstrate how the programme can help deepen or widen their skills as a designer and what it is relevant for them, it is possible.  

Q9:When will SFSA open again (is there a predictable period)?
A9: The SFSA will open multiple times a year, with the latest one in July 2020. Please email for more information or for any queries.

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