The University of Aberdeen will be offering hundreds of free places on online short courses in 2020 and 2021 to help Scotland’s workforce upskill and reskill.

Free places will be available from September on 20 courses in a wide range of disciplines, including leadership, digital/data, energy, life sciences and health. This is thanks to a cash boost of over £600,000 from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).

The money has been allocated to the University as part of the SFC’s Upskilling Fund, which is provided to universities to offer fee waivers on short, flexible courses that address known skills gaps in the Scottish economy.

Designed to fit around full-time work, the mostly postgraduate 8-to-12 week courses are available to those employed, unemployed or furloughed in Scotland.

Professor Alan Speight, vice principal for student recruitment, welcomed the funding, particularly during what has been a challenging period for so many.

He said: “The SFC Upskilling Fund is a very important contribution to tackling the skills shortage in Scotland which allowed us to give out 360 free places last year. We’re delighted that our funding for 2020/21 has been increased, allowing us to build on that success.

“The courses being offered are already part of an established platform of online learning; when collating our portfolio for phase one of the funding disbursement, we were able to align our provision to national and regional skills strategies and requirements.

“Individuals can use these online courses to study with experts, enhance their CV and gain credits towards postgraduate qualifications. We would encourage anyone interested in applying for these free places to do so as soon as possible as it is likely they will be popular.”

Applications for fully funded places must be made by September 4. For more information, go to

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