Education Fund

Help with gaining new skills and knowledge to serve your community


The Education Fund gives grants for education and training to help Muslims who can demonstrate a high level of commitment to community service, to help them to better serve Islam and Muslims in the UK.

Unfortunately, we cannot offer you a grant from the Education Fund if:

  • you are applying for an undergraduate degree (except for Islamic studies subjects)
  • you are in the UK as an overseas student
  • you are on a student visa
  • you are an asylum seeker
  • your course of study has started
  • your fees have already been paid
  • you are seeking funding for a project

The Education Fund will prioritise applicants from the following groups of individuals: 

  • Students and recent graduates of Islamic studies programmes from universities, seminaries and Islamic educational institutions.
  • Islamic studies teachers teaching at state or independent faith schools, madrasahs and maktabs
  • Serving Imams and scholars who are leading in mosques and community projects


The deadline for applications for postgraduate courses (Masters/PhDs) starting in September 2022 or January 2023 is midnight on Sunday 10th July 2022. 

To apply for a grant, please start by booking a pre-application consultation with one of our Grants Officers.


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What can I get help with?

You can apply for help with:

1. Vocational training courses – up to one year. This includes but is not limited to courses in:

Alimmiyah and Shariah studies
Leadership programmes
Media engagement
Interfaith engagement
Community and Youth development
Social work
Radio, TV and Film
Public speaking
Project management

2. Postgraduate Academic courses – university-based courses starting in September or January. This includes:

a. Masters programmes
b. PG Certificates and Diplomas
c. Research degrees and PhDs

Grants for undergraduate degrees are only available for Islamic studies subjects.

3. Learning resources – books and equipment related to your chosen course

Can I apply?

To apply, you must be a Muslim based in the UK and be able to demonstrate that you are unable to afford the costs of the course you are applying for. To confirm that you can get help, we will look at how much money you have, your monthly income and expenses.

If you are seeking asylum, on a student visa, work permit or have no status in the UK, then you will not be able to apply to this fund.

Through your application, you will need to demonstrate that you are actively working to serve your community and that you have identified education or training that will increase your effectiveness in serving Islam and Muslims in the UK. You may apply for courses in any subject area.

You may apply for a grant to do a course abroad in Islamic studies subjects only.

To apply for help from National Zakat Foundation you must have your own email address, mobile phone number and a device able to connect to the internet.

How much funding can I get?

The amount of help we can give you depends on your financial circumstances and the course you would like to do.

The maximum we can give you is £10,000 per year. This includes the cost of any learning resources you may need.

Grants are available for up to one year for vocational training and three years for postgraduate academic education. If your course lasts longer than this, you will need to demonstrate how you will fund the remainder of your course. You will be asked to demonstrate how you will pay for your living costs for the duration of your course.

How long will the process take?

The application form takes around 60 minutes to complete.

Applications for vocational courses are processed on a rolling basis and are accepted throughout the year. We will aim to give you a decision on your application within 1 month.

Applications for postgraduate academic courses which are university-based and start in September or January are accepted during the following application windows:

For postgraduate courses (MA,MSC Phd) starting in September 2022 or January 2023 – February 7th to the 10th of July 2022.

We will aim to give you a decision on your application within one month of the application window closing.

If you need help with fees for your current period of study, you may apply at any time. You cannot apply for a grant for fees you owe for a previous period of study (e.g. previous semesters/years).

If you do not give us all the information and documents we need to look at your application, your application will be delayed and you will have up to 14 days to give us anything you have missed.

What happens once I have applied?

Once you have sent us your application, the Education team will make sure that you have given us all the information and documents we need to look at your application and that you are eligible to apply for help. If there is anything you have missed, you will be asked to send it to us within 14 days.

We will then look at how much money you have, your monthly income and expenses to confirm that we can help you.

We will also look at the skills and experience you have told us about in your CV, your track record in community service, your communication skills and your motivation for doing the course to help us decide whether we can give you a grant.

We will look at references and carry out checks (including social media) to assess any potential risk of harm to the Muslim community. You will be asked to share your social media profiles with us in your application.

For vocational courses, if we can give you a grant, we will email you to confirm this and arrange payment. If we cannot give you a grant, we will email you to let you know.

For academic courses, your application will go through a shortlisting and interview process. If you are successful, we will email you to confirm this and arrange payment. If we cannot give you a grant, we will email you to let you know.

How many times can I apply?

We can give you one grant from the Education Fund each year, up to a maximum of three consecutive years.

What information and documents do I need to provide?

To apply, you will need to give us the following documents:

Photo ID
You can give us a copy of a passport, driving licence or other document given to you by the authorities.

Bank statements
We will need 3 full months of bank statements for all your bank accounts. For example, if you send us your application on 2nd January, you will need to give us bank statements for October, November and December.

An up to date CV which includes your work and education history, as well as any other information relevant to the course you would like help with.

Certificate of highest qualification
If you have any qualifications, we will need a copy of the certificate for the highest qualification you have.

We will need references from two people. A reference must be from a professional, either employer, tutor or community leader.

The referee must comment on the your character, quality of previous work/study, personal strengths, weaknesses, ability to work in groups, potential academic suitability and interest.

Audio/Video submission
As part of your application, you will need to send us an audio or video submission lasting no more than 3 minutes on the following:

‘Tell us about a project you’ve been involved in and what you have learned from the experience’

How will the grant be given?

For courses, your grant will be paid directly to your course provider or university. Before we can do this, you will need to give us an invoice from the provider to make the payment.

For learning resources, we will give you the money to buy the items yourself or pay the vendor directly. You will need to send us a receipt to show you have bought your items if you have bought them yourself.

What kind of people and courses have you given grants for in the past?

NZF has provided grants to people in the following example scenarios:

a. A sister volunteering for an intercommunity outreach project wants to develop her media engagement skills to help her to deal with media requests and increase the exposure of the project. She applies to NZF for a grant to do a ‘Skills for Media Engagement’ course at her local university.

b. A sister who is studying the foundational Islamic sciences wants to study at a more advanced level so she can develop a tarbiyah project for young Muslims. She applies to NZF for a grant to study for an Alimmiyah course at an Islamic college.

c. An Imam would like to improve his ability to deliver effective sermons. He applies to NZF for a grant to do a ‘Public Speaking’ course at his local college.

d. A sister who works for a Muslim umbrella body which represents Muslims in her town would like to learn how to engage the local community to promote her work. She applies to NZF for a grant to do a short course in ‘Broad-based community organising’.

What if I am not happy with your service?

Although we may not be able to help everyone who applies to us, we are committed to providing a high-quality service to all our applicants. If something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. We will use the information you give us to help improve our service.

If you are not happy about any part of our service, please email us on [email protected]

What will happen next?

We will reply to your email to confirm that we have received it within 5 working days.

We will look into your complaint. A Senior Grants Officer will review any evidence available and speak to members of staff if appropriate.

We will aim to reply to your complaint within 10 working days. If this is not possible, we will send you an update.

If you are not happy with our response to your complaint, you can ask for this to be reviewed by the Head of Service Delivery. The Head of Service Delivery will then review your complaint and respond to you directly.

How can I get more information?

For more information on applying to the Education Fund, please send us a message by clicking on the tab below.

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