Singapore’s highest honour for designers and designs across all disciplines
One of Asia’s premier design festivals that champions design thought leadership
National Design Centre

111 Middle Road
Singapore 188969

Opening hours
Everyday 9am to 9pm

Frequently Asked Questions

7 min read

Here are some FAQs about the SkillsFuture Study Awards (SFSA) for Design. If you have other queries, please email

Q1: Who can apply for the SFSA for Design?

A1:  Only Singaporeans with at least three years of work experience are eligible. Please refer to the SSG website for more details on the eligibility criteria.

Q2: Is the SFSA for Design only for designers?

A2:  No, it is for both design and non-design professionals!

Design professionals can consider deepening their skills in the design disciplines they are currently in (e.g. an architect deepening his expertise by taking advanced architectural programmes), or broadening their skills in complementary areas such as business, innovation and/or technology (e.g. designers who wish to level up on business or leadership skills as they run their own consultancy and/or are managing staff).

Non-designers may also apply for the SFSA if they can demonstrate how the programme can support their career plan to advocate and champion design adoption in their organisations. However, for non-designers, only post-graduate or executive education programmes are supported.

Q3: What are the schools and education that offer courses supported by the SFSA for Design? 

A3: You may consider courses either from Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) or from private training providers. Online courses are also supported. It is important to demonstrate how the course(s) will support your career growth.

Click here to find out more about the eligibility criteria, courses that are supported by the SFSA for Design and to submit your application via the online portal.

You may refer to the Skills Framework for Design that aims to help individuals, design employers, and training providers find out more about the design sector, the available career pathways, job roles, existing and emerging skills, and relevant training programmes required for the job roles.

Q4: What are the courses in emerging design area that are supported by SFSA for Design?

A4: Some of the emerging design areas include: 

  • Courses from the experience making cluster (e.g. Design Strategy, Service Design, User Experience/User Interface Design, 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.

Q5: What is the qualification level/certification of supported courses that I can apply for the SFSA for Design?

A5: These courses may include micro-certification programmes, certificate courses, diplomas, degree programmes, postgraduate programmes (which include Master’s degrees, specialist diplomas, graduate certificates) and executive education programmes.

Q6: Do I have to be enrolled in the course(s) before I apply?

A6: No, you do not have to be enrolled at the point of application. However, you will need to submit your proof of course application. Otherwise, your application is considered incomplete and will be disqualified. 

If you are shortlisted, you will be required to submit your proof of course enrolment (e.g. acceptance letter) issued by the institution to Dsg within 14 working days of notification.

Q7: What happens if my course fees are less than $4,000?

A7: You may choose to take up to three other courses, such that the total course fees are at least $4,000 (after deducting all grants, subsidies, awards, scholarships, sponsorships, etc). Do note that you are allowed to stack a maximum of four courses. All courses must minimally lead to a Certification of Proficiency.

Q8: Must I be employed to get the award?

A8: One does not need to be currently employed to apply but needs to have at least three years of working experience.

Q9: Do I have to be nominated by my employer before I apply?

A9: No, you do not have to. However, applications supported by employer’s nomination/referral letter/testimonial will be considered more favourably. This must be (i) from your current employer, and (ii) explicit and specific to your current application for the SFSA.  Content of the nomination/referral letter/testimonial should include but not be limited to the following:

  • Reason(s) for nomination;
  • Details of nominee’s work performance and potential for advancement in the company/sector; and
  • Explain how the course(s) of study will help the nominee fulfil current and future job requirements.

Q10: Is there a bond that I need to serve after completing my course(s)?

A10: No, there is no bond to be served.

Q11: Do I need to return the award amount if I do not complete the course(s)?

A11: Yes, you will need to return the award amount that was disbursed to you if you fail to complete the course(s) and/or fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the award stated in the Letter of Undertaking.

Q12: How do I accept the award if my application is successful?

A12: Dsg will inform potential awardees via email on the need to attend a compulsory briefing session. Awardees will then receive the Letter of Undertaking (LOU) from Dsg. The Letter of Acceptance (LOA) must be signed and returned to Dsg within 14 working days from the date of the LOU.

Q13: When can I submit my claims and receive the award amount?

A13: The first tranche of claims can be submitted after the signed Letter of Acceptance (LOA) is returned to Dsg. Claim forms need to be duly signed and completed, and submitted together with the proof of payment. The second tranche of claims can be made once you have completed the course and there is proof of completion. The disbursements will take approximately six weeks from the date of receipt of all the necessary claim documents.

Q14: When is the application period?

A14: The application period will be from 23 August 2021 – 5 November 2021. Follow us on our social media channels for more updates. You may also email for more information.

Q15: Can I apply for both the SFSA for Design and the DesignSingapore (Dsg) Scholarship?

A15: Yes, it is possible to receive funding from both the SFSA for Design and Dsg Scholarship concurrently if you are taking different courses of study.

For the same course of study – you may apply concurrently. But if you receive the Dsg Scholarship, you will not be eligible for the SFSA as the course will be fully funded under the Dsg Scholarship.

Do note that your applications for the two schemes will be subject to evaluation under their respective eligibility criteria.

Q16: Can I apply for the SFSA for Design again if I’ve been awarded previously?

A16: Each Singaporean may only receive one SFSA. If you have been awarded the SFSA for Design, you will not be eligible for another SFSA regardless the sector.

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Singapore’s highest honour for designers and designs across all disciplines
One of Asia’s premier design festivals that champions design thought leadership
National Design Centre