Frequently Asked Questions

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

Q1: Is the SFSA for Design only for designers?

A1:  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.

Q2: What are the schools that offer courses supported by the SFSA for Design? 

A2: Depending on whether you are looking to deepen or broaden your skillsets, you may consider courses either from the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) or from the private training providers. What is important is to demonstrate how the course(s) will support your growth in your career plan.

More recently, 100% online courses are also supported. 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 as well as relevant training programmes required for the job roles.

Q3: What are the courses in emerging design areas that are supported by the SFSA for Design?

A3: Some of the 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.

Q4: What is the qualification level/certification of supported courses that I can take to apply for the SFSA for Design?

A4: These courses may include micro-certification programmes, certificate courses, diplomas, degree programmes, postgraduate programmes (include Masters, specialist diplomas, graduate certificates) and executive education programmes.

Q5: Do I have to be enrolled in the course(s) before I apply?

A5: No, you do not have to be enrolled at the point of application. However, you will need to submit your proof of course application when you submit your application via the online portal. Otherwise, your application is considered incomplete and will be closed. 

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

Q6: What happens if my course fees are less than $4,000?

A6: You may choose to take up to 3 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 stacking of a maximum of 4 courses is allowed.

Q7: Must I be employed to get the award?

A7: One does not need to be currently employed to apply but needs to have at least 3 years of working experience.

Q8: Do I have to be nominated by my employer before I apply?

A8: No, you do not have to. However, it will be great if your organisation could write you a recommendation letter to show your contribution to the relevant sector as nominated applicants will be considered more favourably. 

If you have a referral/testimonial from your current/last employer, you may submit it as part of your application in place of the formal nomination. 

Q9: Is there a bond that I need to serve after completing my course(s)?

A9: No, there is no bond to be served.

Q10: Do I need to return the award amount if I do not complete the course(s)?

A10: 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.

Q11: When can I receive the award amount?

A11: The disbursements will take approximately six weeks from the date of receipt of all the necessary claim documents.

Q12: When is the application period?

A12: The SFSA will have at least 2 application windows a year. Follow us on our social media channels or subscribe to our eNewsletter to get updates. You may also email for more information or any queries.

Q13: Can I apply for both the SFSA for Design and the DesignSingapore (Dsg) Scholarship?

A13: 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. If you receive the Dsg Scholarship, you will not be eligible for the SFSA for the same course as it will be fully funded under the Dsg Scholarship.

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

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