The Prince's Foundation The Prince's Foundation


Traditional Building Skills Programme NVQ Level 3

The Prince’s Foundation and QEST (the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust) are collaborating to deliver a training programme in traditional building skills, linking short courses and workshops with a series of live training builds on heritage sites across the UK.

Through a focus on practical, project-based education, this course will not only further develop technical skills and knowledge but also provide site-based learning and the training in business skills vital to the development of the next generation of skilled craftspeople.

Start date



One year


Dumfries House Estate in Scotland; Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland; The Royal Gardens at Highgrove and placements with master craftspeople around the UK.


£1,000 a month

Qualifications required

A NVQ/SVQ Level 2 or 3 or equivalent amount of work experience in your chosen craft, including stonemasonry, woodwork, plastering, blacksmithing, bricklaying, thatching and painting and decorating.

How to apply

Applications are closed for this year.

For more information please contact

Ideal Candidates

The programme is suitable for students who have experience in their trade of choice, either via college or on-site experience, but are looking to focus more specifically on heritage and traditional building crafts. With a focus on multidisciplinary learning, interest in exposure to elements of architecture, design and a range of craft skills is important.

Course Structure

The course starts with an intensive series of workshops at Dumfries House Estate in Scotland, providing an introduction to topics such as traditional architecture, drawing, geometry and the principles of sustainable development. This residential weeklong course will also provide a grounding in the principles and practices of The Prince’s Foundation and QEST. 

Following this introductory course, participants will take part in a series of Live Build projects at Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland, The Dumfries House Estate in Scotland and The Royal Gardens at Highgrove. Students will build a complete structure using traditional materials and techniques while being overseen by tutors. Alongside their own trades, they will be given the chance to work on a range of other trades and provide design input. Students will be able to spend some time on short placements with craftspeople and firms in their sector, to learn first-hand from masters in the trade. In collaboration with industry partners, a series of short courses will be delivered throughout the year at the Dumfries House Estate and in London, covering topics across the building crafts, decorative and applied arts, drawing and sketching, architecture and urbanism as well as business skills. In addition, mentoring support will be provided from our network of alumni.

Please note that this is a full-time course. Participants will work up to 35 hours a week, with some weekend work required (especially during the Live Build).

What qualifications will I gain?

Practical experience in traditional building skills and an opportunity to gain a Heritage Skills NVQ Level 3.

What happens if one does not complete the course?

Please note that this is a 1 year course and the expectation would be that you will commit to completing the full course.