Building Craft Programme

Traditional craft skills are a living connection to our cultural heritage. Our Building Craft Programme helps craftspeople develop their skills, and understand how they fit into broader planning, design and building contexts.

Student stone carving

Start date: 9 July 2018

Duration: 8 months

Bursary: £1,000 per month

Overview: Our Building Craft Programme gives practical experience in traditional building crafts and an opportunity to gain a Heritage Skills NVQ Level 3. This course is designed for craftspeople looking to bridge the gap between basic qualifications and becoming a master craftsperson working within the heritage sector.


Our Building Craft Programme offers something for everyone, and we’ve worked with people across the world to deliver it. Over the course of this eight-month programme, you will work with a wide range of building crafts and expert craftspeople to learn all of the subtle nuances of the craft, taking your skills to the next level.

We believe it’s crucial to preserve these valuable skills, which are gradually being lost. With the average age of workers in the Historic Buildings sector reaching 55, and approaching retiring age, it is important we pass on the wisdom and knowledge that we’ve built up over hundreds of thousands of years.

The course starts with an intensive three week Summer School taking place in London and Scotland. Your first week in London will include drawing classes, geometry and structure exercises as well as architectural tours. During the second week, you will travel to the Dumfries House Estate in Scotland, where you will take part in craft workshops with master craftspeople, including in: stonemasonry, joinery and timber framing, thatching, lime plastering and pargetting.

The Summer School ends with a week-long design workshop. This includes public consultations, design modelling and technical drawing. A panel of stakeholders are drawn together to choose the winning design, which could then built as part of a ‘Live Build’. 

After the Summer School you will go to Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland to take part in your first placement on the ‘Live Build’. Here you will work alongside other Building Craft participants and construction professionals to gain first-hand experience on-site.

Once you have completed the Live Build you will then move on to placements with master craftspeople working on traditional new building schemes and conservation projects across the UK.

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

Heritage Skills NVQ Level 3

Key Skills and Outcomes from attending the programme:

  • How to set-up and run your own small business-through attendance of business skills course
  • Learn new skills in traditional building crafts through attending the Summer School
  • Workplace experience through training placements
  • The chance to work with some of the country’s leading master craftspeople
  • Support with further training courses and employment opportunities

We welcome applications from craftspeople who have studied any of a wide variety of building crafts including: stonemasonry, joinery, bricklaying, roofing and tiling, plastering, thatching, metalwork and painting and decorating. However we ask that applicants have qualified with either:

A United Kingdom NVQ/SVQ Level 2 or 3 or equivalent from a Centre of Vocational Excellence 


An equivalent qualification in traditional building skills from a recognised authority 


An equivalent amount of work experience in your chosen craft

All participants receive a monthly bursary of £1,000 to cover travel and subsistence. The Prince's Foundation covers the cost of accommodation whilst on placements. Travel and accommodation costs during the Summer School are also covered by the Prince’s Foundation.

Applications are now open.  The application deadline is 23rd February 2018. 

For more information please contact: Lauren Banks, Programme Coordinator


T: 020 7613 8582