The Prince's Foundation The Prince's Foundation
A photograph of a student studying building craft


Building Craft Programme, Heritage Skills NVQ Level 3

On the Building Craft Programme, you will work with a wide range of building crafts and expert craftspeople to take your skills to the next level.

We believe it is crucial to preserve these valuable skills, which are gradually being lost as the average age of workers in the Historic Buildings sector approaches retirement age. It’s crucial that we pass on the wisdom and knowledge built up over hundreds of thousands of years.

Who is this course for? It’s designed for craftspeople looking to bridge the gap between basic qualifications and becoming a master craftsperson working in the heritage sector.

Start Date

Monday 13th July 2020


Eight months


The Prince’s Foundation office, Shoreditch, London; The Prince’s Foundation headquarters, Dumfries House Estate in Scotland and then placements with master craftspeople in the UK.


£1,000 a month

Qualifications needed

An NVQ/SVQ Level 2 or 3 or equivalent from a Centre of Vocational Excellence, or an equivalent qualification in traditional building skills from a recognised authority, or the same amount of amount of work experience in your chosen craft, including stonemasonry, woodwork, bricklaying, roofing and tiling, plastering, thatching, blacksmithing and painting and decorating.

Ideal candidates

The programme is suitable for participants 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.

How to apply

Applications for the Building Craft Programme 2020-21 are now closed.

To be added to the mailing list for the 2021-22 programme please email Michael Goodger, [] (

As we are committed to equal opportunities we would also like you to download and complete our Equal Opportunities Form to send as part of your application.

Interviews will take place at 19–22 Charlotte Road, London, EC2A 3SG in April 2020.

For more information please contact Michael Goodger, / +44(0)1290 425 230

Course structure

The course starts with an intensive three-week Summer School, 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, at the Dumfries House Estate in Scotland, you will take part in craft workshops, with master craftspeople, including: stonemasonry, joinery and timber framing, thatching, lime plastering and pargeting.

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

After the Summer School you will undertake your first placement which is a 10-week ‘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 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 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 crafts and an opportunity to gain a Heritage Skills NVQ Level 3.

What skills will I achieve?

  • Design and build
  • Public consultation
  • Technical drawing
  • 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 and Live Build (stonemasonry, joinery/timber framing, thatching, lime plastering, pargeting)
  • 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

Watch previous students on graduation day.

What happens if I don’t complete the course?

For those who are unable to undertake the eight-month course, the three-week Summer School can be taken independently. For those undertaking the programme, we recommend pursuing the NVQ qualification. But in some instances this may not be appropriate, nor is it available for all trades. If you have any questions regarding the qualification, please [contact us](mailto: and we would be happy to discuss the options available.