Music & Drama Access Fund

What is the Music & Drama Access Fund?

The Music & Drama Access Fund provides small grants for Trinity candidates based in the UK and Ireland who experience barriers to accessing our music and drama qualifications. These barriers could include having Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, living in areas of rural isolation and/or socio-economic deprivation, being in a specific minority group and more. The grant will be used in order to help these candidates achieve one of our music or drama qualifications. 

The grant programme was piloted in 2020 and, based on the success of this we have delivered three further rounds. We have one round of the Music & Drama Access Fund per year, with applications usually open for a 6 week period from January through to February. 

The Access Fund grant is open to: 

  • an individual candidate 
  • a group of candidates working towards the same exam 
  • a group of individual candidates who are all working towards different exams but are being nominated by the same applicant. 

Candidates must be nominated via a standard online application form, by their music or drama teacher or other appropriate person who is familiar with their background and why they experience barriers to accessing our qualifications.  

You can apply for a maximum of £1,500 per group or £300 per candidate (or equivalent in Euros for applicants from the Republic of Ireland).

To learn more about the grant, who can apply for it and what the grant money can be spent on, please go to the Learn More section below.

Learn more
Case studies

How to apply?

The application process is relatively simple and will require you to answer a series of questions and write a budget explaining how you plan to spend the grant. Applications are made via an online form which is accessed below.  

The Access Fund is very competitive as we have a limited budget and receive more applications than we’re able to fund, so please ensure you write detailed responses to the questions – especially for those that are scored. The more information you can give us, the better understanding we will have of your application.  

We recommend that you:  

  1. Read the guidance notes and review the example high and low scoring applications via the link below.
  2. Complete the budget using the template provided.
  3. Submit your application via the online form. Please note that applications are currently closed. Applications will open again in January 2025.

If you have any queries after having read the guidance notes, please email 

Guidance notes (PDF)
Budget template (Excel)
Example applications

What happens next?

All the submitted applications are assessed and scored by a small team of people at Trinity, following an agreed set of criteria. This team identifies which applications are automatically funded and which ones the panel should assess. The panel make the final decision about which applications will be funded. 

You will receive an email from us 2-3 weeks after the application deadline. This email will confirm whether your application has been successful or not.  

If your application is successful, the money should be with you approximately eight weeks after the application deadline date. Money awarded for exam fees is not given out to you but held in a central fund at Trinity until you need to book the exam. 

How exam fees are applied varies depending on how the exam is entered for but, in short, you will either be required to pay for the exam and notify us so that we can refund you, or you will be instructed to deduct the amount from the total owed. 

Further details regarding this will be sent to you upon confirmation that your application has been successful.

If your application is successful you will need to write a report no later than 12 months after receiving your grant, once your candidates have taken their exam. This is an important part of the process to prove that you have spent the money that you were granted as agreed and demonstrate the impact for your students.

If your application is unsuccessful, you are welcome to reapply again next year.

We wish you the best of luck with your application!

Grant report

We would like to say thank you to Margaret Burbeck for her kind and generous donations to the Music & Drama Access Fund. 

Please do tell us what you think about the Music & Drama Access Fund - your feedback is very helpful in shaping the fund for the future.


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