Applications for the 2025 Masterclass programme will open in Autumn 2024. This will be announced across our website, newsletters and social media, so make sure you follow us to avoid missing any deadlines. If you have any questions, please email [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

The Patchwork Foundation’s flagship Masterclass Programme is for 18-30-year-olds interested in British politics and civil society. We’re looking for young people from traditionally underrepresented communities in political spaces who want to develop their personal and professional skill sets.

You will be part of a cohort of young people learning from the speakers and each other, cultivating mutual understanding and discovering new perspectives. With over 500 programme graduates, many have gone on to work directly with politicians, charities, NGOs, and across the private sector. You can see some alumni spotlights and read about our previous Masterclass sessions here.

Masterclass sessions cover political campaigning, broadcast media and politics, civil service careers, leadership, and policy. Masterclasses have been led by former Prime Ministers, Secretaries of State, Journalists and Political Strategists, with the sessions held at UK institutions like 10 Downing Street and Parliament.

Alongside our Masterclasses, we host skills sessions throughout the year that focus on developing your personal and professional skills, and are led by our Alumni and supporters. Some of these include public speaking, networking, debating, and more.

We also run a mentoring scheme, which is an optional addition to the Masterclass programme, pairing up participants with experienced professionals from a range of different fields and experiences. These sessions give you the opportunity to work on your personal development goals on a 1:1 basis, supplementing the skills you will gain from the Masterclass sessions.

The 2023 Programme was kindly sponsored by Hogan Lovells, Flint Global, Algbra, 777 Partners, Redstrike, South Street Asset Management, The Valesco Group and KPMG.

Entry requirements

We encourage you to apply if you fit the following criteria. If you’re interested in the programme but aren’t sure if you meet the requirements, feel free to discuss your application with us by emailing [email protected] 

  • Are aged between 18-30 years old at the start of the programme and residing in the UK. 
  • Identify as a young person who, for economic, social, cultural, geographical or health reasons, faces obstacles that prevent them from having effective access to politics and broader opportunities. 
  • Able to give time for monthly Masterclass sessions (approx. 50 hours across the year-long programme, predominantly composed of 2 hour sessions) and attend the required number of sessions to graduate from the programme 
    • At least two of these sessions must be attended in-person in a location in Central London
  • Are proactive and committed to making the most out of the whole programme. 
  • Have an interest in British Politics or Civil Society, such as: engagement in party politics, law, climate initiatives, grassroots campaigning etc. 
  • Able to commute on occasion to London, for Masterclass sessions (needs-based financial assistance is available).
  • Willing to engage in open discourse and remain respectful towards other participants, the organisation and speakers.

Below you can find a typical timeline of your time on the Masterclass programme, and what the year will look like for you:

  • January: Masterclass applications close and if successful, the interview stage commences
  • February: Masterclass Induction takes place where you meet the team and your fellow Patchworkers
  • March – April: First Masterclass of the year
  • May: Mentoring Scheme begins
  • May – November: Masterclasses and skills sessions continue
  • June: Mid-Year Review
  • November: Last Masterclass of the year, and mentoring scheme ends
  • December: Masterclass Graduation

To note: the above can be subject to change due to external factors.

Hear from our Graduates:

“Participating in the Masterclass Programme was a transformative experience, fostering increased confidence, honing public speaking skills, and providing valuable networking opportunities in the dynamic realm of politics.” Leanne, 2023 Graduate

“It gave me the opportunity to network in a beneficial way and meet some of the most inspiring figures in the country. I have learnt so much about myself which far exceeds my expectations… truly one of the best experiences of my life.” Sam, 2023 Graduate

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I’ve applied before; can I apply again? Yes
  • I’m a civil servant; can I apply? Yes
  • I don’t have any political experience; can I apply? Yes, we actively encourage those with a political interest but no experience to apply.
  • I have a full-time job; can I apply? Yes, if you can commit to preparing for and attending sessions totalling approximately 5 hours a month during weekday evenings.
  • Can I get a mentor? Yes, we have a mentoring programme.
  • Is travel to sessions reimbursed? We have a means-tested Accessibility Fund to allow those who would not otherwise be able to take part to travel to sessions.
  • What are your top tips for the application questions? Read the questions carefully, be honest in your answers and tell us about your passions.
  • Does the person I’d like to have a Masterclass with have to be well-known? No, you can pick anyone that you think you’d be able to learn from. Who you pick isn’t as important as why you want to hear from them.
  • I cannot submit my application on the website? Try different browsers, clear your history/cookies, and use a different network/device.

Masterclass Updates

Running Towards, not Running Away: A Masterclass with Anas Sarwar MSP

A Strategy for Success: My Masterclass with Deborah Mattinson

Building A Vision: A Masterclass with Sir Simon Fraser

Navigating Politics: Reflections from Steve Rotheram’s Masterclass

My Patchwork Journey – From Ambition to Realisation

Overcoming the Odds: A Masterclass from No.10 Downing Street