Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD study in the UK are offered for citizens of developing Commonwealth countries. These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), with the aim of contributing to the UK’s international development aims and wider overseas interests, supporting excellence in UK higher education, and sustaining the principles of the Commonwealth.
Students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK can apply for Commonwealth Shared Scholarships for Master’s study, jointly supported by UK universities.
Purpose: To contribute to development needs of Commonwealth countries by providing training for skilled and qualified professionals and academics who would not otherwise have been able to study in the UK.
Intended beneficiaries: High-quality postgraduate students who have not studied extensively overseas before, who would not otherwise have the opportunity to study in the UK, and who have the potential to enhance the development of their home countries with the knowledge and leadership skills they acquire.
Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are offered for selected taught Master’s courses, and are usually tenable for one year only. These scholarships do not cover undergraduate courses, PhD study, or any pre-sessional English language teaching.
To apply for these scholarships, you must:
- Be a Commonwealth citizen, refugee, or British protected person
- Be permanently resident in a developing Commonwealth country (for a full list of eligible countries, see the terms and conditions)
- Be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September/October 2017
- By August 2017, hold a first degree of either first or upper second class (2:1) classification, or lower second class (2:2) classification plus a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree)
- Not have studied or worked for one (academic) year or more in a developed country
- Be unable, either yourself or through your family, to pay to study in the UK
The CSC promotes equal opportunity, gender equity, and cultural exchange. Applications are encouraged from a diverse range of candidates. The CSC is committed to administering and managing its scholarships and fellowships in a fair and transparent manner – for more information, see the CSC anti-fraud policy.
Terms and conditions
For full terms and conditions, see the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships 2017 terms and conditions
Each participating UK university will conduct its own recruitment process to select a specified number of candidates for Shared Scholarships. Universities must put forward their selected candidates to the CSC by 26 April 2017. The CSC will then confirm that these candidates meet the eligibility criteria for this scheme. Universities will inform candidates of their results by July 2017.
Selection criteria include:
- Academic merit of the candidate
- Potential impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country.
How to apply
You should apply to study an eligible Master’s course at a UK university that is participating in the Shared Scholarship scheme. Click here for a list of participating universities and eligible courses
You must make your application using the CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS). Click here for full information on how to use the EAS, including detailed guides. The EAS will open for Shared Scholarship applications on 17 November 2016.
Before applying, you must check with your UK university for their specific advice, admission requirements, and rules for applying. Some universities may require you to complete their own admissions application form as well, which may have a separate closing date. You must take the necessary steps to secure admission to your chosen course(s) at your preferred university/universities at the same time as applying for a Shared Scholarship. Click here for a list of contact details
You can apply for more than one course and/or to more than one university, but you may only accept one offer of a Shared Scholarship. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the EAS to your UK university or applications directly from individuals.
All applications must be submitted by 23.59 (BST) on 29 March 2017 at the latest. Each university has its own closing date for applications, and most are before 29 March 2017. For a full list of closing dates, see the terms and conditions.
All enquiries about these scholarships should be directed to the university to which you wish to apply