- Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD studies in the UK are offered to citizens of developing Commonwealth countries.
- The Commonwealth scholarships are funded by the UK Department of International Development (DFID) with the aim of contributing to the UK’s international development strategies and wider overseas interests, supporting excellence in UK universities, and sustaining the core principles of the Commonwealth.
- Through this initiative, the CSFP contributes to development needs of Commonwealth member states by providing training for skilled and qualified academics and professionals and contributes to UK higher education and foreign policy aims through the encouragement of collaboration and links.
- Successful applicants can undertake their studies at any approved UK university or higher education institution with which the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) has a part funding agreement for specific study programs and research projects.
Fields of Study
- You can apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship for the following levels of study:
- Master’s (from 2013, the CSC will fund one-year Master’s courses only)
- Split-site, where the CSC supports one year’s study at a UK university as part of a PhD being undertaken in your home country
- All subject areas are eligible. Note, however, that the CSC’s selection criteria prioritize applications that focus on development-related subject areas.
What does the scholarship cover?
Recipients of this award are entitled to:
- Approved airfare from your country to the UK and back at the beginning and end of your course. (The CSC does not reimburse airfare for dependants, or for trips undertaken before the course is complete.)
- Approved tuition and examination fees
- A stipend (living allowance) at a rate of £1043 per month, or £1279 per month for universities in the London Metropolitan area
- A thesis grant that goes towards the cost of preparing a dissertation or thesis, where applicable
- A warm clothing allowance, where applicable
- A study travel grant to cover the costs of study-related travel within the UK or overseas
- A fieldwork grant for PhD scholars to cover the costs of fieldwork undertaken overseas, consisting of an economy class return airfare to your fieldwork location, where approved.
- A paid mid-term visit (airfare) to one’s home country for PhD scholars, unless you have claimed (or plan to claim) spouse and child allowance during your scholarship, or have received a return airfare to your country of origin for fieldwork.
For recipients of awards that are at least 18 months long, the following family allowances:
- Spouse allowance of £224 per month if both of you are living at the same address in the UK. This allowance does not apply if your spouse has also received the same scholarship.
- Child allowance of £224 per month for the first child, and £110 for the second and third child, all under the age of 16. This allowance is only applicable if your spouse and children are living with you at the same address in the UK.
- If you are a single parent, widowed, or divorced, you receive child allowance of £448 for the first child, and £110 for the second and third child as long as they are under the age of 16. Your children must have accompanied you to the UK, and be living with you at the same address. These allowances are given irrespective of the length of your course.
- Note that CSC’s family allowances are supposed to be a contribution towards your family’s upkeep while in the UK.
How many scholarships are given?
- The CSC awards over 800 fellowships and scholarships for postgraduate studies and professional development courses every year.
- The CSC invites around three times more nominations than scholarships available. Nominated candidates are therefore not guaranteed to get a scholarship opportunity.
Which countries are targeted?
Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda Bangladesh Barbados
Belize Bermuda Botswana Cameroon
Cayman Islands Dominica Falkland Islands Fiji
Ghana Gibraltar Grenada Guyana
India Jamaica Kenya Kiribati
Lesotho Malawi Malaysia Mauritius
Montserrat Mozambique Namibia Nauru
Nigeria Pakistan Papua New Guinea Pitcairn Islands
Rwanda St Helena St Kitts and Nevis St Lucia
St Vincent and The Grenadines Samoa Seychelles
Sierra Leone Solomon Islands South Africa Sri Lanka
Swaziland Tanzania Tonga Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda
Vanuatu Virgin Islands (British) Zambia
Am I Eligible to Apply?
To qualify for these scholarships:
- You must be a Commonwealth citizen, refugee, or British protected person
- You must be a permanent resident in a Commonwealth developing country
- You must be available to start your academic program in the UK by the commencement of the UK academic year that begins in September or October 2018.
- You must hold a first degree of at least an upper second class (2:1) honors degree, or a second-class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification (typically a Master’s)
- NB: The CSC promotes gender equity, equal opportunity, and cultural exchange. Applications are therefore encouraged from a diverse range of candidates from Commonwealth countries.
How Do I Apply – Next Steps
- First, note that you can only apply to study at Masters or PhD level at a UK university with which the CSC has a part funding agreement.
- The CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships. You will, therefore, need to apply through one of the following nominating agencies:
- National nominating agencies (the main route of application)
- Selected universities or university bodies (who can nominate their academic staff)
- Selected non-governmental organizations and charitable bodies
- Make your application through a nominating body in your home country
- Each nominating body conducts its own selection process
- Check with your nominating body for specific advice and application rules, and for their closing date for applications.
- Ensure that you attached the relevant supporting documents:
- References from at least two individuals
- Academic transcripts
- PhD candidates will require a supporting statement from a proposed supervisor in the UK based at one of the institutions listed on your application form
- You must make your application using the CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS).
- Your Application must be submitted via the EAS to a nominating body in your home country; otherwise, the CSC will not accept it.
- Applications open in late September 2017
How do I get more information?
- Free Scholarships – http://www.freeundergraduatescholarships.info/
- Top Undergrad Scholarships – http://internationalscholarships.ca/category/level-of-study/undergraduate/
- Top Graduate Scholarships – http://internationalscholarships.ca/category/level-of-study/graduate/
- GOT QUESTIONS – Join the Discussion at our Forum – http://myinternationalscholarships.com/forum