Commonwealth Masters Scholarships To Study In UK

Commonwealth Masters Scholarships To Study In UK

Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Commonwealth Masters Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and are aimed at those who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK.

Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships are for candidates from low and middle-income Commonwealth countries, for full-time Master’s study at a UK university.

These scholarships are offered under six themes:

  1. Science and technology for development
  2. Strengthening health systems and capacity
  3. Promoting global prosperity
  4. Strengthening global peace, security and governance
  5. Strengthening resilience and response to crises
  6. Access, inclusion and opportunity

Eligibility for Commonwealth Masters Scholarships

To apply for these scholarships, you must:

  • Be a citizen of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country, or be a British Protected Person.
  • Be permanently resident in an eligible Commonwealth country.
  • Be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in around September/October.
  • Hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honors standard, or a second class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree) by October. The CSC would not normally fund a second UK Master’s degree. If you are applying for a second UK Master’s degree, you will need to provide some justification as to why you wish to undertake this study. Perhaps, you really want to further your studies, but you are unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship.

Commonwealth Masters Scholarships Worth

Each scholarship provides:

  • Approved airfare from your home country to the UK and return at the end of your award (the CSC will not reimburse the cost of fares for dependants, nor the cost of journeys made before your award is confirmed)
  • Approved tuition fees Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,084 per month, or £1,330 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area.
  • Warm clothing allowance, where applicable. Thesis grant towards the cost of preparing a thesis or dissertation, where applicable
  • Study travel grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas. If you are widowed, divorced, or a single parent, a child allowance of £465 per month for the first child, and £114 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16 if your children accompany you and they are living with you at the same address in the UK.

Eligible Commonwealth Countries

  1. Antigua and Barbuda
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Belize
  4. Botswana
  5. Cameroon
  6. Dominica
  7. Eswatini
  8. Fiji
  9. The Gambia
  10. Ghana
  11. Grenada
  12. Guyana
  13. India
  14. Jamaica
  15. Kenya
  16. Kiribati
  17. Lesotho
  18. Malawi
  19. Malaysia
  20. Mauritius
  21. Montserrat
  22. Mozambique
  23. Namibia
  24. Nauru
  25. Nigeria
  26. Pakistan
  27. Papua New Guinea
  28. Rwanda
  29. Samoa
  30. Sierra Leone
  31. Solomon Islands
  32. South Africa
  33. Sri Lanka
  34. St Helena
  35. St Lucia
  36. St Vincent and the Grenadines
  37. Tanzania
  38. Tonga
  39. Tuvalu
  40. Uganda
  41. Vanuatu
  42. Zambia

How To Apply For Commonwealth Masters Scholarships

You must apply to one of the following nominating bodies in the first instance – the CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships:

All applications must be made through one of these nominating bodies. Each nominating body is responsible for its own selection process and may have additional eligibility criteria. 

You must check with your nominating body for their specific advice and rules for applying, their own eligibility criteria, and their own closing date for applications.

You must make your application using the CSC’s online application system, in addition to any other application that you are required to complete by your nominating body. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the online application system.

All applications must be submitted by January at the latest unless otherwise stated.

You are advised to complete and submit your application as soon as possible, as the online application system will be very busy in the days leading up to the application deadline.

Your application must include all the required supporting documentation in order for your application to be eligible for consideration. Supporting Documents may include:

  • Proof of citizenship or refugee status – uploaded to the online application system
  • Full transcripts detailing all your higher education qualifications (with certified translations if not in English) – uploaded to the online application system
  • References from at least two individuals – submitted directly by the referees to the online application system (referees will be sent an email request)

Completing the application form

In the application form, applicants would be asked to:

  • List all undergraduate and postgraduate university qualifications obtained.
  • List up to 10 publications and prizes.
  • Provide details of employment history and explain how the experience gained supports and is relevant to the programme to be undertaken in the UK.
  • List names and positions of three referees who are qualified to comment on both their capacity to benefit from the proposed Scholarship in the UK and their ability to deliver development impact afterwards. One of the referees must be a current employer (if applicable) and at least two references must be included with the application.
  • Provide a Development Impact statement in four parts.

In the first part applicants would explain how the proposed scholarship relates to:

  1. Development issues at the global, national, and local level
  2. Development issues connected to the chosen CSC development theme and the wider sector

The second part would explain how they intend to apply their new skills once the Scholarship ends.

The third part would outline what they expect will change in development terms following the Scholarship, including:

  1. The outcomes that they aim to achieve
  2. The timeframe for their implementation
  3. Who the beneficiaries will be

In the fourth part applicants should write about how the impact of their work could be best measured and evidenced.

Applicants are also asked to:

  • Confirm what their award objectives are and how each of them will be met by the Scholarship programme.
  • Confirm what their career plans are for the 5 years following the Scholarship.
  • Confirm their long-term career plans.
  • Provide a detailed plan of study.
  • Provide a personal statement to summarise the ways in which their personal background has encouraged them to want to make an impact in their home country. Applicants may wish to highlight any areas where they have already made significant contributions, including overcoming personal or community barriers in accessing higher education or within their field.
  • Summarise the ways in which they have engaged in voluntary activities and the opportunities they have had to demonstrate leadership.

Choosing A University or Study

You may find the following resources useful when researching your choices of institution and course of study in the UK:

  • Study UK – British Council website, with guidance for international students and a course and institution search
  • Steps to Postgraduate Study – a guide to asking the right questions about taught postgraduate study in the UK
  • – information for postgraduate students, with a course search
  • Prospects For Postgraduate Study– information on postgraduate study in the UK
  • Research Excellent Framework 2014 results – results of a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions
  • Steps to Postgraduate Study – a guide to asking the right questions about taught postgraduate study in the UK
  • UCAS Postgraduate – guidance on how to find and apply for a postgraduate course
  • Unistats – the official website for comparing UK higher education course data
  • UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) – advice for international students on choosing a course of study

Application Deadline: Applications usually opens yearly in September.

For More Information, visit the Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship.