Brief description: Application is now open for the CSC Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD students from developing Commonwealth countries to study in UK, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
Application Deadline: 15th November, 2016
Offered annually? Yes
Subject Areas: All subject areas are eligible, although the CSC’s selection criteria give priority to applications that demonstrate strong relevance to development.
Levels of study: Masters and PhD
About Scholarship: Each year, 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.
Scholarship Offered Since: 1959
Scholarship Type: Masters (one-year courses only) and PhD Scholarship
Who is qualified to apply?
To apply for these scholarships, you must:
- Be a Commonwealth citizen, refugee, or British protected person
- Be permanently resident in a developing Commonwealth country
- Be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September/October 2016
- By October 2017, hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard, or a second class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree)
The CSC promotes equal opportunity, gender equity, and cultural exchange. Applications are encouraged from a diverse range of candidates.
Applications are considered according to the following selection criteria:
- Academic merit of the candidate
- Quality of the proposal
- Potential impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country
Each year, the CSC invites selected nominating bodies to submit a specific number of nominations. The deadline for nominating bodies to submit nominations to the CSC is 13 December 2016.
The CSC invites around three times more nominations than scholarships available – therefore, nominated candidates are not guaranteed to be awarded a scholarship. There are no quotas for scholarships for any individual country. Candidates nominated by national nominating agencies are in competition with those nominated by other nominating bodies, and the same standards will be applied to applications made through either channel.
Number of Scholarships: Approximately 300 scholarships are awarded each year. The CSC invites around three times more nominations than scholarships available – therefore, nominated candidates are not guaranteed to get a scholarship. There are no quotas for scholarships for any individual country. Candidates nominated by national nominating agencies are in competition with those nominated by universities/university bodies, and the same standards will be applied to applications made through either channel.
Duration of Scholarships: 12 months for Masters and up to 36 months for PhD
Eligible Countries: Developing commonwealth countries
Value of Scholarships: 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 usually the cost of journeys made before your award is finally confirmed)
- Approved tuition and examination fees
- Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,043 per month, or £1,279 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at 2016-2017 levels)
- Thesis grant towards the cost of preparing a thesis or dissertation, where applicable
- Warm clothing allowance, where applicable
- Study travel grant towards the costs of study-related travel within the UK or overseas
- For PhD Scholars, fieldwork grant towards the cost of fieldwork undertaken overseas (usually the cost of one economy class return airfare to your fieldwork location), where approved
- For PhD Scholars, paid mid-term visit (airfare) to your home country (unless you have claimed (or intend to claim) spouse and/or child allowances during your scholarship, or have received a return airfare to your home country for fieldwork)
- If your scholarship is at least 18 months long, the following family allowances:
- Spouse allowance of £224 per month if you and your spouse are living together at the same address in the UK (unless your spouse is also in receipt of a scholarship; other conditions also apply)
- Child allowance of £224 per month for the first child, and £110 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if you are accompanied by your spouse and children and they are living with you at the same address in the UK
- If you are widowed, divorced, or a single parent (irrespective of the length of your scholarship), child allowance of £448 per month for the first child, and £110 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if you are accompanied by your children and they are living with you at the same address in the UK The CSC’s family allowances are intended to be only a contribution towards the cost of maintaining your family in the UK. The true costs are likely to be considerably higher, and you must be able to supplement these allowances in order to support any family members who come to the UK with you.
To be taken at: UK Universities
How to Apply
You must apply to one of the following nominating bodies in the first instance – the CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships:
- National nominating agencies – this is the main route of application. See link below
- Selected universities/university bodies, which can nominate their own academic staff. See link below
- Selected non-governmental organisations and charitable bodies
All applications must be made through your nominating body in your home country. Each nominating body is responsible for its own selection process. 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. The CSC does not impose any age limit on applicants, but nominating bodies may do so in line with their own priorities.
You must make an application using the CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS), in addition to any other application form that you are required to complete by your nominating body.
Your application must be submitted to and endorsed by one of the approved nominating bodies listed above. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the EAS to a nominating body in your home country.
You are advised to complete and submit your application as soon as possible, as the EAS will be very busy in the days leading up to the application deadline.
You must provide the following supporting documentation to be received by the CSC by 6 January 2017 in order for your application to be eligible for consideration:
- References from at least two individuals
- For PhD candidates only, supporting statement from a proposed supervisor in the UK from at least one of the institutions named on your application form
Visit Scholarship webpage for details. Read carefully for guidance.
Sponsors: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) and UK Department for International Development (DFID).
Important Notes: You should apply to study at a UK university with which the CSC has a part funding agreement. Click here for a list of UK universities which have part funding agreements with the CSC