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UK Commonwealth Scholarships 2022 (Fully-Funded Masters & PhD) for Developing Countries

Application for UK Commonwealth Scholarships are now open for Masters and PhD students from developing Commonwealth countries to study in UK, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Application Deadline: 1st November 2021 16:00 (GMT)

Offered annually? Yes

Eligible Countries: Developing commonwealth countries

Subject Areas: All subject areas are eligible, although the CSC’s selection criteria gives priority to applications that demonstrate strong relevance to development.

commonwealth scholarship

About Scholarship: Each year, UK 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.

Be sure to Watch this Video on Application Requirements for Commonwealth Scholarship and How to Submit Your Application before applying

Offered Since: 1959

Type: Masters, PhD

Who is qualified to apply? To apply for these scholarships, you must:

PhD

To apply for UK Commonwealth 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 September 2022
  • By September 2022, hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard, or a second-class degree (2:2) and a relevant postgraduate qualification (a Master’s degree)
  • NOT be registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, at a UK university before September 2022
  • NOT have commenced and be currently registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, in your home country or elsewhere
  • Have the support of a potential supervisor from at least one UK university listed in your application form
  • Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format
  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship

Masters

To apply for UK Commonwealth 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 September 2022
  • By September 2022, hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard, or a second class degree (2:2) and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree). 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 justification as to why you wish to undertake this study
  • NOT be registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, at a UK university or in your home country before September 2022
  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship
  • Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format

The CSC promotes equal opportunity, gender equity, and cultural exchange. Applications are encouraged from a diverse range of candidates.

Selection Criteria: 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

Selection process

Each year, the CSC invites selected nominating bodies to submit a specific number of nominations.

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

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)
  • 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 UK Commonwealth Scholarships 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)
  • Family allowances, as follows (rates quoted at 2021-2022 levels):
    • If you are accompanied by your spouse but no children: spouse allowance of £244 per month
      for a maximum period of nine months, 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)
    • If you are accompanied by your spouse and children: spouse allowance of £244 per month
      and child allowance of £244 per month for the first child, and £120 per month for the second
      and third child under the age of 16, if your spouse and children are living with you at the same
      address in the UK (unless your spouse is also in receipt of a scholarship; other conditions
      also apply)
    • If you are accompanied by your children but no spouse: child allowance of £465 per month for
      the first child, and £120 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if your
      children are living with you at the same address in the UK

To be taken at: UK Universities

How to Apply for UK Commonwealth 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:

  • National nominating agencies – this is the main route of application
  • Selected universities/university bodies, which can nominate their own academic staff
  • Selected non-governmental organisations and charitable bodies

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.

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.

The CSC will not accept supporting documentation submitted by nominating agencies or outside the online application system.

Visit PhD Scholarship webpage for details. Read carefully for guidance.

Visit Masters Scholarship webpage for details. Read carefully for guidance.

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