Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD study

Developing Commonwealth country citizens

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). For information on other scholarships offered by the CSC, visit Apply page.

Levels and subjects of study

You can apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship for the following levels of study:

  • Master’s (one-year courses only)
  • PhD

All subject areas are eligible, although the CSC’s selection criteria give priority to applications that demonstrate the strongest relevance to development.

You are requested to apply for a course of study at a UK university with which the CSC has a part funding agreement.

Nominations

There is a nominating agency for Commonwealth Scholarships in each Commonwealth country.

In addition, universities and university bodies in a number of developing Commonwealth countries are invited to nominate candidates to the CSC for PhD study only. (All applications for Master’s study must be made through a national nominating agency.)

Each year, the CSC invites each nominating agency/university/university body to forward a specific number of nominations. Each nominating agency/university/university body is responsible for its own selection process, and in most cases they will set their own closing date, which will be before the CSC’s deadline for nominations.

Approximately 300 of these 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.

Terms and conditions and eligibility

Applications are considered according to the following selection criteria:

  • Academic merit of the candidate
  • Quality of the proposal
  • Likely impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country

See Selection criteria – 2015 Commonwealth Scholarships for developing Commonwealth country citizens for further details.

Please note that the CSC does not impose any age limit on applicants for its awards, but national nominating agencies may do so in line with their own priorities.

You may also find the Feedback for unsuccessful candidates in 2014 useful.

How to apply

All applications must be made through your nominating agency (or university/university body, if applicable) in your home country. You must check with them in the first instance for specific advice on how to make an application and for their own closing date. The CSC cannot accept any direct applications from candidates for these scholarships.

All Commonwealth Scholarship candidates must be nominated by an approved nominating agency/ university/university body, and must submit their application form using our Electronic Application System (EAS).

Full help on how to apply using the EAS is provided in our guides, which should be read in full before making any attempt to use the EAS.

The CSC will not accept any applications which are not submitted via the EAS to the nominating agency/university/university body in the candidate’s home country.

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