The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship programme is one of three Master’s programmes offered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.
The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) provides the UK government scholarship scheme led by international development objectives. It operates within the framework of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) and offers a vivid demonstration of the UK’s enduring commitment to the Commonwealth. By attracting individuals with outstanding talent and identifiable potential from all backgrounds and supporting them to become leaders and innovators upon returning to their home countries, the CSC’s work combines sustainable development with the UK national interest and provides opportunities for international partnerships and collaboration.
Purpose: Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Commonwealth Shared 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.
Intended beneficiaries: Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are for candidates from eligible low and middle-income Commonwealth countries, to undertake full-time taught Master’s study at a UK university.
These scholarships are offered under CSC’s six development themes.
Choosing a university/course
A list of eligible courses for 2023 can be found on the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships 2023 Eligible Courses page, sorted by CSC Development Theme.
Candidates may find the following resources useful when researching their 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
- Postgrad.com – information for postgraduate students, with a course search
- Prospects – information on postgraduate study in the UK
- Research Excellent Framework 2021 results – results of a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions
- 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
The CSC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
Each scholarship provides:
- Approved airfare from the Scholar’s home country to the UK and return at the end of their Scholarship (the CSC will not reimburse the cost of fares for dependants, nor the cost of journeys made before the award is confirmed) – funded by the CSC
- Approved tuition fees: full fees are covered by the agreement between the CSC and the UK university, and Scholars are not liable to pay for any part of the tuition fee
- Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,236 per month, or £1,516 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at current levels) – paid and funded by the university
- Warm clothing allowance, where applicable – paid and funded by the university
- Thesis grant towards the cost of preparing a thesis or dissertation, where applicable – claimed from and paid by the university; funded by the CSC
- Study travel grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas – claimed from and paid by the university; funded by the CSC
- Contribution towards the cost of mandatory tuberculosis (TB) test, where required for a visa application (receipts must be supplied) – claimed from and paid by the university; funded by the CSC
- If Scholars have children and are widowed, divorced, or single parents, a child allowance of £529 per month for the first child, and £131 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if Scholars are accompanied by their children and they are living with them at the same address in the UK (rates quoted at current levels)
- If Scholars share that they have a disability, a full assessment of their needs and eligibility for additional financial support will be offered by the CSC.
To apply for these scholarships, candidates 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 their academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September 2023
- By September 2023, hold a first degree of at least upper second-class (2:1) honours standard, or a lower second-class degree (2:2) and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree)
- Not have studied or worked for one (academic) year or more in a high-income country
- Be unable to afford to study in a UK university without this Scholarship
- Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format
Eligible Regions: Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Cameroon, Dominica, Eswatini, Fiji, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Montserrat, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia.
- Applications for Commonwealth Shared Scholarships must be made using the CSC’s online application system.
- Candidates must apply and secure admission to study an approved Master’s course at a participating UK university in addition to applying for a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship via the CSC’s online application system.
- Candidates can apply for more than one course and to more than one university, however, they may only accept one offer of a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship.
- Depending on the application deadlines of their chosen UK university/ies and course(s), candidates may need to complete their university application(s) before or after they submit their Commonwealth Shared Scholarship application. The CSC is unable to accept any applications that are not submitted via the CSC’s online application system.
- Candidates are advised to complete and submit their Commonwealth Shared Scholarship application as early as possible as the CSC’s online application system will be very busy in the days leading up to the application deadline.
- Applications must include supporting documentation to be eligible. Proof that the applicant is a citizen or has refugee status in an eligible Commonwealth country: a copy of a valid passport (or national ID card) showing a photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship. Full transcripts detailing all higher education qualifications, including to-date transcripts for any courses currently being studied, with certified translations if not in English.The CSC will not accept supporting documentation submitted outside the online application system.
Application Deadline: December 13, 2022Application ClosedOfficial link