The 2014/2015 Commonwealth Shared Scholarship for masters courses is now out for application. Click here to apply
UK Department for International Development (DFID) offers Commonwealth Scholarships for developing countries’ students for pursuing Master’s, PhD and split-site (PhD) degree level at UK Universities. 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. The application deadline for these Commonwealth Scholarships is 3rd December 2013.
What are the study subjects?
Scholarships are provided in all subject areas offered at UK universities, although the CSC’s selection criteria give priority to applications that demonstrate strong relevance to development.
At what course level?
Scholarships are available for pursuing Master’s, PhD, and split-site (PhD) degree level at UK Universities.
Who is the scholarship provider?
UK Department for International Development (DFID)
Where can scholarship be taken?
Who is eligible to apply?
To apply for the awards covered in this prospectus, candidates should:
-Be Commonwealth citizens, refugees, or British protected persons
-Be permanent resident in a developing Commonwealth country (a full list is available at
-Be available to commence their academic studies in the United Kingdom by the start of the UK academic year in September/October 2014
-Hold, by October 2014, a first degree of upper second class Honours standard (or above); or a second class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification, which will normally be a Master’s degree and
-For awards enhance clinical skills in the fields of medicine and dentistry, have qualified as a doctor or dentist between 1 October 2004 and 30 September 2009.
-The Commission wishes to promote equal opportunity, gender equity and cultural exchange. Applications are encouraged from a diverse range of candidates.
Can international students apply for scholarship?
Yes, the students of developing Commonwealth country (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands, The Gambia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Montserrat, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, St Helena, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Virgin Islands (British) and Zambia) can apply for these scholarships.
Brief scholarship description
Commonwealth Scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries are offered for Master’s, PhD, and split-site (PhD) study in the UK. These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). 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 (17 December 2013). 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. The 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.
How many awards are given out?
Approximately 300 scholarships are awarded each year.
What is the duration of award?
12-36 months’ support towards the completion of either a full-time taught or a doctoral post graduate qualification at an eligible UK institution. These awards are open to those candidates nominated either by the Vice Chancellor/Executive Head of their employing institution or by the appointed agency in their home country. Please note that the Commission offers awards for one-year Master’s programmes only, and does not fund MBAs.
– 12 months’ non-degree study in the United Kingdom on a Split-Site basis to aid the completion of a doctoral degree undertaken at a university in the candidate’s home country.
– Up to 6 months enhancing clinical skills in medicine or dentistry (available only to candidates from developing countries). These awards are open to candidates nominated by their Vice Chancellor/Executive Head or by the appointed agency in the home country.
What does it cover?
Each Scholarship provides:
-Student concessionary or other approved airfare to the United Kingdom and return on expiry of the Scholarship (the cost of journeys made before final award confirmation will not normally be reimbursed, nor can fares be paid for a Scholar’s dependant)
-Approved tuition and examination fees
-A personal maintenance allowance at the rate of £917 per month (£1,134 per month for those studying at institutions in the London Metropolitan area) – rates quoted at 2012-2013 levels
-A grant towards the expenses of preparing a thesis or dissertation, where applicable
-An initial arrival allowance, incorporating an initial clothing grant for Scholars from tropical countries
-A grant for expenses for approved travel within the United Kingdom or overseas
-A grant towards fieldwork costs for those Scholars undertaking doctoral studies for whom a case has been made for fieldwork outside the United Kingdom. This shall not normally exceed one economy class return airfare to the fieldwork location
-A paid midterm fare to their home country for Scholars on three year doctoral awards. Scholars for whom fieldwork fares are provided to their home country shall not be entitled to a midterm fare home, nor Scholars who have claimed (or intend to claim) spouse or child allowances for more than 12 months during their award
-For Scholars selected by the Commission for awards exceeding 18 months, a spouse allowance of £220 per month is payable provided that the Scholar and spouse are residing together at the same address in the United Kingdom. It is not paid when the spouse is also in receipt of an award. For Scholars accompanied by their spouse and children, a child allowance is payable at the rate of £138 per month for the first child, and £108 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, provided they reside with their parents. The Commission’s spouse and family allowances represent only a contribution towards the costs of family maintenance in the UK and Scholars should expect and be able to supplement these allowances to support family members who choose to come to the UK.
-Irrespective of the length of the award, a Scholar who is widowed, divorced or a lone parent will receive an allowance in respect of the first accompanying child and child allowances for the second and third accompanying children.
What are the selection criteria?
Applications are considered according to the following selection criteria:
-Academic merit of the candidate
-The quality of the proposal
-The likely impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country.
How will applicants be notified?
Candidates will be notified of their provisional selection by the Commission: that is, a selection of the award subject to the Commission agreeing the terms of admission to the university/institution. Candidates will be given a formal Notification of Award – the offer of a Scholarship – as soon as terms of admission to the university/institution have been agreed. Formal confirmation of the award will be issued when all conditions of the Notification of Award have been met. Scholars will be expected to take up the award from the date stated by the Commission in its Notification of Award.
How can I 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 applications directly from candidates.
-The CSC expects all Commonwealth Scholarship candidates to be nominated by an approved nominating agency/university/university body, and to have completed an 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 EAS will close to applicants on 3 December 2013 and no further applications can be made after that date. 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.
What is the scholarship application deadline?
The application deadline is 3rd December 2013.
Click here for more information on how to apply
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