Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are for candidates from least developed, low, and lower middle-income Commonwealth countries, for part-time Master’s study by distance learning on selected courses offered by UK universities. These scholarships are funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
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The Purpose of this Scholarship is to contribute to the development needs of Commonwealth countries by providing training for skilled and qualified professionals in key development areas.
Intended beneficiaries: High-quality postgraduate students who wish to access training not available in their home countries, who wish or need to remain in their home country while they study, and who have the potential to enhance the development of their home countries with the knowledge and leadership skills they acquire.
- Host Country: United Kingdom (UK)
- Study Abroad: Study in UK
- Category: Postgraduate Scholarships | Masters Scholarships
- Eligible Countries: Under Developed & Developing Countries
- Reward: Full Scholarship | £18,000 | £1,133 monthly Stipends
- Deadline: March 15, 2022
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ommonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and are aimed at those unable to study in the UK for financial and other reasons.
These scholarships are offered under six themes:
- Science and technology for development
- Strengthening health systems and capacity
- Promoting global prosperity
- Strengthening global peace, security and governance
- Strengthening resilience and response to crises
- Access, inclusion and opportunity
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To be eligible for a Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship, candidates should:
- 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 a developing Commonwealth country
- Hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) standard. A lower qualification and sufficient relevant experience may be considered in certain cases.
- Be unable to afford to study the programme without this scholarship.
The CSC aims to identify talented individuals who have the potential to make change. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and non-discrimination, and encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates. For further information on the support available to candidates with a disability, see the CSC disability support statement.
Please note that only candidates from the 25 eligible countries listed below can apply for Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships in 2022.
- Papua New Guinea
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- Sri Lanka
- The Gambia
Scholarship Duration and Reward
The 2022 intake of Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are financed by the CSC for a maximum of five years and are expected to commence at the start of the academic year.
The CSC has a funding cap of £18,000 per scholarship. Universities may contribute funding from an approved source if the full cost of the award is more than £18,000.
The scholarship must cover all elements of the award, including:
- Course tuition fees
- Grant to contribute to study-related costs
- Partnership development costs
- Any UK residential programme(s)
Where a university intends to run a UK residential programme as part of the course, the university is expected to provide at least the following level of support:
- Return travel from the Scholar’s home country to the UK location
- Cost of UK visa
- Maintenance stipend of £1,133 per month (£1,390 for Scholars in London), to be paid for the full duration of the UK residential. These amounts are set by the UK government for all students on government-funded scholarships, and increase annually.
Any contribution towards costs over the CSC’s £18,000 cap must come from the university’s own funds or from an organisation whose missions and aims are in line with those of the CSC. The source of this additional funding must be clearly identified in the application.
Applications will be considered according to the following selection criteria:
- Quality of the course, the quality assurance record, and the track record for delivery of the course through distance learning. Applications are strengthened by copies of any independent/external reports of the programme undertaken in recent years.
- Learning opportunities provided for students in developing countries, including whether the course considers appropriate use of technology, whether course providers can identify a target audience of potential applicants and recruit them successfully, and the factors likely to affect candidates’ successful completion of their studies.
- Development impact of the course of study, including how the course content can be applied to the specified theme, FCDO priority areas, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the subsequent career patterns of course alumni.
If the university is working with a partner, the partner must be based in an eligible Commonwealth country.
Method of Application
You must apply to study an eligible master’s course at a UK university that is participating in the Distance Learning scheme. Click here for a list of participating universities and eligible courses.
You must also apply and secure admission to your university course in addition to applying for a Distance Learning Scholarship. You must check with your chosen university for their specific advice on when to apply, admission requirements, and rules for applying. 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 chosen university. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the online application system.
You can apply for more than one course and/or to more than one university, but you may only accept one offer of a Distance Learning Scholarship.
Candidate applications will open on 1 February 2022 and must be submitted by 18:00 (GMT) on 15 March 2022.
Applications must include the following supporting documentation by 17:00 (GMT) on 5 April 2022 in order for your application to be eligible for consideration:
- At least one reference– submitted directly by the referee to the online application system (referees will be sent an email request)
- An offer letter to start the chosen course of study in the 2022-2023 academic year – uploaded to the online application system
- Full transcripts detailing all your higher education qualifications (with certified translations if not in English) – uploaded to the online application system
The CSC will not accept supporting documentation submitted outside the online application system.
Supporting documentation uploaded to the online application system must be uploaded as files that are no more than 5 MB in size and must be in one of the following formats: PDF, .doc, .docx, .odt, .jpg, .jpeg. Files submitted in any other format (including Zip files and PDF Portfolios) will NOT be accepted.
Applicants are responsible for seeking permission from their referees in advance of submitting their application; for ensuring that their referees are available to complete the reference by the deadline and have received the reference request email from the online application system.
Deadline: March 15, 2022
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