Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are for candidates from least developed and lower middle income Commonwealth countries, for full-time Master’s study on selected courses, jointly supported by UK universities.
Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and 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 least developed and lower middle income Commonwealth countries, to undertake full-time Master’s study on selected courses at a UK university.
These scholarships are offered under six development themes.
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.
The CSC is committed to administering and managing its scholarships and fellowships in a fair and transparent manner. For further information, see the CSC anti-fraud policy and the FCDO guidance on reporting fraud.
The CSC is committed proactively to safeguard and promote the welfare of our beneficiaries, and to protect its staff, Commissioners, beneficiaries and all those with whom the CSC comes into contact.
The CSC requires staff, members of the Commission, applicants for and recipients of CSC awards and suppliers to act consistently with its requirements for safeguarding. Applicants should note the CSC’s Safeguarding Policy which sets out the obligation for staff, members of the Commission, applicants for and recipients of CSC awards and suppliers to act consistently with its requirements for safeguarding.
To apply for these 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 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 at a UK university without this scholarship
- Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format
Please note that only candidates from the 23 eligible countries listed below can apply for Commonwealth Shared Scholarships in 2022.
Bangladesh, Cameroon, Eswatini, The Gambia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia.
Scholarship Duration and Reward
Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are jointly funded by the CSC and participating UK universities.
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 dependents, nor the cost of journeys made before your award is confirmed) – arranged by the university; funded by the CSC
- Approved tuition fees – funded by the CSC
- Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,133 per month, or £1,390 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at 2021-2022 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
- Reimbursement of the cost of a 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 you are widowed, divorced, or a single parent, child allowance of £485 per month for the first child, and £120 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if you are accompanied by your children and they are living with you at the same address in the UK (rates quoted at 2021-2022 levels)
- If you declare a disability, a full assessment of your needs and eligibility for additional financial support will be offered by the CSC.
Each participating UK University will conduct its own recruitment process to select a specified number of candidates to be awarded Commonwealth Shared Scholarships. Universities must put forward their selected candidates to the CSC in March 2022. The CSC will then confirm that these candidates meet the eligibility criteria for this scheme. Universities will inform candidates of their results by July 2022.
Applications will be considered according to the following selection criteria:
- Academic merit of the candidate
- Quality of the plan of study
- Potential impact on the development of the candidate’s home country
Method of Application
You must apply for your scholarship to be tenable at one of the following approved courses at a participating UK university.
You can apply for more than one course and to more than one university through the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships Scheme, but you may only accept one offer of a Shared Scholarship. Note these awards are only for Master’s courses and not for undergraduate or PhD study.
You must also secure admission to your course in addition to applying for a Shared Scholarship.
Please 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 nominating body. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the online application system.
Applications for Commonwealth Shared Scholarships for the academic year 2022/2023 are now open.
Applications will close at 16:00 (GMT) on 20 December 2021.
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.
Your application must include the following supporting documentation by the closing date to be eligible for consideration:
- Proof that you are a citizen or have refugee status of an eligible Commonwealth country: a copy of your valid passport (or national ID card) showing your photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship uploaded to the online application system
- Full transcripts detailing all your higher education qualifications including to-date transcripts for any qualifications you are currently studying (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.
You must also provide the names and contact details three referees who will be contacted in advance of the placement stage, should your application be under consideration for a scholarship.
Please note that the CSC does not charge candidates to apply for any of its scholarships or fellowships through its online application system, and it does not charge organisations to nominate candidates.