The Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are offered in partnership with some selected UK universities. The Commonwealth Shared Scholarships is  Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The purpose of the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships is to enable talented and motivated individuals to gain all the necessary knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and the said Scholarships are aimed at those who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK. Interesting, isn’t it?

The Intended beneficiaries of the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are candidates from least developed and lower middle income Commonwealth countries. Inorder to undertake full-time Master’s study on selected courses at a UK university.

These scholarships are offered under six development themes. They are;

  • Access, inclusion and opportunity
  • Promoting global prosperity
  • Science and technology for development
  • Strengthening global peace, security and governance
  • Strengthening health systems and capacity
  • Strengthening resilience and responses to crises

How to apply

You must apply for the scholarship in oder to be tenable at one of the approved courses at a participating UK university.

View full list of approved courses (Click on each theme to view the programs under them and the university that offers the program.)

View details of all participating UK universities

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. Please take note that 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.

To apply click HERE

Applications for these scholarships 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.

Supporting documentation:

Your application must include the following supporting documentation by the closing date to be eligible for consideration: they are;

  • 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.

Note that you must also provide the names and contact details of 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.

Scholar eligibility

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

Eligible countries

Please note that only candidates from the 23 eligible countries listed below can apply for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships in 2022. The eligible countries are;

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

So if you are from any of the countries listed above congrats, you are good to apply.

Completing application form

Applications must be made using the CSC’s online application system, details of which can be found under the ‘How to apply’ section.

In the application form, prospective candidates will be asked to:

  • List all undergraduate and postgraduate university qualifications obtained (if applicable)
  • List up to 10 publications and prizes (if applicable)
  • Provide details of your employment history and explain how each job is relevant to the programme you wish to undertake in the UK (up to 100 words per employment)
  • Provide a statement on the relevance of your previous work experience to the proposed Scholarship (up to 300 words)
  • List names and positions of three referees who are qualified to comment on both your capacity to benefit from your proposed Scholarship in the UK and your ability to deliver development impact afterwards. One of your referees must be your current employer.
  • Provide a Development Impact statement in 4 parts. In the first part you should explain how your proposed Scholarship relates to:

a. development issues at the global, national, and local level

b. development issues connected to your chosen CSC development theme and the wider sector.

(up to 200 words)

  • In the second part you should explain how you intend to apply your new skills once your Scholarship ends (up to 100 words).
  • In the third part you should outline what you expect will change in development terms following your Scholarship, including:
  • the outcomes that you aim to achieve
  • the timeframe for their implementation
  • who the beneficiaries will be (up to 250 words)
  • In the fourth part you should write about how the impact of your work could be best measured (up to 100 words).

The application form will also ask you to:

  • Confirm what your award objectives are and how each of them will be met by the Scholarship programme
  • Confirm what your objectives are for the next two years and how each of them will be met by the Scholarship programme
  • Confirm what your objectives are in the longer term and how each of them will be met by the Scholarship programme
  • Provide a personal statement to summarise the ways in which your personal background has encouraged you to want to make an impact in your home country. You should indicate areas in which you have already contributed, such as having overcome any personal or community barriers to your chosen career (up to 500 words).
  • Summarise the ways in which you have engaged in voluntary activities and the opportunities you have had to demonstrate leadership (up to 500 words).
  • Provide a scan of your passport or national identity card

Selection process

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

For further details, see the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships selection criteria

Tenure and placement

Awards are tenable for any approved course offered by a participating UK university. Awards are to obtain one degree; funding will not be extended to enable candidates to complete a qualification in addition to or higher than that for which the selection was made.

Awards are made in respect of full-time study only and no other course of study may be undertaken at the same time.

The CSC funds one-year taught Master’s programmes only and does not fund MBAs.

You must make clear in your application which qualification you are applying for. This will enable the CSC to consider your application in the correct category. Applications which do not make this clear may be considered ineligible.

You must take the necessary steps to apply for admission to your preferred universities. Many courses have strict admission deadlines and you should check admission requirements carefully when applying.

Scholarship Benefits

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 dependants, 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.
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