300 Fully-funded Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD Students of Developing Countries

Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD study

Course(s) Offered: All fields
Course Level: Graduate (Masters, PhD)
Provider: CSC, DFID
Country to Study in: UK

Scholarship Description
Each year, the Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD study in the UK are offered for citizens of developing Commonwealth countries to pursue advanced study (Masters or PhD). These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The aim of the Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD study is to contribute to the UK’s international development aims and wider overseas interests, supporting excellence in UK higher education, and sustaining the principles of the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) invites each nominating agency, university or university body to forward a specific number of nominations for the Commonwealth Scholarship for Developing Countries.

Commonwealth Scholarships for Citizens of Developing Commonwealth Countries

To apply for the awards covered in this program, candidates should:
  • Be Commonwealth citizens, refugees, or British protected persons
  • Be permanently resident in a Developing Commonwealth country
  • Be available to commence their academic studies in the United Kingdom by the start of the UK academic year in September/October 2017
  • Hold, by October 2017, a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard; or a second class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree)
For 'Additional Requirements', please visit the official website.

Selection criteria
Applications are considered following these selection criteria:
  • Academic merit of the candidate
  • Quality of the proposal
  • Likely impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country
Eligible groups
Citizens of a Developing Commonwealth country

Participating Institutions
All UK universities or higher education institutions with whom the CSC has a joint and/or part funding agreement for a specific programme of study or research. See list of UK universities with which the CSC has a part funding agreement.

Fields of study
Not restricted to particular subject areas. All subject areas are eligible, although the CSC’s selection criteria gives priority to applications that demonstrate strong relevance to development. You can apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship for the following levels of study:
  • Masters programs (from 2013 onwards, the CSC funds one-year Master’s courses only);
  • PhD studies
Number of Awards
Approximately 300 scholarships each year -- no quotas for any individual country. 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

Sponsorship duration
Awards are to obtain one degree (a masters or a PhD); funding will not be extended to enable candidates to complete an additional or higher qualification than that for which the selection was made

Scholarship benefits
Each scholarship provides:
  • Approved airfare to the United Kingdom and return on expiry of the scholarship
  • Approved tuition and examination fees
  • A personal maintenance allowance
  • 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
  • Grants for
    • approved travel within the UK or overseas; 
    • towards fieldwork costs for those scholars undertaking doctoral studies for whom a case has been made for fieldwork outside the UK; 
    • for paid mid-term fare to their home country for Scholars on three year doctoral awards; and 
    • additional allowances for married scholars selected by the Commission for awards exceeding 18 months; and widowed, divorced or lone parents.
Please see the 2017 Commonwealth Scholarship Prospectus for full scholarship benefits.

Method of Application
All applications must be made to one of the nominating bodies in your home country, such as National nominating agencies (the main route of application) Or Selected universities/university bodies Or Selected NGOs/charitable bodies. Each nominating body is responsible for its own selection process. You must check with them for their specific advice and rules for applying, their own eligibility criteria, and their own closing date for applications. The CSC does not impose any age limit on applicants, but nominating bodies may do so in line with their own priorities. The CSC cannot accept any applications direct from candidates.

All candidates must make an application using the CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS), in addition to any other application form that you are required to complete by your nominating body. Your application must be submitted to and endorsed by one of the approved nominating bodies listed above. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the EAS to a nominating body in your home country.

All applications must be submitted by 23.59 (GMT) on 15 November 2016 at the latest

The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is an international programme under which member governments offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries. The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC) is responsible for managing Britain’s contribution to the CSFP.

There is a nominating agency for Commonwealth Scholarships in each Commonwealth country. In addition, universities and university bodies in a number of developing Commonwealth countries are invited to nominate candidates to the CSC.

Application Deadline: 15 November 2016
Open for International Students: Yes

More Scholarship Information and Application

Related: Shared Scholarships || Distance Learning Scholarships || Professional Fellowships


  1. when will the federal gov. call for interview for the common wealth scholarship

  2. Please where is the link to apply for the commonwealth scholarship on this website? thanks

  3. Please where is the link to apply for the commonwealth scholarship on this website. Thanks

    1. Please see the "Method of Application" section of the article above for guidance

  4. Please how can one contact the nominating agency to apply for the scholarship, thank you

  5. Please how can one contact the Nominating Agency to apply for the scholarship

  6. For the past 3 years now, I have tried unsuccessfully to apply for the commonwealth scholarship because whenever the application window opens for it ,you will discover then that the official website of the federal scholarship board becomes inaccessible all of a sudden. Initially I thought I was a coincidence but alas I come to discover that it their way of shutting out duly qualified applicants so they can nominate whomever they deem fit.

  7. Nonetheless, thanks for the information. I have submitted my application online using the CSC EAS and I chose the federal scholarship board as my nominating agency as usual. but I learnt that I would have to submit a printed copy of the completed application form at the federal scholarship board. pls what are the supporting documents that I would need to take along for the submission. secondly I would like to know if interviews are organized for the commonwealth scholarship by the board like they do for the BEA scholarships. if yes, when is the interview coming up. In a nutshell I would like to get an idea of how the whole nomination is done by the board and the completion of the online application. NOTE: The federal scholarship board website is presently still not accessible. Thanks for your time and your anticipated timely response.