Distance Learning Scholarships at UK Universities for Developing Commonwealth Countries

CSC/DFID Distance Learning Scholarships

Course(s) Offered: Approved Online Courses
Course Level: Graduate (masters)
Provider: CSC, DFID, UK Universities
Country to Study in: Any country

Scholarship Description
The Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships offer students from developing Commonwealth countries the opportunity to study for a UK Master’s degree while living and working in their home country.

Established in 2002, the scholarship scheme is part of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) and UK Department for International Development (DFID) commitment to exploring new methods of scholarship delivery.

Rather than offering these scholarships directly to students, the CSC works with UK universities to identify appropriate courses and recruit candidates. To date, it has funded courses at over 20 UK institutions, awarding over 1,000 scholarships to students from across the developing Commonwealth.

Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship

To apply for these scholarships, candidates must:
  • Be a citizen of a developing Commonwealth country (see below), refugee, or British protected person; and
  • Be permanently resident in a developing Commonwealth country (see below); and
  • 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.
Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships may not be held concurrently for more than one course.

If selected for a scholarship, candidates must be resident in a developing Commonwealth country and must not undertake study towards any other qualification for the duration of their award.

When submitting their application to the CSC, all candidates must provide at least one reference and hold an offer to start their chosen course of study in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Selection criteria:
  • Academic merit of the candidate
  • Potential impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country
Eligible groups
Citizens of Commonwealth Developing Countries:
  • AFRICA: Botswana, Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe*
  • OTHER COUNTRIES: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Barbados Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Fiji*, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Maldives, Montserrat, Nauru, Pakistan, , Pitcairn, St Helena, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tristan da Cunha, Turks and Caicos, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
* Awards offered to build the capacity of civil society organisations

Participating Institution(s)
All recognized UK Universities (see list in 'Fields of study')

Fields of study
Several eligible Master’s courses at participating universities.

See the list of participating universities and eligible courses for the 2017 Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships. Full details of these courses and the application process must be obtained from the relevant institution.

Number of awards
Not specified by provider.

Depending on the number of applications, the selection committee decides on the number of scholarships to be allocated to each course after ALL eligible Expressions of Interest from course providers (i.e. universities) have been received and considered.

Sponsorship duration
Funding is available for five years from the start of an approved programme

Scholarship benefits
Funding covers all elements of the award, including tuition fees, grants to recipients, applicable partnership development costs, and any UK residential programmes.

Method of Application
You should apply to study an eligible Master’s course at a UK university that is participating in the Distance Learning Scholarship scheme. You must make your application using the CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS). See full information on how to use the EAS, including detailed guides. Before applying, you must check with your UK university for their specific advice and rules for applying. You will be required to complete a university application form in addition to your EAS application form.

It is important to read the 2017 full terms and conditions(pdf), and also visit the official website (link to it is below) for complete information on the application procedure for this scholarship.

The closing date for the submission of all applications for 2016/17 Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships is 12 May 2017 at 23.59GMT.

Universities must put forward their selected candidates to the CSC by 9 June 2017. The CSC will then confirm that these candidates meet the eligibility criteria for this scheme. Universities will inform candidates of their results by August 2017.

The CSC may require candidates to undertake the academic IELTS English language test as a condition of eligibility. Candidates should check with the UK institution/provider whether this requirement applies to them. All enquiries about these scholarships should be directed to the university to which you wish to apply.

Please note that the CSC does not charge candidates to apply for any of its scholarships or fellowships through its Electronic Application System (EAS), and it does not charge organisations to nominate candidates.

Application Deadline: 12 May 2017
Open to International Applicants: Yes

More Scholarship Information and Application

Related: Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Commonwealth Countries

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