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Commonwealth Shared Scholarships for Master’s Study in the UK, 2023

Application is now open for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships. Interested candidates are encouraged to send their applications in before the deadline date.

About Commonwealth Scholarships

The primary UK government scholarship program, driven by international development goals, is offered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC). The Department for International Development (DFID) is the sponsor of the CSC, an executive non-departmental public entity. The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) serves as the operational framework for the CSC, which is a clear example of the UK’s ongoing commitment to the Commonwealth. 

A few UK institutions are partners in the offering of Commonwealth Shared Scholarships.


Objective: The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)  Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are intended for those who would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the UK. They allow gifted and motivated individuals to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for sustainable development. 

Intended beneficiaries: Beneficiaries expected to receive the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships include applicants from lower-middle-class and least-developed Commonwealth nations who wish to pursue a full-time master’s degree at a UK institution in a chosen field of study. six development themes apply to the scholarships that are being provided.

Details about Commonwealth Shared Scholarships:

Scholarship Sponsor: UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) 

Scholarship Value: Check Below

Number of awards: N/A

Study level: Masters

Host Institution(s): UK Government


Each scholarship offers:

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are co-funded by participating UK institutions and the CSC.

  • The university will organize and cover your approved flight from your home country to the UK and back at the end of your award period (the CSC will not refund the cost of fares for dependants or the cost of travel done before your award is confirmed).
  • Authorized tuition costs, which the CSC pays
  • The institution will pay and finance the stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,133 per month, or £1,390 per month for students attending universities in the London metropolitan region (rates indicated at 2021–2022).
  • If appropriate, a warm clothing stipend that is financed and paid for by the university
  • Thesis grant, provided by the CSC, to cover the expenses of writing a thesis or dissertation, if appropriate; to be claimed from and reimbursed by the university
  • Study travel grant to cover study-related travel expenses in the UK or abroad; awarded by the CSC and claimed from the university
  • Reimbursement of the price of a needed tuberculosis (TB) test, where applicable, to apply for a visa (receipts must be shown); this reimbursement is claimed from the institution and funded by the CSC.
  • If you are a widow, divorced, or single parent living in the UK with your children, you will receive a child allowance of £485 per month for the first child and £120 per month for the second and third children under 16 (rates quoted at 2021-2022 levels).
  • The CSC will provide a thorough evaluation of your needs and eligibility for further financial help if you declare a disability.

Consult the most recent Handbook for Commonwealth Scholars for more details. It should be noted that the guidelines provided in the Handbook are subject to modification.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships – Eligibility Criteria

Applicants are advised to meet the following requirements to be eligible for Commonwealth Shared Scholarships:

  • Be a British Protected Person, a citizen of a Commonwealth country that qualifies, or someone who has been awarded refugee status by such a country.
  • Possess a permanent residence in a Commonwealth nation that qualifies
  • Be prepared to begin your academic studies in the UK by September 2024, when the UK academic year begins.
  • Hold an upper second-class (2:1) honors degree or a lower second-class degree (2:2) along with an appropriate postgraduate certificate (typically a Master’s degree) before September 2024.
  • Not completed a year or more of study or employment in a nation with a high standard of living
  • Lack of the funds necessary to attend a UK institution in the absence of this scholarship
  • Have given every piece of supporting evidence in the way needed.

The CSC seeks to identify gifted people with the capacity to effect change. The organization supports applications from a varied variety of candidates and is dedicated to an equal opportunity and non-discrimination policy. See the CSC disability support statement for more details on the resources offered to academics who disclose a disability.

For CSC applications, there is no upper age limit. Applicants should verify any age limitations on leave entitlement that their employers may have.

Eligible Countries

Please be aware that Commonwealth Shared Scholarship applications are only accepted from citizens of the qualifying nations indicated below.

  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Bangladesh
  • Belize
  • Botswana
  • Cameroon
  • Dominica
  • Eswatini
  • Fiji
  • Gabon
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Nauru
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • The Gambia
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Vanuatu
  • Zambia
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and The Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands

Selection Criteria

Every participating UK university will have its application procedure to choose and submit to the CSC a certain number of candidates for Commonwealth Shared Scholarships. Subsequently, the CSC will verify if these applicants fulfill the requirements for program eligibility.

The following selection criteria will apply to the consideration of applications:

  • Academic merit of the applicant
  • Quality of the plan of study
  • Potential influence on the development of the applicant’s home country

See the Commonwealth Scholarships selection criteria for further information. Candidates should thoroughly read the requirements and make sure that every point on the application form is connected to their responses.

Required Documents:

To be eligible for consideration, your application must have the following supporting material before the closing date:

  • Evidence of your citizenship or refugee status in a Commonwealth nation that qualifies: a copy of a current passport (or national ID card) that has been submitted to the online application system and includes your picture, birth date, and citizenship
  • Complete transcripts listing all of your postsecondary education credentials, including current transcripts for any degrees you are pursuing (with certified translations if the original language is not English)—uploaded to the online application system.

Application Process for Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

The CSC’s online application system is required to be used for submission of applications. Applications or supporting paperwork not submitted through the online application method cannot be accepted by the CSC.

Because the online application system will be extremely active in the days preceding the application deadline, applicants are recommended to complete and submit their applications as early as feasible. Candidates must apply to enroll in a Master’s program at a UK university that is participating.

Candidates may submit more than one application to several universities and for many courses, but they may only accept one Shared Scholarship offer. Please take note that these scholarships are not available for undergraduate or doctoral studies; they are only for Master’s level courses.

Candidates must apply for a Shared Scholarship in addition to securing admission to the chosen university course. Kindly inquire about the exact guidelines for applying, admission criteria, and when to apply from the university of your choice. The institutions that will recommend their selected candidates to the CSC in March 2024 will have access to the applications. You can also visit the Commonwealth website for further details.

The Submission Deadline is: December 14, 2023

Not interested in this particular scholarship? See other UK scholarships here.