Commonwealth Masters Scholarship: Eligibility and How to Apply

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) offers the Commonwealth Masters Scholarship, funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), which is designed to help talented and motivated individuals acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for sustainable development.

Students from poor and middle-income Commonwealth countries are eligible for a full-time, on-campus Master’s degree at a UK university with a Commonwealth Masters Scholarship.

How to apply for the Commonwealth Masters Scholarship

Commonwealth Masters Scholarship applications usually open in September for admission into master’s degree programmes in the following year. Note that the CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships. Instead, you are encouraged to apply to one of the following nominating bodies:

  • National Nominating Agencies: This is the primary route for most applications.
  • Vetted non-governmental organisations and charitable firms.

It is up to each nominating organisation to choose the criteria for its selection procedure. It would help if you verified with the nominating body their specific guidelines and procedures for applying and their eligibility criteria and submission deadlines.

You must also submit an online application to the CSC in addition to any additional applications required by the nominating body. Remember, the CSC only accepts applications submitted via their online application system.

You are encouraged to submit your scholarship application as early as possible since the online system is usually busy in the days leading up to the deadline.

Which supporting documents are needed for the Commonwealth Masters Scholarship?

You must submit supporting documents for your application to be eligible. You should have the following:

  • Proof that you are a citizen or a refugee from an eligible Commonwealth country. Upload a scanned copy of your valid international passport or national ID card, including your photo, date of birth, and country of citizenship.
  • University transcripts, including current transcripts for any courses you are currently undertaking. Remember to submit certified translations of your transcripts if they’re not in English.
  • Referees must send at least two letters of recommendation directly to the online application system (referees will receive an email request to submit online). Your application will be considered ineligible if you fail to submit the required documents by 22nd November 2022.

Please note that the CSC will not accept supporting documents submitted by nominated agencies or outside the online application system. Remember, the CSC does not charge candidates to apply for any scholarships or fellowships through its online application system.

Who is eligible to apply for the Commonwealth Masters Scholarship?

To be eligible for these scholarships, you must:

  • Be a British Protected Person or a citizen of a Commonwealth country qualified for refugee status.
  • Have permanent residency in an eligible Commonwealth country 
  • Be available to start your studies in the United Kingdom in September 2022, when classes officially begin.
  • Hold a first degree of at least an upper second class (2:1) or a second class lower division (2:2) from an accredited university and a relevant Master’s degree by September 2022. The CSC rarely funds a second UK Master’s degree. If you want to pursue a second Master’s degree in the United Kingdom, you must explain why you want to undertake this study.
  • Be unable to afford the Master’s degree without the scholarship.
  • Have submitted all the supporting documentation in the correct format

The objective of the CSC is to find talented people who can make a difference. The organization is committed to a policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity and welcomes applications from diverse backgrounds. To learn more about the resources accessible to job seekers with disabilities, check the CSC disability support statement.

The CSC is committed to managing its scholarships and fellowships transparently. The organization is also committed to protecting and promoting the welfare of its beneficiaries, staff, Commissioners, and anyone else it contacts. 

Eligible Countries for the Commonwealth Masters Scholarship

Please note that you can only apply for Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships if you are a citizen of the countries listed below.

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

Benefits of the Commonwealth Masters Scholarship

The Commonwealth Masters Scholarship award comes with the following benefits:

  • Airfare to the UK and return at the end of your award. Note that the CSC will not reimburse the cost of airfares for dependents nor the charge of journeys made before the confirmation of your award.
  • Tuition fees
  • Warm clothing allowance, where applicable.
  • A living allowance of over £1,200 per month or more for students attending universities in the London Metropolitan area.
  • Thesis grant to cover the cost of writing your thesis, where applicable.
  • Payment for a return flight to your home country for a mid-term visit (unless you have received or intend to receive spousal and child allowances during your scholarship)
  • If you are single or widowed, you will receive a child allowance for your children.
  • If you declare a disability, the CSC will offer you additional financial support.
  • CSC supplements the costs of supporting your family. However, if your family allowance is higher than initially thought, you may be forced to supplement these allowances.

Tenure and Placement

You can secure a scholarship or fellowship at any UK University or higher education institution with which the CSC has a part-funding. Funding will not be provided to candidates who wish to pursue a degree other than the selected award. You are expected to study full-time and should not pursue any other course while undertaking this award. The CSC does not fund MBAs, only one-year Master’s programs. 

You should clarify in your application that you are applying for a specific qualification. That way, CSC will consider your application in the correct category. Applications that fail to make this specification are likely to be rejected. You should also list three universities and courses that you think are the best fit for your study in order of preference and give your reasons. 

The CSC applications will open on 22nd September so start preparing as early as now. Remember that you are expected to return to your home country as soon as you complete your Master’s degree. If you wish to get a paid job while studying, notify the CSC first.

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