Scholarships ©

British Council

Commonwealth Scholarships are awarded to talented individuals with the potential to make a positive impact on the global stage.

As part of the UK’s ongoing commitment to the Commonwealth, each year around 700 students are given the chance to undertake postgraduate degrees with UK universities.

If you are from a Commonwealth country and believe you could make a difference to the world but you can’t afford to fund your UK studies on your own, then you could be the ideal candidate for a Commonwealth Scholarship.

What is the Commonwealth Scholarship? 

Commonwealth Scholarships are aimed at students from across the Commonwealth who would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the UK. By funding postgraduate studies in a range of different study formats, the scheme helps to support future innovators and leaders.

This historic award is the UK’s primary scholarship scheme focused on contributing to the UK’s international development aims. It is designed to attract outstanding talent to UK universities whilst supporting sustainable development overseas.


Who can apply?

To apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of a Commonwealth country. You will still be eligible if you are a refugee or British protected person. 

You also need to have an undergraduate honours degree of at least upper second class (2:1). If you wish to study a PhD, you will need an appropriate master’s degree too.

Finally, you must be unable to afford to study in the UK without the scholarship.

The eligibility criteria for each type of scholarship and fellowship vary. More information is available on the CSC website.

CSC Development Themes

All Commonwealth Scholarships are offered under six CSC development themes: 

1.Science and technology for development

2.Strengthening health systems and capacity

3.Promoting global prosperity

4.Strengthening global peace, security and governance

5.Strengthening resilience and response to crises

6.Access, inclusion and opportunity

There is no restriction on what you can study but the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission gives priority to applicants whose studies are most relevant to their development criteria.

What financial support is available?

Most scholarships are fully funded which means that, as well as covering your tuition fees, you will also receive your airfare to and from the UK and a living allowance to support you while you are here. 

How to apply?

Depending on which scholarship you are applying for, you may need to apply through a National Nominating Agency, a university, or a Non-Governmental Organisation

To find out how to apply for each of the scholarships, please visit the CSC apply page.


What do I need to apply?

To begin your online application, you’ll need a scanned copy of your passport, your academic transcript, your existing university degree certificate, two references and, if you have one, your admission letter.

What is the deadline for applications?

Annual deadlines for applications are usually in December. Check the page of the scholarship you are interested in at the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission website to see dates when they are announced for 2023/24.

Commonwealth Scholarships Alumni Associations 

To date, over 31,000 people have taken up a Commonwealth Scholarship or Fellowship since the first group of 175 Scholars arrived in the UK in 1960. Commonwealth Alumni include Prime Ministers and cabinet ministers, Nobel Prize winners, academics, diplomats, writers, and leaders in major NGOs and businesses.

Upon finishing their Scholarship or Fellowship, recipients join a thriving global community. Through the alumni network, Commonwealth Alumni can build contacts with a diverse range of scholars and alumni in their home country and across the Commonwealth though a range of activities. Visit the Alumni pages to find out more about these activities.

See also