Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD study in the UK 2016
Deadline: November 19, 2015
Applications are now open for the 2016 Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD to study in the UK. The scholarships are offered for citizens of developing Commonwealth countries. The scholarship provides 12 months’ support towards completion of a full-time taught postgraduate qualification and up to 36 months’ support towards completion of a three-year full-time doctoral postgraduate qualification at an eligible UK university.
These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), with the aim of contributing to the UK’s international development aims and wider overseas interests, supporting excellence in UK higher education, and sustaining the principles of the Commonwealth.
You can apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship for the following levels of study:
- Master’s (one-year courses only)
All subject areas are eligible, although the CSC’s selection criteria give priority to applications that demonstrate the strongest relevance to development. You should apply to study at a UK university with which the CSC has a part funding agreement. Click here for a list of UK universities which have part funding agreements with the CSC
Each scholarship provides:
- Approved airfare from your home country to the UK and return at the end of your award (the CSC will not reimburse the cost of fares for dependants, nor usually the cost of journeys made before your award is finally confirmed)
- Approved tuition and examination fees
- Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,034 per month, or £1,268 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at 2015-2016 levels)
- Thesis grant towards the cost of preparing a thesis or dissertation, where applicable
- Warm clothing allowance
- Study travel grant towards the costs of study-related travel within the UK or overseas
- For PhD Scholars, fieldwork grant towards the cost of fieldwork undertaken overseas (usually the cost of one economy class return airfare to your fieldwork location)
- For PhD Scholars, paid mid-term visit (airfare) to your home country (unless you have claimed (or intend to claim) spouse and/or child allowances during your scholarship, or have received a return airfare to your home country for fieldwork)
- If your scholarship is at least 18 months long, the following family allowances:
- Spouse allowance of £222 per month if you and your spouse are living together at the same address in the UK (unless your spouse is also in receipt of a scholarship)
- Child allowance of £222 per month for the first child, and £109 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if you are accompanied by your spouse and children and they are living with you at the same address in the UK
- If you are widowed, divorced, or a single parent (irrespective of the length of your scholarship), child allowance of £444 per month for the first child, and £109 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if you are accompanied by your children and they are living with you at the same address in the UK
The CSC’s family allowances are intended to be only a contribution towards the cost of maintaining your family in the UK. The true costs are likely to be considerably higher, and you must be able to supplement these allowances in order to support any family members who come to the UK with you.
To apply for these scholarships, you must:
- Be a Commonwealth citizen, refugee, or British protected person
- Be permanently resident in a developing Commonwealth country
- Be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September/October 2016
- By October 2016, hold 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)
Applications are considered according to the following selection criteria:
- Academic merit of the candidate
- Quality of the proposal
- Potential impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country
For further details, see the Selection criteria for 2016 Commonwealth Scholarships.
How to Apply
You must apply to one of the following nominating bodies in the first instance – the CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships:
- National nominating agencies – this is the main route of application. See the list of national nominating agencies, with contact details
- Selected nominating universities/university bodies, which can nominate their own academic staff.
- Selected non-governmental organisations and charitable bodies
All applications must be made through your nominating body in your home country. Each nominating body is responsible for its own selection process. You must check with your nominating body for their specific advice and rules for applying, and for 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.
You must make your application using the CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS). See the full information on how to use the EAS, including detailed guides.
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 19 November 2015 at the latest. Please note that this is an earlier deadline than in previous years.
Before you start your application, you should read one or more of the following step-by-step guides:
- How to apply for a Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship (taught Master’s) (1.7 MB)
- How to apply for a Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship (research Master’s) (1.8 MB)
- How to apply for a Commonwealth PhD Scholarship (2.0 MB)
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Applicants (206 KB)
For more information, visit the Commonwealth Scholarships Official Page.