Papua New Guinea,
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,
Tanzania (United Republic of),
The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship programme is one of three Master’s programmes offered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.
The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) provides the UK government scholarship scheme led by international development objectives. It operates within the framework of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) and offers a vivid demonstration of the UK’s enduring commitment to the Commonwealth. By attracting individuals with outstanding talent and identifiable potential from all backgrounds and supporting them to become leaders and innovators on returning to their home countries, the CSC’s work combines sustainable development with the UK national interest and provides opportunities for international partnerships and collaboration.
Purpose: Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Commonwealth Shared Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and are aimed at those who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK.
To apply for these scholarships, candidates must:
Be a citizen of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country, or be a British Protected Person
Be permanently resident in an eligible Commonwealth country
Be available to start their academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September 2023
By September 2023, hold a first degree of at least upper second-class (2:1) honours standard, or a lower second-class degree (2:2) and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree)
Not have studied or worked for one (academic) year or more in a high-income country
Be unable to afford to study in the UK university without this Scholarship
Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format
Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are jointly funded by the CSC and participating UK universities.
Each scholarship provides:
Approved airfare from the Scholar’s home country to the UK and return at the end of their Scholarship (the CSC will not reimburse the cost of fares for dependants, nor the cost of journeys made before the award is confirmed) – funded by the CSC
Approved tuition fees: full fees are covered by agreement between the CSC and the UK university, and Scholars are not liable to pay for any part of the tuition fee
Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,236 per month, or £1,516 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at current levels) – paid and funded by the university
Warm clothing allowance, where applicable – paid and funded by the university
Thesis grant towards the cost of preparing a thesis or dissertation, where applicable – claimed from and paid by the university; funded by the CSC
Study travel grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas – claimed from and paid by the university; funded by the CSC
Contribution towards the cost of a mandatory tuberculosis (TB) test, where required for a visa application (receipts must be supplied) – claimed from and paid by the university; funded by the CSC
If Scholars have children and are widowed, divorced, or a single parent, child allowance of £529 per month for the first child, and £131 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if Scholars are accompanied by their children and they are living with them at the same address in the UK (rates quoted at current levels)
If Scholars share that they have a disability, a full assessment of their needs and eligibility for additional financial support will be offered by the CSC.
The CSC’s family allowances are intended to only be used as a contribution towards the cost of maintaining a Scholar’s family in the UK. The true costs are likely to be considerably higher. Scholars must be able to supplement these allowances to support any family members who come to the UK with them.
How to apply
Applications for Commonwealth Shared Scholarships for the 2023/24 academic year are now open.
The closing date for applications is 13 December 2022 at 16:00 GMT.
Candidates must apply and secure admission to study an approved Master’s course at a participating UK university in addition to applying for a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship via the CSC’s online application system.
Candidates can apply for more than one course and to more than one university, however they may only accept one offer of a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship. Note that Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are only for Master’s courses and not for undergraduate or PhD study. Please check with the chosen university for their specific advice on when to apply, admission requirements and rules for applying.
Depending on the application deadlines of their chosen UK university/ies and course(s), candidates may need to complete their university application(s) before or after they submit their Commonwealth Shared Scholarship application. The CSC is unable to accept any applications that are not submitted via the CSC’s online application system.
Commonwealth Shared Scholarship applications will be shared with UK universities, who will nominate their chosen candidates to receive a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship in March 2023. The CSC then checks that the candidates nominated meet the CSC’s eligibility criteria. Universities inform candidates if they have successfully been awarded a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship by July 2023.
Candidates are advised to complete and submit their Commonwealth Shared Scholarship application as early as possible as the CSC’s online application system will be very busy in the days leading up to the application deadline.
Applications must include supporting documentation to be eligible.
Candidates must upload the following with their application:
Proof that the applicant is a citizen or has refugee status in an eligible Commonwealth country: a copy of a valid passport (or national ID card) showing a photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship
Full transcripts detailing all higher education qualifications, including to-date transcripts for any courses currently being studied, with certified translations if not in English
If any of the required documentation is not provided by the closing date, the application will be considered ineligible.
The CSC will not accept supporting documentation submitted outside the online application system.
Please note that the CSC does not charge candidates to apply for any of its Scholarships or Fellowships through its online application system, and it does not charge organizations to nominate candidates.
Completing the application form:
In the application form, candidates will be asked to:
List all undergraduate and postgraduate university qualifications obtained
List up to 10 publications and prizes
Provide details of their employment history and explain how each job is relevant to the programme to be undertaken in the UK
Provide a statement on the relevance of their previous work experience to the proposed Scholarship
List names and positions of three referees who are qualified to comment on both the candidate’s capacity to benefit from the proposed Scholarship in the UK and their ability to deliver development impact afterwards. One referee must be a current employer (if applicable)
Provide a Development Impact statement in 4 parts.
The first part should explain how the candidate’s proposed Scholarship relates to:
Development issues at the global, national, and local level
Development issues connected to your chosen CSC development theme and the wider sector.
The second part should explain how the candidate intends to apply their new skills and qualification after returning home.
The third part should outline what the candidate expects will change in development terms following the Scholarship, including:
The outcomes they aim to achieve
The timeframe for their implementation
Who the beneficiaries will be
The fourth part should outline how the impact of the candidate’s work could be best measured. It should:
Confirm what the candidate’s award objectives are and how each of them will be met by the Scholarship programme
Confirm what the candidate’s objectives are for the next five years and how each of them will be met by the Scholarship programme
Confirm what the candidate’s objectives are in the longer term and how each of them will be met by the Scholarship programme
Provide a personal statement to summarise the ways in which the candidate’s personal background has encouraged them to want to make an impact in their home country. Candidates should indicate areas in which they have already contributed, such as having overcome any personal or community barriers in the chosen career
Summarise the ways in which the candidate has engaged in voluntary activities and the opportunities where they have had to demonstrate leadership
The CSC is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. The CSC operates within the framework of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan ( CSFP ) and is a vivid demonstration of the UK's enduring commitment to the Commonwealth.