Fully Funded Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD in all Majors in UK, 2024/25

The Commonwealth Scholarship empowers leaders, educators, and researchers for their national development through world-class research.

Commonwealth Scholarship

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) offers a range of educational opportunities to individuals from eligible low- and middle-income Commonwealth countries. These opportunities include both Master’s and PhD scholarships, each with its own distinct purpose and target beneficiaries.

Also read: KAUST Scholarship Program 2024–25: for Masters and PhD Students

Master’s Scholarships:

The CSC provides Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s, supported by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). The Commonwealth Scholarships are aimed at talented and motivated individuals who aspire to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development. The primary focus is on candidates who may not have had the means to pursue further education in the UK.

Purpose of Master’s Scholarships:

The purpose of Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s, is to empower recipients to contribute to sustainable development in their home countries. The Commonwealth Scholarships enable individuals to pursue full-time taught Master’s programs at UK universities.

PhD Scholarships:

In addition to Master’s scholarships, the CSC offers Commonwealth Scholarships for PhD, also funded by the UK FCDO. The Commonwealth Scholarships are tailored for high-quality graduates from Commonwealth countries, with a specific focus on applicants from the least developed countries and fragile States within the Commonwealth, as classified by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

Purpose of PhD Scholarships:

Commonwealth Scholarships for PhD are designed to support research projects with a clear developmental impact. They enhance individual teaching and research capabilities, ultimately contributing to increased institutional capacity in various sectors within Commonwealth countries. Additionally, the Commonwealth Scholarships foster collaboration and strengthen links with UK higher education and research institutions.

Also read: Chevening Scholarship Programme 2024–25 for Masters in the UK’s Leading Universities

Benefits of Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD

Both the Commonwealth Master’s and PhD scholarships help students who want to study in the UK with various financial benefits:

Travel Assistance:

  • Scholars get their flight tickets from their home country to the UK and back at the end of their studies. But this doesn’t cover tickets for their family or trips made before getting the scholarship.

No Tuition Fees:

  • The Commonwealth Scholarship covers the entire tuition fees, so scholars don’t have to pay anything for their education.

Monthly Living Allowance:

  • Scholars get money every month to help them with living expenses. It’s £1,347 per month, or a bit more if they are studying in London.

Extra Help:

  • If needed, scholars can get extra money for warm clothes and travel related to their studies.
  • For PhD scholars, there is also money to help with research trips and a visit back to their home country if they haven’t already received travel support for their research.

Support for Families:
• If scholars have family with them in the UK, they can get financial help too:
• If they have a spouse (husband or wife) but no kids, their spouse can get £290 per month for up to nine months if they live together.
• If they have a spouse and children, their spouse can get £290 per month, and for the first child, they can get £290 per month, with £143 per month for the second and third child under 16.
• If they have kids but no spouse, they can get £576.61 per month for the first child, and £143 per month for the second and third child under 16.

Help for Scholars with Disabilities:

  • If a scholar has a disability, they can get extra support after a review of their needs.

Just remember, while these allowances can help with family expenses, the real costs might be higher, so scholars may need to add their own money to support their family in the UK.

Also read: HEC Undergraduate Scholarship Program 2023-24: For Gilgit-Baltistan Students

Eligibility criteria for Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD

To be eligible for Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD, applicants must meet the following criteria:

1. Citizenship and Residency:

  • Applicants must be citizens of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country, or they should be British Protected Persons.
  • They must be permanently residing in an eligible Commonwealth country.

2. Academic Start Date:

  • Applicants should be available to commence their academic studies in the UK at the beginning of the UK academic year, which typically starts in September 2024.

3. Educational Qualifications:

  • By September 2024, applicants must hold a first-degree classification of at least upper second-class (2:1) honors standard. In some cases, a lower second-class degree combined with a relevant postgraduate qualification, usually a Master’s degree, may also be considered.
  • The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) generally does not fund a second Master’s degree. If applying for a second Master’s degree, applicants must provide a compelling justification for why they wish to undertake this course of study.

4. Financial Need:

  • Applicants must demonstrate that they cannot afford to study in the UK without the support of the Commonwealth scholarship.

5. Supporting Documentation:

  • All required supporting documentation must be provided in the specified format.

6. Consideration for Disabled Applicants:

  • The CSC recognizes that disabled individuals may have faced unique challenges or barriers in their education journey, which may have affected their academic performance.
  • Disabled applicants who can demonstrate their potential to contribute to international development but do not hold a 2:1 Undergraduate degree may be considered for a contextualized nomination through the Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum (CDPF) nominator.

7. Age Limit:

  • There is no specified age limit for CSC scholarship applications. However, applicants are advised to check with their employers regarding any age-related restrictions on leave entitlement that may apply to them.

The CSC is committed to equal opportunity and non-discrimination, and encourages applications from a diverse range of candidates. For information about available support for applicants with disabilities, applicants can refer to the CSC disability support statement.

Eligible countries for Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD

Please note that only applicants from the eligible countries listed below can apply for Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD, eligible countries for:

Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters

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

Commonwealth Scholarships for PhD

  • Bangladesh
  • Cameroon
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Rwanda
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tanzania
  • The Gambia
  • Togo
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda Zambia

Also read: Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships 2024-25: For Foreign Scholars and Artists

Required documents for Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD

To apply for Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD, you must provide specific required documents. Here’s what you need:

1. Proof of Citizenship or Refugee Status:

  • You must show that you are a citizen of an eligible Commonwealth country or have been granted refugee status. Provide a copy of a valid passport (or national ID card) that includes your photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship.

2. Educational Transcripts:

  • Submit full transcripts that detail all your higher education qualifications. This should include transcripts for any courses you are currently studying. If these transcripts are not in English, provide certified translations. Ensure that all pages of your transcripts are included; missing pages may result in your application being considered ineligible.

3. References:

  • You need references from at least two individuals. These references must be in PDF format, signed, and on institutional letterhead or an email that clearly displays the sender’s details. In your application, include:
    • How long the referee has known you and in what capacity.
    • The referee’s opinion on your suitability for the scholarship and the importance of your chosen subject of study in the UK.
    • Information on your academic abilities, such as your capacity for analytical thinking, original thought, and your motivation and perseverance in achieving your goals.
    • An assessment of your strengths and weaknesses.
    • Your potential to contribute to development in your home country.
    • Any other qualities or attributes that the referee believes make you a strong candidate for the scholarship.

4. Supporting Statement from Proposed Supervisor (PhD Only):

  • For PhD applicants, you must also provide a supporting statement from a proposed supervisor in the UK, affiliated with one of the institutions listed on your application form. This statement should be in PDF format, signed, and on institutional letterhead or an email displaying the sender’s details. The supervisor should confirm their willingness to work with you and that they have the necessary facilities for your research. They should also explain how your study plan aligns with their department’s expertise and indicate if they had any input into your study plan.

Ensure that you submit all required documentation through the online application system by the application deadline. The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) does not accept supporting documentation submitted by any other means.

Please note that the CSC does not charge any application fees for its scholarships or fellowships through its online application system.

Also read: Scotland-Pakistan Scholarships for Young Women and Girls: Bachelor’s Program 2023-24


The application deadline for Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD, is 17th October 2023.


Both candidates for Commonwealth PhD Scholarships and Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships may be nominated by NGOs and charitable organizations.

Please be aware that each of these nominees has their own eligibility and selection requirements in addition to the restrictions (click the link for details) . Before applying through this agency, it is the applicant’s obligation to confirm their eligibility. Because these agencies receive so many inquiries, those who don’t qualify won’t get a response and their application won’t be taken into consideration.

Commonwealth Scholarship

How to apply for Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD?

Here’s how to apply for both Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD:

1. Application Opening and Deadline:

  • The application process for Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD for the 2024/25 academic year is now open.
  • Scholarships are for studies in the UK starting in September/October 2024.

2. Online Application System:

  • To apply, you must use the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission’s (CSC) online application system.
  • The CSC does not accept any applications or documentation sent through other means.

3. Early Application Advised:

  • It’s recommended to complete and submit your application as early as possible. The online application system tends to get very busy close to the application deadline.

4. Nominating Agency:

  • In addition to applying to the CSC, applicants must also apply to a nominating agency.
  • There are different types of nominating agencies for both Master’s and PhD scholarships.

For Master’s Scholarships:

  • Nominating agencies include:
    • National nominating agencies (main route of application).
    • Selected non-governmental organizations and charitable bodies.
  • Nominating agencies have their own selection processes and may have additional eligibility criteria.
  • Applicants should check with their chosen nominating agency for specific guidance, application rules, and eligibility criteria.
  • Nominating agencies may have their own closing dates for applications.

For PhD Scholarships:

  • Nominating agencies include:
    • National nominating agencies (main route of application).
    • Selected universities/university bodies (which can nominate their own academic staff).
    • Selected non-governmental organizations and charitable bodies.
  • Just like for Master’s scholarships, nominating agencies have their own selection processes and may have additional eligibility criteria.
  • Applicants should check with their selected nominating agency for specific advice, application procedures, and eligibility criteria.
  • Nominating agencies may have their own application deadlines.

Outcome Notification:

  • Nominating agencies will put forward scholarship candidates to the CSC by December 2023.
  • Applicants can expect to receive the outcome of their application by July 2024.
  • The CSC will contact all applicants by email, so it’s crucial to regularly check all folders in your email account, including junk mail and spam folders.
  • Be aware that a scholarship offer may be withdrawn if a candidate is emailed but does not respond within a specified time.

Please ensure that you follow the specific guidelines and deadlines provided by both the CSC and your chosen nominating agency to maximize your chances of success in securing a Commonwealth scholarship.

Also read: Fulbright Scholar Program 2024 in USA for Professionals from all fields

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