Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are for candidates from least developed and lower middle income Commonwealth countries, for full-time Master’s study on selected courses, jointly supported by UK universities.
Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and 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.
These 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
To apply for these scholarships, you 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 your academic studies in the UK, or remotely if required, by the start of the UK academic year in September/October 2021
- By September 2021, hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) standard, or a second class degree 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 at a UK university without this scholarship
- Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format
The CSC aims to identify talented individuals who have the potential to make change. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and non-discrimination, and encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates. For further information on the support available to candidates with a disability, see the CSC disability support statement.
The CSC is committed to administering and managing its scholarships and fellowships in a fair and transparent manner. For further information, see the CSC anti-fraud policy and the FCDO guidance on reporting fraud.
The CSC is committed proactively to safeguard and promote the welfare of our beneficiaries, and to protect its staff, Commissioners, beneficiaries and all those with whom the CSC comes into contact. The CSC requires staff, members of the Commission, applicants for and recipients of CSC awards and suppliers to act consistently with its requirements for safeguarding. Applicants should note the CSC’s Safeguarding Policy which sets out the obligation for staff, members of the Commission, applicants for and recipients of CSC awards and suppliers to act consistently with its requirements for safeguarding.
Any safeguarding concerns should be reported to the Commission at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Terms and Conditions
For full terms and conditions – including further details of the scholarship themes, value of the scholarship, and general conditions – see the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships 2021 terms and conditions.
Each participating UK University will conduct its own recruitment process to select a specified number of candidates to be awarded Commonwealth Shared Scholarships. Universities must put forward their selected candidates to the CSC in May 2021. The CSC will then confirm that these candidates meet the eligibility criteria for this scheme. Universities will inform candidates of their results in July 2021.
Applications will be considered according to the following selection criteria:
- Academic merit of the candidate
- Potential impact of the study on the development of the candidate’s home country.
For further details, see the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships 2021 selection criteria
How to apply
You can apply for more than one taught Master’s course and/or to more than one university through the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships Scheme, but you may only accept one offer of a Shared Scholarship. These scholarships do not cover undergraduate courses, PhD study, or any pre-sessional English language teaching, and are usually tenable for one year only.
View the full list of eligible courses.
You must also secure admission to your course in addition to applying for a Shared Scholarship. You must check with your chosen university for their specific advice on when to apply, admission requirements, and rules for applying.
You must make your application using the CSC’s online application system, in addition to any other application that you are required to complete by your chosen university. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the online application system.
The CSC particularly welcomes applicants from the following countries:
- Papua New Guinea
- Solomon Islands
- The Gambia
All applications must be submitted by 16.00 (GMT) on 9 April 2021 at the latest.
You are advised to complete and submit your application as soon as possible, as the online application system will be very busy in the days leading up to the application deadline and the Commission cannot make allowances for local or personal difficulties which might affect your ability to submit.
Your application must include the following supporting documentation by the closing date to be eligible for consideration:
- Proof of citizenship or refugee status – uploaded to the online application system
- Full transcripts detailing all your higher education qualifications including to-date transcripts for any qualifications you are currently studying (with certified translations if not in English) – uploaded to the online application system
To apply, access the CSC’s online application system.
Choosing a university/course
You may find the following resources useful when researching your choices of institution and course of study in the UK:
- Study UK – British Council website, with guidance for international students and a course and institution search
- Steps to Postgraduate Study – a guide to asking the right questions about taught postgraduate study in the UK
- Postgrad.com – information for postgraduate students, with a course search
- Prospects – information on postgraduate study in the UK
- Research Excellent Framework 2014 results – results of a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions
- UCAS Postgraduate – guidance on how to find and apply for a postgraduate course
- Unistats – the official website for comparing UK higher education course data
- UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) – advice for international students on choosing a course of study
The CSC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
You can only apply for the specific courses offered by specific universities offered through the Shared Scholarships Scheme.
If you have any queries about applying for a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship, you can contact us. We will not use your email address for any purpose other than responding to your enquiry.
For more information on other scholarships offered by the CSC, visit the Scholarship page.