Commonwealth Scholarship 2025 | Application Process | Fully Funded

Start your study adventure in the UK. Good news! Commonwealth Scholarship is currently open. In this article, we will explain in detail about this scholarship, its application benefits, and the step-by-step application process.

Commonwealth Scholarship 2025-2026 is a fully funded masters and Ph.D. scholarship for international students. Commonwealth Scholarship covers university tuition fees, a monthly living allowance of £1,347 per month, an economy class return airfare to the UK, and additional grants and allowances to cover essential expenditures.

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 upon 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.

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are for applicants from least developed countries and fragile States, as classified by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), in the Commonwealth,  for full-time doctoral study at a UK university.

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 upon 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.

Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Commonwealth Master’s 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.

Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Commonwealth PhD scholarships contribute to the development needs of Commonwealth countries by supporting research that will have a developmental impact. They also enhance individual teaching and research capacity leading to increased institutional capacity in academic and other sectors in Commonwealth countries, and will contribute to UK higher education and research by attracting high-calibre international applicants and encouraging links and collaboration, and are aimed at those who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK.

Commonwealth Scholarship Summary

  • Level of Study: Masters / Ph.D.
  • Institution(s): UK Universities. See the List here.
  • Study in: UK
  • Courses Offered: One year Full-time taught Masters Degree Program in any subject. and for Ph.D. 36 months of full-time study in a specific program of research 
  • Program Period: Depends on the selected program 
  • Commonwealth Scholarship Deadline: October 17, 2024 (currently closed)

Commonwealth Scholarship Coverage

Commonwealth Scholarship provides the recipient with the following benefits:

For Masters Applicants:

  • Approved airfare from the Scholar’s home country to the UK and return at the end of the award (the CSC will not reimburse the cost of fares for dependants, nor the cost of journeys made before the award is confirmed).
  • Approved tuition fees: full fees are covered by an 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 £1,347 per month, or £1,652 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at current levels).
  • Warm clothing allowance, where applicable.
  • Study travel grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas.
  • If a Scholar has children and is widowed, divorced, or a single parent, a child allowance of £576.61 per month for the first child, and £143 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16 if their children are living with them at the same address in the UK.

For Ph.D. Applicants:

  • Approved airfare from the Scholar’s home country to the UK and return at the end of the award (the CSC will not reimburse the cost of fares for dependants, nor the cost of journeys made before the award is confirmed).
  • Approved tuition fees: full fees are covered by an 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 £1,347 per month, or £1,652 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at current levels).
  • Warm clothing allowance, where applicable.
  • Study travel grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas.
  • Provision towards the cost of fieldwork undertaken overseas (the cost of one economy class return airfare to the fieldwork location), where approved.
  • Paid mid-term visit (airfare) to the Scholar’s home country, unless they have claimed or intend to claim spouse and/or child allowances during their scholarship or have received a return airfare to their home country for fieldwork.
  • Family allowances, as follows (rates quoted at current levels):
    • If a Scholar is accompanied by their spouse but has no children: a spouse allowance of £290 per month for a maximum period of nine months, if they and their spouse are living together at the same address in the UK (unless the spouse is also in receipt of a scholarship; other conditions also apply).
    • If a Scholar is accompanied by their spouse and children: a spouse allowance of £290 per month and child allowance of £290 per month for the first child, and £143 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if their spouse and children are living with them at the same address in the UK (unless their spouse is also in receipt of a scholarship; other conditions also apply).
    • If a Scholar is accompanied by their children but no spouse: a child allowance of £576.61 per month for the first child, and £143 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if their children are living with them at the same address in the UK.
  • If a Scholar shares 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 be only a contribution towards the cost of maintaining a Scholar’s family in the UK. The true costs are likely to be considerably higher, and Scholars must be able to supplement these allowances to support any family members who accompany them to the UK.

Eligibility Criteria for Commonwealth Scholarship

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

For Masters Applicants:

  • 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 academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September 2024.
  • By September 2024, hold a first degree of at least upper second-class (2:1) honors standard, or a lower second-class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree)*. The CSC would not normally fund a second Master’s degree. If applying for a second Master’s degree, applicants must justify why they wish to undertake this study.
  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship.
  • Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format.

For Ph.D. Applicants:

  • 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 academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September 2024.
  • By September 2024, hold a first degree of at least upper second-class (2:1) honors standard, or a lower second-class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree)*.
  • Not be registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, at a UK university or in their home country before September/October 2024.
  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship.
  • Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format.

How to Apply for the Commonwealth Scholarship?

Please follow the following instructions to apply for the Commonwealth Scholarship:

Application Process for Masters

Step 1. Applications to the CSC must be made using the CSC’s online application system.

Step 2. In the application form, applicants are asked to:

  • List all undergraduate and postgraduate university qualifications obtained.
  • List up to 10 publications and prizes.
  • Provide details of employment history and explain how the experience gained supports and is relevant to the program to be undertaken in the UK.
  • List names and positions of three referees who are qualified to comment on both their capacity to benefit from the proposed Scholarship in the UK and their ability to deliver development impact afterward. One of the referees must be a current employer (if applicable) and at least two references must be included with the application.

Provide a Development Impact statement in four parts.

  • In the first part applicants should explain how the proposed scholarship relates to:
    • Development issues at the global, national, and local level
    • Development issues connected to the chosen CSC development theme and the wider sector
  • The second part should explain how they intend to apply their new skills once the Scholarship ends.
  • The third part should outline what they expect will change in development terms following the Scholarship, including the outcomes that they aim to achieve, the timeframe for their implementation, and who the beneficiaries will be.
  • In the fourth part applicants should write about how the impact of their work could be best measured and evidenced.

Applicants are also asked to:

  • Confirm what their award objectives are and how each of them will be met by the Scholarship program.
  • Confirm what their career plans are for the 5 years following the Scholarship.
  • Confirm their long-term career plans.
  • Provide a detailed plan of study.
  • Provide a personal statement to summarise how their background has encouraged them to want to make an impact in their home country. Applicants may wish to highlight any areas where they have already made significant contributions, including overcoming personal or community barriers in accessing higher education or within their field.
  • Summarise how they have engaged in voluntary activities and the opportunities they have had to demonstrate leadership.

Step 3. Supporting Documents:

  • Proof that they are a citizen or have 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. Where any transcripts are missing or do not include all pages, the application will be considered ineligible.
  • References from at least two individuals, in PDF format, signed and on institutional letterhead or an email clearly showing the sender’s details.

Application Process for Masters

Step 1. Applications to the CSC must be made using the CSC’s online application system.

Step 2. In the application form, applicants are asked to:

  • List all undergraduate and postgraduate university qualifications obtained.
  • List up to 10 publications and prizes.
  • Provide details of employment history and explain how the experience gained supports and is relevant to the program to be undertaken in the UK.
  • List names and positions of three referees who are qualified to comment on both their capacity to benefit from the proposed Scholarship in the UK and their ability to deliver development impact afterward. One of the referees must be a current employer (if applicable) and at least two references must be included with the application.

Provide a Development Impact statement in four parts.

  • In the first part applicants should explain how the proposed scholarship relates to:
    • Development issues at the global, national, and local level
    • Development issues connected to the chosen CSC development theme and the wider sector
  • The second part should explain how they intend to apply their new skills once the Scholarship ends.
  • The third part should outline what they expect will change in development terms following the Scholarship, including the outcomes that they aim to achieve, the timeframe for their implementation, and who the beneficiaries will be
  • In the fourth part applicants should write about how the impact of their work could be best measured and evidenced.

Applicants are also asked to:

  • Confirm what their award objectives are and how each of them will be met by the Scholarship program.
  • Confirm what their career plans are for the 5 years following the Scholarship.
  • Confirm their long-term career plans.
  • Provide a detailed plan of study.
  • Provide a personal statement to summarise how their background has encouraged them to want to make an impact in their home country. Applicants may wish to highlight any areas where they have already made significant contributions, including overcoming personal or community barriers in accessing higher education or within their field.
  • Summarise how they have engaged in voluntary activities and the opportunities they have had to demonstrate leadership.

Step 3. Supporting Documents:

  • Proof that they are a citizen or have 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. Where any transcripts are missing or do not include all pages, the application will be considered ineligible.
  • References from at least two individuals, in PDF format, signed and on institutional letterhead or an email clearly showing the sender’s details.
  • A supporting statement, in PDF format, signed and on institutional letterhead or an email clearly showing the sender’s details, from a proposed supervisor in the UK from at least one of the institutions named on the application form.

Website

To learn more about Commonwealth Scholarships, please visit the official website:

Official Website