Commonwealth Shared Scholarships – information for candidates

Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD study in the UK are offered for citizens of developing Commonwealth countries. 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.

Students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK can apply for Commonwealth Shared Scholarships for Master’s study, jointly supported by UK universities.

Purpose: To contribute to development needs of Commonwealth countries by providing training for skilled and qualified professionals and academics who would not otherwise have been able to study in the UK.

Intended beneficiaries: High-quality postgraduate students who have not studied extensively overseas before, who would not otherwise have the opportunity to study in the UK, and who have the potential to enhance the development of their home countries with the knowledge and leadership skills they acquire.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are offered for selected taught Master’s courses, and are usually tenable for one year only. These scholarships do not cover undergraduate courses, PhD study, or any pre-sessional English language teaching.


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 August 2016, hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard
  • Not have studied or worked for one (academic) year or more in a developed country
  • Be unable, either yourself or through your family, to pay to study in the UK

The CSC promotes equal opportunity, gender equity, and cultural exchange. Applications are encouraged from a diverse range of candidates. The CSC is committed to administering and managing its scholarships and fellowships in a fair and transparent manner – for more information, see the CSC anti-fraud policy.

Terms and conditions

For full terms and conditions, see the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships 2016 prospectus

Selection process

Each participating UK university will conduct its own recruitment process to select a specified number of candidates for Shared Scholarships. Universities must put forward their selected candidates to the CSC by 29 April 2016. The CSC will then confirm that these candidates meet the eligibility criteria for this scheme. Universities will inform candidates of their results by July 2016.

Selection criteria include:

  • Academic merit of the candidate
  • Potential impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country.

How to apply

You should apply to study an eligible Master’s course at a UK university that is participating in the Shared Scholarship scheme. Click here for a list of participating universities and eligible courses

You must make your application using the CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS). Click here for full information on how to use the EAS, including detailed guides.

Before applying, you must check with your UK university for their specific advice and rules for applying, and for their own closing date for applications. Click here for a list of contact details

You can apply for more than one course and/or to more than one university, but you may only accept one offer of a Shared Scholarship. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the EAS to your UK university or applications directly from individuals.

All applications must be submitted by 23.59 (BST) on 1 April 2016 at the latest. Each university has its own closing date for applications, and most fall before 1 April 2016. You must submit your application by the date advised by your UK university.

How to access the EAS


All enquiries about these scholarships should be directed to the university to which you wish to apply.

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