UK Scholarships

UK Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship Program 2019 | Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC)

Commonwealth UK Scholarship for Master Degree Students

The UK Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship Program is now open for applications for the academic year 2019 – 2020 and will close on the 19th of December 2019 at 16:00 GMT. The commonwealth scholarship for doctoral program is also open.

The Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships of the UK are meant to fund Master’s degree applicants from Commonwealth nations belonging to the low-income and mid-income brackets who want to pursue their degrees in the UK.  The scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and are meant to help those gifted and self-motivated candidates who aspire to study in the UK and gain knowledge and proficiency in their chosen field but are constrained due to financial reasons. Thus, the commonwealth scholarship program aims to attract first-class postgraduate students from Commonwealth nations who show potential and drive to boost the process of development in their home countries using the knowledge and skills they attain through their studies in the UK.

The Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships Scheme is administered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) in the UK. The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) is sponsored by the DFID and is constituted as a public organization that is non-departmental in nature and possesses executive powers. On its part, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) is governed by the rules and regulations of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP), which is an international organization of Commonwealth member nations.

UK Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships Coverage and Benefits

A commonwealth scholarship winner under the UK Commonwealth Master degree Scholarship will receive the following benefits from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC);

  1. A flight ticket from his/her home country to travel to the UK for the purpose of his/her course studies and a return flight ticket on completion of the course back to his/her home country, subject to approval. However, the cost of the flight tickets of dependents of the aspirant or the cost of tickets for journeys undertaken by the aspirant before he/she received the scholarship will not be reimbursed.
  2. Tuition fees, subject to approval
  3. A fixed monthly stipend at differing rates for those studying at universities in the metropolitan area of London and those studying elsewhere.
  4. Wherever applicable, an allowance for warm clothing
  5. A grant toward the cost of preparing a dissertation or thesis, wherever applicable
  6. A grant for the cost of travel related to a candidate’s studies either in the UK or abroad
  7. A candidate who is widowed is a single parent, or is divorced and has dependent children will receive a child allowance at specified rates for each child under 16 years of age, if the child/children accompany him/her to the UK and live at the same address as the candidate

The family allowances mentioned above are only intended to help out the candidate with the costs of looking after his/her family in the UK and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC)  does not intend to bear the complete costs. The candidate is expected to supplement the allowance through some other means to meet the costs of looking after his/her family members who accompany him/her to the UK.

Additional information on specific amounts etc. can also be read to get more detailed info.

UK Commonwealth Master degree Scholarship Subject Categories

The UK Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship is offered in 6 subjects mentioned below to scholarship applicants:

  1. Strengthening global peace, security, and governance
  2. Science and technology for development
  3. Promoting global prosperity
  4. Access, inclusion, and opportunity
  5. Strengthening resilience and response to crises
  6. Strengthening health systems and capacity

Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship Eligibility & List of Eligible Countries

In order to qualify to apply for the UK Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship, an aspirant has to fulfill the eligibility criteria mentioned below.

  1. He/she has to be a citizen of an eligible Commonwealth country or be a refugee in that country or be a British Protected Person.
  2. He/she has to be a permanent resident of an eligible Commonwealth country.
  3. He/she has to agree to begin his/her academic course in the UK in September – October which would mark the beginning of the UK academic term.
  4. He/she has to possess not less than a second class honors upper division (2:1) degree or a second class degree and an applicable postgraduate degree which generally tends to be a Master’s degree, by the month of October. Usually, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) does not provide funding for a second UK Master’s degree. An aspirant would need to provide adequate justification as to why he/she wished to pursue this course of study.
  5. He/she should be incapable financially to pursue a course of study in the UK.

Below is a list of the countries from where aspirants will be eligible to apply for the UK Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship:

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

How to apply for UK Commonwealth Scholarship for Master Degree Courses?

An applicant to the UK Commonwealth Scholarship process has to follow the process mentioned below to apply for the scholarship:

  1. An applicant has to begin by applying to one of the nominating organizations like the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) does not accept applications directly from aspirants. These are
  2. The national nominating organizations for commonwealth scholarship which should be the main application route for the applicant.
  3. Certain non-governmental and charitable organizations are also the nominating agencies for commonwealth scholarship scheme.
  4. Applications can only be submitted through any one of the above-mentioned Each organization would have a selection process of its own. Each could also have added eligibility criteria that an aspirant would have to meet in order to apply for the scholarship. Besides each agency could have its own cut-off date for receiving applications and aspirants are advised to find out in advance about these dates.
  5. Besides submitting the application to the nominating organization an aspirant also has to apply online using the CSC’s online application form
  6. Applicants should be aware of the fact that the CSC does not charge nominating organizations to nominate candidates nor does it charge applicants to use its online application system.
  7. Aspirants should complete the online application process as early as possible as the online system could get very busy and slow down as the application deadline approached.
  8. Applications for Commonwealth scholarship can be uploaded online.

UK Commonwealth Scholarship for Master degree documents requirement

An aspirant to the UK Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships has to submit the following documentation along with his/her application for the scholarship in order for the application to be valid. The cut-off date for uploading the documentation is the 4th of January 2019 by 16:00 GMT. Documentation submitted to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) through nominating organizations or through any means other than the online system

  1. A valid proof of the applicant’s citizenship/refugee status which the applicant has to upload online
  2. Complete academic records of the applicant with details of his/her higher studies and qualifications. If these records are not in English certified translations of the same should be uploaded.
  3. Two letters of reference that have to be directly submitted by both referees by uploading them to the online system. The referees will receive emails requesting them to do so.

When uploading the documents an applicant has to maintain a file size of not more than 5MB and file formats of PDF, .doc, .docx, .odt, .jpg, and .jpeg. Any other format for file submission will not be accepted, including Zip files and PDF portfolios.

The Selection Process for the UK Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship

The selection process that is followed by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) for the award of scholarships can be explained in the following manner;

  • The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) invites a specific number of applications from the nominating organizations every year. The cut-off date for nominating organizations to submit the requisite number of applications for this cycle is the 25th of January.
  • Invitations for commonwealth scholarship applications are three times more than the number of scholarships that the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) gives out. Hence a candidate nominated by the nominating organization to have his/her application sent to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) cannot be assured of a scholarship.
  • The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) does not grant scholarships on the basis of quotas for individual Commonwealth countries. Besides, there is no disparity in standards between candidates nominated by the national nominating organization and the other nominating organizations and applications from both sources will be regarded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) as being on the same footing. Hence nominated candidates from all countries will be competing against each other for the available scholarships without any bias.
  • Applications are whetted by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) based upon the following criteria; a candidate’s academic merit, the quality of a candidate’s study plan, the probable impact a candidate’s research work will have on the growth and development of his/her home country.

UK Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship duration & Placement

A few rules and regulations on the award, placement, and duration of the UK Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship are given below;

  1. An awarded scholarship will be tenable at any UK university or educational institution that has been approved by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) and has a part funding accord with it for a particular course of study.
  2. A commonwealth scholarship is awarded to secure one degree only. Scholarship funds will neither be given to candidates to pursue another degree in addition to the one specified in the application nor will the scholarship cover a candidate’s studies for a higher degree than the one applied for under the scholarship.
  3. This commonwealth scholarship is awarded to a candidate so that he/she can take up full-time study only. Hence, a candidate cannot take up any other course of study along with the scholarship course.
  4. Under this commonwealth scholarship, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) will only fund a Master’s course of one-year MBA degrees will not be funded by the CSC.
  5. Applicants should clearly state the degree that he/she is applying for as this will help the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) to consider their applications in the right category. Applications that fail to provide clarity on this point could be rejected.
  6. Applicants to master degree commonwealth scholarship should list out three university names and three courses of study in order of preference after careful consideration along with reasons for their choices. This is an important step as the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) will not permit a provisionally selected candidate to make any change in the university, course of study, or the candidate’s order of preference for that matter, except in exceptional and unforeseeable circumstances.
  7. The final decision on a candidate’s institution of study will be made by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) and the CSC has a right to refuse any or all of a candidate’s preferences. This will be decided based on the appropriateness of the course of study and whether it is worth the money being spent on funding it.
  8. Candidates to commonwealth scholarship program are responsible for securing admission to their preferred universities before applying for the scholarship since many universities have very strict cut-off dates for admission.

Commonwealth Scholarship IELTS and other Requirements

Given below is the procedure that the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) follows for confirmation of a commonwealth scholarship and other general conditions on IELTS.

  • The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) first creates a record in the candidate’s name so that the application can be administered efficiently and effectively.
  • If a candidate is successful, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) will notify him/her via email of his/her provisional selection. This is because a candidate remains provisionally awarded until the CSC agrees to his/her terms of admission at the University of his/her choice.
  • Clearing the IELTS test is not necessary for a candidate to be awarded the Commonwealth scholarship. However, a candidate could be required to provide proof of his/her proficiency in English by his/her university as an additional condition to being granted the scholarship.
  • A commonwealth scholarship candidate would not be granted a scholarship if doing so would be in contravention of the rules and regulations of any other scholarship that the candidate had held previously.
  • When a candidates admission terms to a UK university have been finalized by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC), the CSC will send him/her a formal scholarship offer or a Notification of Award.
  • When a candidate meets all the conditions of the Notification of Award the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) will confirm the award and send him/her an official Confirmation of Award letter. The candidate would be required to submit a health check-up report before the Confirmation of award letter could be issued.
  • The candidate would also be required to submit a signed undertaking to go back to his/her home country soon after completion of the award period.
  • A candidate has to begin his/her award on the date mentioned in the Notification of Award.
  • In case a candidate requires a Tier 4 visa to go to the UK to attend a course of study, he/she has to fulfill all the applicable immigration provisions laid down by the Visa and Immigration office of the UK.
  • A candidate will be selected based upon his/her study plan detailed in the application form, and based on the probability that this pan would not change drastically during the award period. Any changes to the plan would have to be intimated to and agreed upon by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC).
  • An awardee would be expected to reside in the UK all through his/her award period. Any overseas travel would require the prior approval of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC).
  • If an awardee wished to undertake any paid employment during the award period, he/she would have to obtain the prior approval of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC).
  • A candidate wishing to extend his/her stay in the UK after the award period has elapsed could do so if he/she wants to follow up his/her Master’s degree with a Ph.D. under strict consideration by the CSC.
  • The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) will not be able to provide a candidate any kind of letter of support/permission if he/she wishes to remain on in the UK for the purpose of work after the scholarship award period has concluded.
  • A candidate could have his/her award terminated any time due to unacceptable behavior, attendance, or progress, or if the candidate’s registration gets suspended or is terminated by his/her university due to any reason.

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Muhammad Yousaf

Muhammad Yousaf is mentoring new students to win scholarships for a long time. He realized the fact that it is essential to create a platform where students can find authentic opportunities to apply for and ask questions regarding any relevant matters.

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