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The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship programme is one of three Master’s programmes offered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & 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.


Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are jointly funded by the CSC and participating UK universities.

Each scholarship provides:

  • Approved airfare from the Scholar’s home country to the UK and return at the end of their Scholarship (the CSC will not reimburse the cost of fares for dependants, nor the cost of journeys made before the award is confirmed) – funded by the CSC

  • Approved tuition fees: full fees are covered by 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 £1,236 per month, or £1,516 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at current levels) – paid and funded by the university

  • Warm clothing allowance, where applicable – paid and funded by the university

  • Thesis grant towards the cost of preparing a thesis or dissertation, where applicable – claimed from and paid by the university; funded by the CSC

  • Study travel grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas – claimed from and paid by the university; funded by the CSC

  • Contribution towards the cost of a mandatory tuberculosis (TB) test, where required for a visa application (receipts must be supplied) – claimed from and paid by the university; funded by the CSC

  • If Scholars have children and are widowed, divorced, or a single parent, child allowance of £529 per month for the first child, and £131 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if Scholars are accompanied by their children and they are living with them at the same address in the UK (rates quoted at current levels)

  • If Scholars share 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 only be used as a contribution towards the cost of maintaining a Scholar’s family in the UK. The true costs are likely to be considerably higher. Scholars must be able to supplement these allowances to support any family members who come to the UK with them.


Applications will be considered according to the following selection criteria:

  • Academic merit of the candidate

  • Quality of the plan of study

  • Potential impact on the development of the candidate’s home country

To apply for these scholarships, candidates must:

  • By September 2024, hold a first degree of at least upper second-class (2:1) honours standard, or a lower second-class degree (2:2) and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree)

  • 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 their academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September 2024

  • Not have studied or worked for one (academic) year or more in a high-income country

  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK university without this Scholarship

  • Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format


There are over 100 courses that are eligible from over 50 select universities. These are grouped under 6 thematic areas. Here are some examples:

  1. Access, inclusion and opportunity:

  2. LLM International Human Rights Law

  3. MA Disability Studies

  4. MSc Gender, Development and Globalisation

  5. MSc Education (Policy and International Development)

  6. MPhil Education Leadership and Improvement (ELSI)

  1. Promoting global prosperity

  2. MSc Agroecology, Water and Food Sovereignty

  3. MSc Local Economic Development

  4. MSc Development Economics

  5. MSc Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology

  6. MSc Investment Analysis

  1. Science and technology for development

  2. MSc Renewable Energy Engineering

  3. MSc Civil Engineering

  4. MSc IT Security

  5. MSc Satellite Data Science (SDS)

  6. MSc Health Data Science

  1. Strengthening global peace, security and governance

  2. MSc Defence, Development and Diplomacy

  3. MA Applied Human Rights

  4. LLM Law

  5. MPP Public Policy

  6. MLitt Terrorism and Political Violence

  1. Strengthening health systems and capacity

  2. MSc Public Health and Health Promotion

  3. MRes Clinical Research

  4. MSc Public Mental Health

  5. MSc Epidemiology

  6. MSc Healthcare Operational Management

  1. Strengthening resilience and response to crises

  2. MSc Disaster Management and Resilience

  3. MSc International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies

  4. MSc Migration, Mobility and Development

  5. MSc Family and Child Psychology

  6. MSc Environment, Politics and Development


Applications for Commonwealth Shared Scholarships must be made using the CSC’s online application system. Candidates must apply and secure admission to study an approved Master’s course at a participating UK university in addition to applying for a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship via the CSC’s online application system.

Candidates can apply for more than one course and to more than one university, however they may only accept one offer of a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship. Note that Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are only for Master’s courses and not for undergraduate or PhD study.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship applications will be shared with UK universities, who will nominate their chosen candidates to receive a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship in March 2024. The CSC then checks that the candidates nominated meet the CSC’s eligibility criteria. Universities inform candidates if they have successfully been awarded a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship by July 2024.

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