Candidates may note that in 2021 some national agencies will not be invited to nominate for Commonwealth Masters Scholarships. Due to the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic this year, the CSC has allowed candidates selected in 2020 to defer their scholarship to commence in 2021. This has included the deferral of a significant number of Master’s Scholarships.
Given these deferrals and in the context of broader constraints on the UK’s development assistance budget, the CSC has decided that it must select fewer Master’s candidates in 2021. Whilst the Commission keeps the allocation of nominations under annual review, the decision to not offer nominations for Masters scholarships, or to reduce the number of scholarships for some nominators in 2021 is based on the unique impact of Covid-19 and does not reflect a permanent decision by the Commission on its allocation of awards.
The agency-nominated Master programme is one of three Master’s programmes offered by the Commission. Our other two programmes, Commonwealth Shared Scholarships and Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are open in 2021 to citizens of least developed, low, and lower middle-income Commonwealth countries. Details of how to apply for these programmes are available on the CSC’s website. Commonwealth Shared Scholarships and Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships will open in February 2021. Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships are for candidates from eligible lower and upper middle income Commonwealth countries, to undertake full-time taught Master’s study at a UK university.
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. These scholarships are offered under six development themes:
- Science and technology for development
- Strengthening health systems and capacity
- Promoting global prosperity
- Strengthening global peace, security and governance
- Strengthening resilience and response to crises
- Access, inclusion and opportunity
Information on other scholarships offered by the CSC can be found on the CSC website under Scholarships.
You must apply to one of the following nominating bodies in the first instance – the CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships:
- National nominating agencies – this is the main route of application
- Selected non-governmental organisations and charitable bodies
Each nominating body is responsible for its own selection process and may have additional eligibility criteria. You must check with your nominating body for their specific advice and rules for applying, their own eligibility criteria, and their own closing date for applications.
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 nominating body. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the online application system.
All applications must be submitted with all mandatory fields completed by 16:00 (GMT) on 18 January 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.
Your application must include all the required supporting documentation by 16:00 (GMT) on 1 February 2021.
You must check the Terms and Conditions for a full list of supporting documentation that must be submitted in order for your application to be eligible.
- Proof that you are a citizen or have refugee status of an eligible Commonwealth country: a copy of your valid passport (or national ID card) showing your photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship 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
- References from at least two individuals – submitted directly by the referees to the online application system (referees will be sent an email request to submit online)
- If any of the required documentation is not provided by the dates specified above, your application will be considered ineligible.
The CSC will not accept supporting documentation submitted by nominating agencies or outside the online application system.
Please note that the CSC does not charge candidates to apply for any of its scholarships or fellowships through its online application system, and it does not charge organisations to nominate candidates.
- Approved airfare from your home country to the UK and return at the end of your award (the CSC will not reimburse the cost of fares for dependants, nor the cost of journeys made before your award is confirmed)
- Approved tuition fees
- Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,116 per month, or £1,369 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at 2020-2021 levels)
- Warm clothing allowance, where applicable
- Thesis grant towards the cost of preparing a thesis or dissertation, where applicable
- Study travel grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas If you are widowed, divorced, or a single parent, child allowance of £480 per month for the first child, and £118 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if you are accompanied by your children and they are living with you at the same address in the UK (rates quoted at 2020-2021 levels)
- If you declare a disability, a full assessment of your needs and eligibility for additional financial support will be offered by the CSC