Are you an outstanding student from a developing Commonwealth country hoping to pursue graduate studies in the UK? Applications are now open for the UK Commonwealth Scholarship 2024/25 – a prestigious, fully funded scholarship program managed by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.
Each year, the scholarship funds one year of master’s study and three years of doctoral study for students from select countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and more. This is an incredible opportunity to access world-class education at a leading UK university without the financial burden. Keep reading for details on how to apply for this life-changing scholarship.
About the Commonwealth Scholarship
The UK Commonwealth Scholarship program is funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). Since 1960, it has awarded over 30,000 scholarships to gifted students from developing Commonwealth countries.
For 2024/25, scholarships will be available for:
- One year of master’s degree study in the UK
- Three years of doctoral (PhD) study in the UK
The scholarship aims to develop knowledge and leadership skills in recipients, allowing them to drive development in their home countries. Recipients get the prestigious experience of undertaking postgraduate study at a UK university – without worrying about costs.
Details of the Scholarship
Here are the key details about the UK Commonwealth Scholarship 2024/25:
- Host Country: UK
- Funder: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
- Degree Levels: Master’s and PhD
- Value: Fully funded
- Application Deadline: October 17, 2023
Scholarships will start in September/October 2024.
As a Commonwealth Scholar, you will receive:
- Return airfare to the UK
- Full tuition fees
- Generous monthly stipend (£1,347 to £1,652 per month)
- Allowance for warm clothing, thesis costs, research travel, and more
- Additional child and disability allowances if applicable
This covers all your costs so you can focus on your studies, not finances.
Students from the following developing Commonwealth countries are eligible to apply:
- Papua New Guinea
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- The Gambia
So if you are a high-achieving student from one of these countries, you are encouraged to apply!
To apply for the UK Commonwealth Scholarship 2024/25, you must:
- Be a citizen or refugee of one of the above countries
- Be available to start studies in September 2024
- By September 2024, hold at least a 2:1 bachelor’s degree or master’s degree
- Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship
- Provide all required supporting documents
The Commonwealth Scholarship is extremely competitive. You will need a stellar academic background to be selected.
How to Apply
Applying for the UK Commonwealth Scholarship is a two-step process:
1. Submit an Online Application
You must submit an application through the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission’s online portal. Be sure to complete your application as early as possible – the system gets very busy close to the deadline.
2. Apply Through Your National Nominating Agency
You must also apply directly through your country’s nominating agency, which is usually your national Department of Higher Education. The nominating agency reviews applications and endorses selected candidates to forward to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.
Check your country’s nominating agency website for details on eligibility criteria and deadlines. You must apply directly to them as well. In December 2023, national agencies will nominate shortlisted applicants to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, which makes the final selection. You can expect to hear back on your application status by July 2024.
Choosing a University & Program
As part of your application, you will need to select your preferred UK universities and academic programs.
Here are some useful resources to help choose:
- Study UK – Official website on studying in the UK
- Postgrad.com – Search UK postgraduate programs
- Prospects – Guidance on choosing postgraduate programs
- University Research Rankings – Rankings to help shortlist universities
- UKCISA – Advice for international students on choosing a program
- Search university rankings by subject to find the top programs in your field
- Consider smaller, less competitive universities if you have a lower CGPA
- Align the program curriculum with your career goals
- Shortlist 4-6 universities to maximize your chances of placement
Thoroughly research your options – this will strengthen your application!
You will need to submit several supporting documents with your Commonwealth Scholarship application:
- Proof of citizenship of an eligible country
- Valid passport copy
- University transcripts
- 2 reference letters (on letterhead)
- Written application statement
- Proof of English proficiency (IELTS/TOEFL score)
Ensure documents are in the required format. Missing documents will make your application ineligible.
Here are some top tips for applying:
- Start early – Give yourself ample time to gather documents
- Follow instructions – Carefully adhere to all requirements
- Check email – Regularly monitor your email for updates
- Proofread – Have someone review your essays/statements
- Show passion – Demonstrate your interest in the program
- Highlight research – Include any academic papers or publications
- Discuss impact – Share how you will use your degree to benefit your home country
With meticulous attention to detail and a compelling application package, you can maximize your chances of securing this life-changing Commonwealth Scholarship.
The application deadline for the UK Commonwealth Scholarship 2024/25 is October 17, 2023. Submit your application online and to your national agency well in advance of this date.
If nominated by your country agency, you will hear back from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission regarding your selection status by July 2024.
If awarded the scholarship, you will need to accept the offer, confirm university placement, and apply for your UK student visa. The start date for the scholarship is September/October 2024. Get ready for an adventure half a world away and the opportunity of a lifetime!
How to Apply
To submit an application for the UK Commonwealth Scholarship 2024/25, visit the website here
For PhD Scholarship, visit here