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Commonwealth Scholarship | How to Apply

The Commonwealth Scholarship stands as a beacon of hope, providing talented individuals from Commonwealth member countries with the means to pursue higher education and unlock their full potential. This prestigious scholarship program is a testament to the enduring spirit of collaboration, knowledge exchange, and empowerment within the Commonwealth community. In this article, we delve into the significance of the Commonwealth Scholarship, its history, benefits, and the transformative impact it has on scholars and their countries.

Objectives of the Commonwealth Scholarship

  1. Academic Excellence: The primary goal of the Commonwealth Scholarship is to identify and nurture exceptional talent by providing scholars with access to world-class education and research facilities. By offering opportunities for advanced studies, the program seeks to enhance scholars’ academic abilities and foster their potential to become leaders and innovators in their fields.
  2. International Collaboration: The scholarship program facilitates meaningful connections among scholars from diverse Commonwealth countries. By sharing knowledge, ideas, and experiences, the program promotes cross-cultural understanding, mutual respect, and global networks, which are essential for addressing shared challenges.
  3. Capacity Building: The Commonwealth Scholarship plays a pivotal role in developing human capital in Commonwealth member countries. Scholars return to their home countries with enhanced skills, knowledge, and expertise, contributing to their nation’s socioeconomic growth and sustainable development.

Benefits of the Commonwealth Scholarship

  1. Fully Funded Education: Commonwealth Scholars receive comprehensive financial support, including tuition fees, living allowances, travel costs, and other necessary expenses, allowing them to focus solely on their academic pursuits.
  2. Diverse Study Opportunities: Scholars can choose from a wide range of disciplines and institutions within Commonwealth countries, providing access to some of the world’s best educational institutions and research facilities.
  3. Personal Growth and Cultural Immersion: Living and studying in a different country offers scholars a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture, broaden their horizons, and develop a global perspective.
  4. Networking and Collaboration: The program fosters strong networks and collaborations among scholars, enabling them to exchange ideas, collaborate on research projects, and build long-lasting partnerships.

Transformative Impact on Scholars and Nations

The Commonwealth Scholarship has a transformative impact on both individual scholars and their home countries:

  1. Empowered Scholars: Scholars return to their home countries with newfound skills, expertise, and a broader worldview, positioning themselves as catalysts for positive change in their respective fields and societies.
  2. Strengthened Institutions: Through capacity building, the scholarship program contributes to strengthening educational institutions and research centers in Commonwealth member countries, creating a positive ripple effect on future generations.
  3. Cross-Cultural Understanding: Scholars become ambassadors of cultural understanding, fostering tolerance, respect, and cooperation among Commonwealth nations.
  4. Sustainable Development: By investing in education and human capital, the Commonwealth Scholarship plays a vital role in advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and promoting a more prosperous and equitable world.

Types of Awards

The Commonwealth Scholarships Commission offers:

  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships
  • Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships
  • Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships
  • Commonwealth Shared Scholarships
  • Commonwealth Distance learning Scholarships
  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships
  • Commonwealth Medical Fellowships
  • Commonwealth Professional Fellowships

Why Apply for the Commonwealth Scholarship? 

The scholarship is not just about getting free education, the prestige and reputation that this scholarship comes with will help you build a bright future. You can apply to 90+ colleges with this scholarship which includes prestigious institutes like the University of Oxford, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London etc. the kind of exposure that one gets after studying in these colleges through this scholarship will also help you build connections and create a network that will help you in building a good career in one of these fields. Another important advantage of this scholarship is the amount of research and the quality of research that you will conduct and how it will not only affect your future but the society at large.

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for this scholarship, you need to fulfil some eligibility requirements, without which your application will be deemed invalid. The minimum requirements for application include the following:

  • You need to be a citizen permanently residing in India
  • Your age should not exceed 40 years
  • You must be available to start your degree in the UK from the beginning of the academic year (generally in september or october of the respective year) of the country
  • You should have either completed or expecting to complete your bachelor’s (for applicants to the master’s program) or master’s (for PhD applicants) degree before the start of the academic year in UK
  • You should secure at least 60% marks in humanities/social sciences or at least 65% marks in science/engineering and technology/agriculture in your bachelor’s/master’s degree
  • You should not be having the means of funding your study in UK without this scholarship
  • If you have already been abroad for study or training previously either on any scholarship or otherwise, for a period exceeding 6 months, you will be eligible to apply for this scholarship only if you have resided in India for at least two years after returning from abroad as on the date of application
  • Your application will not be considered if you are already abroad

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Duration and Benefits

The duration of a commonwealth scholarship is 1 year for master’s programs and 3 years for PhD programs. The scholarships cover the following benefits:

  • Tuition and accommodation fees are covered.
  • Stipend under Commonwealth and fellowship plan is £1,000 (INR 92,000) every month. Furthermore, a thesis grant is also provided.
  • Airfare falls under the gambit of Commonwealth scholarship for Indian students. Moreover, spouse allowance of £225 (INR 20,000) per month. Furthermore, a child allowance of £225 per month for the first child and £110 (INR 10,000) per month for the second child.

Commonwealth Scholarships Application Procedure

The application procedure for commonwealth scholarships is entirely online. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) under the Government of India, issues a public notice every year inviting applicants for the available scholarships. The candidates are required to apply to both the MHRD portal and the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission’s portal through the links mentioned in the notice. It is essential to apply to both the portals within the given deadlines for each portal, otherwise, the application will be considered ineligible. Shortlisted applicants will have to appear for an interview, after which final selections are made by the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission.

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships

Commonwealth PhD Scholarship is available for students from least developed countries and fragile states that wish to undertake research programs in universities in the UK for full-time courses. These scholarships are funded by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office. This scholarship is offered in these domains:

  • 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

Eligibility for Commonwealth PhD Scholarship 

To apply for these scholarships, you must:

  • Be a citizen or taken refugee status in one of the eligible commonwealth countries
  • Be a permanent resident in an eligible commonwealth country
  • Start your academic studies by September/ October 2022
  • Hold an Honours degree or Masters degree by September 2022
  • Not be registered in a PhD program in UK before September 2022
  • Have provided all required documentation
  • Unable to afford to study in the UK

Check out these Scholarship Options

  • MBA Scholarships in UK
  • Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships to Study in UK
  • Brokerfish International Student Scholarship
  • PhD Scholarships in UK
  • Download free Ebook – Scholarships for UK

Eligible Countries

Here are the countries that are eligible for the Commonwealth PhD scholarship:

Bangladesh Sierra
Cameroon Leone
Kenya Solomon
Kiribati Islands
Lesotho Tanzania
Malawi India
Mozambique Gambia
Nigeria Tuvalu
Pakistan Uganda
Rwanda Zambia

CSC Development Themes

There are six CSC Development themes under which the scholarship is funded:

  • 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

How to Apply for Commonwealth PhD Scholarship?

In order to apply for commonwealth PhD Scholarships, you need to follow this process:

  • First, check if your desired university offers Commonwealth Scholarships
  • You have to apply through one of the nominating bodies that are available for each country.
  • Check out the full list of Nominating Agencies here.
  • Every nominating agency has a different procedure that you must  check from your official agency

Financial Support Offered

Most scholarships offered by the Commonwealth are fully-funded. It covers your tuition fees, airfare to and from the UK, and living allowance to help you in the UK.

Universities that Accept Commonwealth PhD Scholarships

In collaboration with these universities, Commonwealth Scholarships are offered to students across several countries. These universities pay 20% of the school fees of the student who is selected. Some of these universities include:

  • Bangor University 
  • Brunel University London
  • Coventry University
  • Kingston University
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Swansea University
  • University College London
  • University of Bristol

Contact Details

The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)
John Foster House
36 Gordon Square
London, WC1H OPF
Tel: +44-207-387 8572

Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD)
Department of Higher Education
External Scholarship Division
ES.4 Section, West Block-1
Wing-6, 2nd Floor, R. K. Puram, New Delhi-110066
Tel: and 26172492


The Commonwealth Scholarship exemplifies the power of education in transforming lives and shaping nations. By nurturing talented individuals and facilitating international collaboration, the program embodies the core values of the Commonwealth community. As we celebrate the legacy of the Commonwealth Scholarship, let us continue to invest in education, empower minds, and build a brighter future for all, one scholarship at a time.

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