Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are for candidates from least developed, low, and lower middle-income Commonwealth countries, for part-time Master’s study by distance learning on selected courses offered by UK universities.
By attracting individuals with outstanding talent and identifiable potential from all backgrounds and supporting them to become leaders and innovators on returning to their home countries, the CSC’s work combines sustainable development with the UK national interest and provides opportunities for international partnerships and collaboration.
Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to access training and skills required for sustainable development not available in their home countries.
Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and are aimed at those unable to study in the UK for financial and other reasons.
These scholarships are offered under six 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
To be eligible for a Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship, candidates should:
- 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 a developing Commonwealth country
- Hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) standard. A lower qualification and sufficient relevant experience may be considered in certain cases.
- Be unable to afford to study the programme without this scholarship.
The CSC aims to identify talented individuals who have the potential to make change. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and non-discrimination, and encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates. For further information on the support available to candidates with a disability, see the CSC disability support statement.
Scholarship Duration and Reward
The CSC has a funding cap of £18,000 per scholarship. Universities may contribute funding from an approved source if the full cost of the award is more than £18,000.
The scholarship must cover all elements of the award, including:
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- Course tuition fees
- Grant to contribute to study-related costs
- Partnership development costs
- Any UK residential programme(s)
Where a university intends to run a UK residential programme as part of the course, the university is expected to provide at least the following level of support:
- Return travel from the Scholar’s home country to the UK location
- Cost of UK visa
- Maintenance stipend of £1,133 per month (£1,390 for Scholars in London), to be paid for the full duration of the UK residential. These amounts are set by the UK government for all students on government-funded scholarships, and increase annually.
In the application form, candidates will be asked to:
- List all undergraduate and postgraduate university qualifications obtained
- List up to 10 publications and prizes
- Provide details of their employment history and explain how each job is relevant to the programme to be undertaken
- Provide a statement on the relevance of their previous work experience to the proposed Scholarship
- List names and positions of two referees who are qualified to comment on both the candidate’s capacity to benefit from the proposed Scholarship in the UK and their ability to deliver development impact afterwards. One referee must be a current employer (if applicable)
- Provide a Development Impact statement in 4 parts.
Candidates must upload the following documents with the application:
- Proof that the applicant is a citizen or has refugee status in an eligible Commonwealth country: a copy of a valid passport (or national ID card) showing a photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship
- Full transcripts detailing all higher education qualifications, including to-date transcripts for any courses currently being studied, with certified translations if not in English
- References from at least two individuals, on institutional letterhead or an email clearly showing the sender’s details
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