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The Commonwealth Scholarship for PhD students

The Commonwealth Scholarship is specifically designed for PhD students from least developed countries and fragile States within the Commonwealth, offering them the opportunity to pursue full-time doctoral studies at UK universities.

The Commonwealth Scholarship for PhD students

This scholarship program, which is administered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC), aligns with international development goals and operates under the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP). It reflects the UK's ongoing commitment to the Commonwealth by attracting talented individuals from diverse backgrounds and nurturing them to become future leaders and innovators in their home countries.

Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), these scholarships support research with developmental impacts, enhance teaching and research capacities, and foster international partnerships. They aim to attract high-caliber international applicants and contribute to UK higher education while prioritizing individuals who may not otherwise be able to afford to study in the UK.

Targeting high-quality graduates with potential for world-class research, these scholarships are offered across six CSC Development themes, aiming to develop influential leaders, teachers, and researchers in Commonwealth countries.

Financial Benefits

The Scholarship's Financial benefits for Common wealth Scholarship for PhD Students includes:

  • Airfare: Includes travel to and from the United Kingdom; does not include travel prior to the award confirmation or for dependents. 

  • Tuition: Scholars pay no fees and receive full coverage as per the agreement between the CSC and the UK university. 

  • Stipend: £1,347 per month for living expenses (£1,652 for the London area). Allowance for Warm Clothes (if applicable). 

  • Study Travel Grant: Assists in covering the expense of study-related travel inside or outside of the UK. 

  • Fieldwork Provision: Pays for one round-trip ticket in economy class when conducting authorized fieldwork abroad. 

  • Mid-term Visit: If no spouse or kid allowances have been claimed, paid airfare for a visit home.

  •  Allowances for Families: £290 per month for a maximum of nine months if living together in the United Kingdom.


How To Apply For The Commonwealth Scholarship for PhD students

The CSC's online application system is the only way to submit an application. Applications and supporting materials must be submitted online in order to be accepted. Because there will likely be a lot of traffic on the online platform before the deadline, it is recommended that applications be completed and submitted early.

In addition to the CSC, applicants must apply to a nominating agency. For PhD scholarships, three categories of nominating agencies are available:


The main application procedure is through national nominating agencies. certain colleges and/or academic bodies: Academic staff members might be nominated by these entities. Chosen philanthropic and non-governmental organizations.

Applications are sent to the CSC for review by nominating agencies; the CSC does not accept direct applications.

Every nominating organization has its own selection procedure and can have extra requirements for eligibility.

The nominating agency must be consulted by applicants for specific guidelines, regulations, and qualifying requirements.

 The deadlines for applications may differ throughout nominating organizations.

 By December 2023, agencies will submit nominations for members of the CSC. By July 2024, applicants should expect to receive an email with the results; it is important to keep an eye on all email folders, including the spam and junk mail folders.

Withdrawal may occur if scholarship offer emails are not responded to within the allotted period.


Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for this scholarship, candidates must fulfil the subsequent requirements:


  • Citizenship: Be a British Protected Person, a citizen of a Commonwealth country that qualifies, or a person who has been granted refugee status by one.

  • Residence: Continue to hold a permanent residence in a Commonwealth nation that qualifies.

  • Availability: Be ready to start studying in the UK by September 2024, when the UK academic year officially begins.

Academic Requirements: Hold a first degree with an honour standing of at least upper second class (2:1) by September 2024, or a lower second-class degree combined with a suitable postgraduate degree, usually a Master's degree.

Academic Pursuit: Before September/October 2024, the individual must not be enrolled in a PhD or M Phil program that leads to a PhD at a UK university or in their home country.

Financial Need: Prove that you couldn't afford to study in the UK without this funding.

Documentation: In the format given, submit all required supporting documentation.


Eligible Countries

  • Bangladesh 

  • Cameroon 

  • Kenya

  • Nigeria 

  • Pakistan 

  • Rwanda 

  • Sierra Leone 

  • Solomon Islands 

  • Tanzania

  • The Gambia Togo 

  • Tuvalu 

  • Uganda 

  • Zambia

Selecting a University and Course

Here are some useful sites for applicants to the Commonwealth Scholarship who are looking to select their UK university and course:

  • For overseas students, the British Council's Study UK website offers advice and a search feature.

  • Advice for those thinking about taught postgraduate programs can be found in Steps to Postgraduate Study.

  • Information and a course search targeted for postgraduate students can be found on

  • Prospects offers information on postgraduate education options available in the United Kingdom.

  • Applying to and discovering postgraduate courses is made easier with the help of UCAS Postgraduate.

  • The official website for comparing information about higher education programmes in the UK is Discover Uni.

  • The UK Council for overseas Student Affairs, or UKCISA, provides guidance on degree selection to overseas students.

Procedure and Criteria for Selection

Candidates will be assessed according to the following standards:

  • Academic merit

  • Strength of Research Proposal 

  • Potential Developmental Impact on Candidate's Home Country.

  • It is recommended that candidates carefully go over the selection criteria and make sure all of their answers on the application form meet each requirement.


What you need to do for applying in Common Wealth Scholarship at UK?


Candidates should use the CSC's online application platform for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship awards in order to apply for the Commonwealth Scholarship UK 2024. They should contact the CSC with any questions you may have about the online application process.

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must be citizens of or have permanent residency in a Commonwealth country in order to be eligible for a Commonwealth Scholarship. Those who are British protected persons or refugees are also qualified. Moreover, candidates must hold an undergraduate honors degree with a minimum upper second class (2:1) classification.

What is the policy regarding staying in the UK after completing a Commonwealth Scholarship?

Scholars are required to return to their home country upon the conclusion of their scholarship. They must depart the UK within one month of the end of their scholarship tenure or one month after completing their program, whichever comes first.





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