Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are offered for citizens of certain developing Commonwealth countries. These scholarships are funded by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), with the aim of contributing to the UK’s international development aims and wider overseas interests, supporting excellence in UK higher education, and sustaining the principles of the Commonwealth.
To contribute to development needs of Commonwealth countries by providing training for skilled and qualified professionals in key development areas.
High-quality postgraduate students who wish to access training not available in their home countries, who wish or need to remain in their home country while they study, and who have the potential to enhance the development of their home countries with the knowledge and leadership skills they acquire.
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.
Please note that only candidates from the 25 eligible countries listed below can apply for Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships in 2022.
Papua New Guinea
- A Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship covers tuition fees and study grants where required. Other scholarships, awards, or bursaries that cover the same costs may not be held concurrently.The CSC does not require any candidates to take an IELTS (English language) test. You should note, however, that, as a further condition of your scholarship, you may be required by your university to provide evidence of a particular level of English language proficiency.
Development themes and impact
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
Each participating UK University will conduct its own recruitment process to select a specified number of candidates for Distance Learning Scholarships. Universities must put forward their selected candidates to the CSC by 9 May 2022. The CSC will then confirm that these candidates meet the eligibility criteria for this scheme and universities will inform candidates of their results in July 2022.
Selection criteria include:
- Academic merit of the candidate
- Potential impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country
Method of Application
You must apply to study an eligible master’s course at a UK university that is participating in the Distance Learning scheme. Click here for a list of participating universities and eligible courses.
You must also apply and secure admission to your university course in addition to applying for a Distance Learning Scholarship. You must check with your chosen university for their specific advice on when to apply, admission requirements, and rules for applying. 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 chosen university. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the online application system.
You can apply for more than one course and/or to more than one university, but you may only accept one offer of a Distance Learning Scholarship.
Candidate applications will open on 1 February 2022 and must be submitted by 18:00 (GMT) on 15 March 2022.
Applications must include the following supporting documentation by 17:00 (GMT) on 5 April 2022 in order for your application to be eligible for consideration:
- At least one reference– submitted directly by the referee to the online application system (referees will be sent an email request)
- An offer letter to start the chosen course of study in the 2022-2023 academic year – uploaded to the online application system
- Full transcripts detailing all your higher education qualifications (with certified translations if not in English) – uploaded to the online application system
The CSC will not accept supporting documentation submitted outside the online application system.
Application Deadline: 18:00 (GMT) on 15 March 2022.
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