Commonwealth Distance-Learning Scholarship Program
Commonwealth Distance-Learning Scholarship actively supports individuals with exceptional talent, particularly those from underprivileged origins, who are based in low- and middle-income countries, acting as a catalyst for sustainable development.
Commonwealth Distance-Learning Scholarship
Since the first batch of 175 Scholars came to the UK in 1960, more than 30,000 individuals have applied for a Commonwealth Scholarship.
The plan has evolved continuously throughout those six decades, adjusting to the very different world of the current Commonwealth of 56 nations.
The majority of Scholarships are funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), with the intention of supporting excellence in UK higher education and advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals across a modern Commonwealth, in addition to the UK’s international development goals and wider overseas interests.
The Department for Education has funded a scholarship program for candidates from high-income Commonwealth countries to support postgraduate research excellence and awards at the doctoral level.
Scholar Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for a Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship, candidates should:
1. Be a citizen of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country, or be a British Protected Person
2. Be permanently resident in a developing Commonwealth country
3. 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.
4. Be unable to afford to study in the program without this scholarship.
The CSC aims to identify talented individuals who have the potential to make a change.
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How to Apply
Commonwealth Distance Learning Grants applications for the academic year 2023–2024, are now being opened.
Applicants must use the CSC’s online application system to apply for a Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship as well as to apply for admission to a Master’s program at a partner UK university.
Applicants may apply to many universities and courses, but they may only accept one Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship offer.
The Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are not available for PhD or undergraduate education; they are only available for Master’s programs. Please contact the selected university for information on their specific application guidelines, admission standards, and deadlines.
Any applications that are not submitted through the CSC’s online application system will not be accepted by the CSC.
Applications for the Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship will be shared with UK universities, which will submit their preferred applicants for the scholarship in May 2023.
The CSC then confirms that the candidates match its eligibility requirements. In July 2023, universities notify applicants of their Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship success.
The Commonwealth Scholarship Council’s online application system will be extremely busy in the days running up to the application deadline, so applicants are recommended to finish and submit their Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship applications as early as possible.
Click here for Online Application
Applicants must have supporting materials in order to be accepted.
Note: Applicants must gather references from referees and submit them to the application system in PDF format along with their other supporting materials. References must be submitted on institution letterhead or an email that clearly displays the sender’s information. This is a departure from prior years when referees would get their remarks requested in a separate email.
We are unable to accept references in any other format or after the application deadline unless they are uploaded to the application system.
The following files must be uploaded along with the application by candidates:
- Documentation demonstrating the applicant’s citizenship or refugee status in a Commonwealth nation: a replica of a valid passport (or national ID card) with a photograph, birthdate, and nation 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.
The application will be disqualified if any necessary supporting materials are not submitted by the deadline.
Applicants may also upload any letters of university admission they may have for the course they have chosen.
Application Deadline: The closing date for applications is Tuesday 28 March 2023 at 16:00 (GMT).
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To choose a specific number of applicants for Distance Learning Scholarships, each participating UK university will perform its own recruitment process.
By May 9, 2023, universities must submit the names of their chosen candidates to the CSC.
Universities will notify applicants of their results in July 2023 when the CSC has confirmed that these candidates fit the requirements for this program.
Selection Criteria Include:
- Academic merit of the candidate
- The potential impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country
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