Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships are for candidates from eligible lower and upper middle income Commonwealth countries, to undertake full-time taught Master’s study at a UK university.
Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and are aimed at those who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK. These scholarships are offered under six development 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
Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships 2021 Overview
Candidates may note that in 2021 that some national agencies will not be invited to nominate for Master’s Scholarships. In the context of broader constraints on the UK’s development assistance budget, the CSC must regrettably select fewer Master’s candidates in 2021.
New Master’s recruitment will be drawn from countries not invited to nominate for PhD study, while countries not invited to nominate this year will be represented by Master’s Scholars selected in 2020 but who, due to the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic this year, have been supported by the CSC in deferring their scholarship to commence in 2021. This has included the deferral of a significant number of Master’s Scholarships.
Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships 2021 Eligibility
To apply for these scholarships, you must:
- 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 an eligible Commonwealth country
- Be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September 2021
- By September 2021, hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard, or a second class degree (2:2) and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree). The CSC would not normally fund a second UK Master’s degree. If you are applying for a second UK Master’s degree, you will need to provide justification as to why you wish to undertake this study
- NOT be registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, at a UK university or in your home country before September/October 2021
- Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship
- Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format
Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships 2021 Terms and Conditions
For full terms and conditions – including further details of the scholarship themes, tenure and placement, value of the scholarship, and general conditions – see the Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships 2021 terms and conditions.
You should apply to study at a UK university which has a part funding agreement with the CSC. View a full list of UK universities with part funding agreements.
Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships 2021 Selection process
Each year, the CSC invites selected nominating bodies to submit a specific number of nominations. The deadline for nominating bodies to submit nominations to the CSC is 1 March 2021.
Applications will be considered according to the following selection criteria:
- Academic merit of the candidate
- Quality of the plan of study
- Potential impact on the development of the candidate’s home country
For further details, see the Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships 2021 selection criteria.
How to apply for Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships 2021
You must apply to one of the following nominating bodies in the first instance – the CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships:
- National nominating agencies – this is the main route of application
- Selected non-governmental organisations and charitable bodies
Each nominating body is responsible for its own selection process and may have additional eligibility criteria. You must check with your nominating body for their specific advice and rules for applying, their own eligibility criteria, and their own closing date for applications.
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 nominating body. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the online application system.
All applications must be submitted with all mandatory fields completed by 16:00 (GMT) on 18 January 2021 at the latest.
Choosing a university/course
You may find the following resources useful when researching your choices of institution and course of study in the UK:
- Study UK – British Council website, with guidance for international students and a course and institution search
- Postgraduate.com – information for postgraduate students, with a course search
- Prospects – information on postgraduate study in the UK
- Research Excellent Framework 2014 results – results of a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions
- UCAS Postgraduate – guidance on how to find and apply for a postgraduate course
- Unistats – the official website for comparing UK higher education course data
- UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) – advice for international students on choosing a course of study
All enquiries about these scholarships should be directed to your nominating body.
If you have any general questions about the CSC application, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Masters 2021 page.