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.
Purpose: To contribute to development needs of Commonwealth countries by providing training for skilled and qualified professionals in key development areas.
Intended beneficiaries: 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.
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
Find out more about the CSC Development themes.
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 an eligible 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.
The CSC is committed to administering and managing its scholarships and fellowships in a fair and transparent manner. For further information, see the CSC anti-fraud policy and the FCDO guidance on reporting fraud.
The CSC is committed proactively to safeguard and promote the welfare of our beneficiaries, and to protect its staff, Commissioners, beneficiaries and all those with whom the CSC comes into contact. The CSC requires staff, members of the Commission, applicants for and recipients of CSC awards and suppliers to act consistently with its requirements for safeguarding. Applicants should note the CSC’s Safeguarding Policy which sets out the obligation for staff, members of the Commission, applicants for and recipients of CSC awards and suppliers to act consistently with its requirements for safeguarding.
Any safeguarding concerns should be reported to the Commission at: email@example.com
How to apply
You must apply to study an eligible master’s course at a UK university that is participating in the Distance Learning scheme.
Please see the full 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.
All applications must be submitted by 17:00 (BST) on 26 April 2021 at the latest.
Your application must include the following supporting documentation by 17:00 (BST) on 10 May 2021 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 their chosen course of study in the 2021-2022 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.
Supporting documentation uploaded to the online application system must be uploaded as files that are no more than 5 MB in size and must be in one of the following formats: PDF, .doc, .docx, .odt, .jpg, .jpeg. Files submitted in any other format (including Zip files and PDF Portfolios) will NOT be accepted.
Applicants are responsible for seeking permission from their referees in advance of submitting their application; for ensuring that their referees are available to complete the reference by the deadline and have received the reference request email from the online application system.
The CSC’s online application form is now open