Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD study

Commonwealth Scholarships for Master and Ph.D. Study

Last date to apply

Via MHRD for Indian Candidates: 

September 22, 2016. till 3 PM

About Commonwealth Scholarship for Master’s and PhD

Commonwealth Scholarship for Master’s and PhD in the UK are offered for citizens of developing Commonwealth countries under Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is one of the largest and most prestigious scholarship schemes for international study in the world. The Indian candidates have to apply through MHRD which will send the nominations of around 65 candidates which includes 26 candidates for Ph.D. The scholarship would be granted to 25-30 candidates from India. The candidates will also have to apply to individual universities apart from the common application form.

It is a fully funded scholarship to study in UK Universities.

These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and candidates can apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship for the following levels of study:

  • Commonwealth Ph.D. Scholarship (3-4 yr course)

    Selected candidates will receive support for 36 months till the completion of a three-year full-time doctoral postgraduate qualification at an eligible UK university

  • Commonwealth Master's Scholarship (1 yr course)

    Selected candidates will receive support for 12 months till the completion of a full-time taught postgraduate qualification at an eligible UK university.

The candidates  must take the necessary steps to secure admission to their preferred universities in advance of their scholarship application as many courses have strict admission deadlines.

Eligible Courses for the scholarship

  • SCIENCE (Pure and Applied)

Note: Funds will not be granted for MBA Studies.

Commonwealth Scholarship Important Dates

Last date for online application in MHRD India September 22, 2016
Last date for application through EAS November 15, 2016
Announcement of the candidates shortlisted for Interview Around October 20, 2016 
Interview Dates (Tentative) Between November 16 and December 8, 2016


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Commonwealth Scholarship for Master’s and PhD Eligibility Criteria

Gender Any
Region Developing Commonwealth Countries
Class/ Age Undergraduate and Postgraduate
  • Candidates must be a Commonwealth citizen, refugee, or British protected person
  • Candidate must be a permanent resident in a developing Commonwealth country
  • A candidate has to start his/her academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September/ October 2017
  • Till October 2017 candidate must have either of the three
    • The first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard
    • A second class degree
    • A relevant postgraduate qualification
  • Age: The age of the candidate must not exceed 40 years
  • Candidates who have already been abroad for studies/training/ specialisation either on scholarships or on their own, for a period exceeding six months are eligible to apply if they have been in India for at least two consecutive years as on 22.09.2016 after returning from abroad

Academic Qualification

For Master's Degree: Candidate should hold or expect to hold Bachelor's Degree  by October 2017 securing minimum 60% marks in Humanities and Arts Group and 65% marks in engineering, technology, science and agriculture groups.

For PhD Degree: Candidate should secure or expect to secure Master's Degree by October 2017 securing minimum 60% marks in Humanities and Arts Group and 65% marks in engineering, technology, science and agriculture groups.

English language Requirement

  • The candidate should have completed tertiary education in the English Language. The candidate whose native language is not English has to produce the evidence of required competency in the English Language.
  • For Indian Candidates, MHRD as such would not require any certificate of English LanguageProficiency Certificate.

The CSC does not require any candidates to take an IELTS (English language) test. Applicants should note, however, that, as a further condition of award, they may be required by their university to provide evidence of a particular level of English language proficiency

Commonwealth Scholarship for Master’s and PhD Reward

A Commonwealth Scholarship covers fees, fares, and personal maintenance. Each selected candidate will be provided with the following benefits

  • Airfare: Airfare from the home country to the UK and return at the end of award will be paid
  • Tuition and examination fees: Tuition and examination fees will be fully paid
  • Living Allowance: Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,043 per month and £1,279 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area
  • Grant for thesis: Grant for thesis will also be provided towards the cost of preparing a thesis or dissertation
  • Warm clothing allowance
  • Travel Grants: Study travel grant towards the costs of study-related travel within the UK or overseas
  • Fieldwork Grant: For PhD Scholars, fieldwork grant towards the cost of fieldwork undertaken overseas
  • Mid-Term visit: For PhD Scholars, paid the mid-term visit to the home country.
  • Family Allowance: If the scholarship is at least 18 months long, the following family allowances:
    • Spouse allowance: Spouse allowance of £224 per month if both spouses are living together at the same address in the UK
    • Child allowance: Child allowance of £224 per month for the first child and £109 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16.
  • For those who are widowed, divorced or a single parent child allowance of £448 per month for the first child, and £110 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16

Commonwealth Scholarship for Master’s and PhD Application form and Process

The candidates have to apply to study at Master’s/PhD level at a UK university with which the CSC has a part funding agreement.

CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships. However, candidates are required to apply via any one of the following nominating bodies in the first instance:

  • National nominating agencies: This is the main route of application
  • Selected universities/university bodies, which can nominate their own academic staff
  • Selected non-governmental organisations and charitable bodies

 All applications must be made through the nominating body in applicants country.

Application procedure for Indian candidates

The candidates of India have to apply to MHRD as well as directly to the CSC. It is compulsory for the candidates to apply at both the application portal before the due date. While making the application the candidate has to take care of the following points

  • Preference of the Institute: Candidates are required to state at least one and preferably three institutions.
  • For PhD Candidates: They must provide a supporting statement from a supervisor from at least one of the UK Universities. No candidate, for PhD, will be allowed to be interviewed without such supporting statement/letter. 
  • Plan of Study: Candidates have to submit their plan of study /research proposals in minimum 100 words for Masters and 500 words for PhD. A research proposal must contain Title, Abstract, Introduction, Methodology, Outcome etc

Application 1: To Ministry: Candidates in India have to apply to the ministry of HRD 

Application 2: CSC's Electronic Application System 

Application 3: To the Individual Institute: Candidates have to submit independent applications directly to the preferred institution well in advance. At the time of nomination, it is not compulsory to provide the offer letter from the institute in the UK. 

Eligible courses for the Scholarships

Note: Application in more than one subject and one course will lead to disqualification of the candidature.

Electronics/Electrical Environmental Studies
Remote Sensing Technology Communication Engineering
Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering Robotics
Computer Applications/Computer Science Aerospace engineering/Aeronautics
Civil Engineering/Architecture Material Science
Mining Engineering Marine Engineering


  • SCIENCE (Pure and Applied)
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Molecular Biology
    • Chemistry (including Pharmaceutical/Medicinal Chemistry)
  • AGRICULTURE: Agronomy and Forestry
History Sociology
Management Studies Economics
Philosophy Psychology
Law English

Political Science with International Relations


Required Documents at the time of Application


  • Mark sheet and certificate of Class 10, 12
  • Transcript in respect of candidates' higher qualification from their university
  • Bachelor's / Master's Degree

Submission of Application

The duly filled in application form must be submitted to and endorsed by one of the approved nominating bodies listed above.

  • The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the EAS to a nominating body in their home country.
  • All the duly filled in Application Forms must be submitted latest by September 16, 2016.

Commonwealth Scholarship for Master’s and PhD Selection Process

  • Each year CSC gives the responsibility to every nominating body for its own selection process and then to submit a specific number of nominations finally selected. In India the nominating body is MHRD.
  • The CSC invites around three times more nominations than scholarships available.
  • There are no quotas for scholarships for any individual country.
  • Candidates nominated by national nominating agencies are in competition with those nominated by other nominating bodies and the same standards will be applied to all the candidates.

Nominating Agency for Scholarship India 2017

Deputy Educational Adviser
Ministry of Human Resource Development
Department of Higher Education
A.2/W-4 Curzon Road Barracks
Kasturba Gandhi Marg
New Delhi 110 001
Tel: +91 11 2338 4501
Fax: +91 11 2338 1355

Selection Process

  • The nominated candidate’s application is first considered by a member of the CSC’s panel of advisers with expertise in the subject area concerned.
  • Further by the CSC’s selection committee in competition with other candidates.
  • Candidates are selected on the basis of the following selection criteria:
    • Academic merit of the candidate
    • Quality of the proposal
    • Potential impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country

How the applicant will be intimated

  • If application is successful, the CSC will notify applicants for their provisional selections
  • CSC can also publish the names of provisionally selected candidates on its official website

Further, steps to be followed after selection

  • Before the Confirmation of Award can be issued candidates have to submit a medical report
  • Candidates have to sign an undertaking that they will return to their home country as soon as possible after the end of the award
  • Candidate will not undertake paid employment during their award without approval from the CSC in advance
  • CSC will consider a request to extend candidates leave to remain in the UK after their award only if they wish to move from Master’s to Ph.D. study

MHRD Selection Process 

Interview: Candidates will be shortlisted on the basis of the application received. Thereafter the shortlisted candidates will be called for interview.Based on merit the nomination will be made. The nomination will then be sent to Commonwealth Commission for the final selection

Documents required at the time of interview

  • Original Certificates along with Mark Sheets of Class 10 and 12 as well as transcripts of Degree
  • In case where grades are provided, the candidates have to furnish exact percentage of marks and also indicate the calculation formula.
  • NOC/Cadre Clearance
  • In case applying for Ph.D candidates are required to produce evidence of support.

Commonwealth Scholarship for Master’s and PhD Address

Woburn House
20-24 Tavistock Square
London WC1H 9HF
United Kingdom

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Conducted by

Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK