Students from developing Commonwealth countries can apply for Commonwealth scholarships

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (with funding from the Department for International Development (DFID), and UK universities, to support scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the United Kingdom.

The aim of the scheme is to assist students from developing Commonwealth countries who are of excellent academic calibre but for financial reasons would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the United Kingdom. The scheme allows them to benefit from postgraduate study at a university in the United Kingdom which will help them to contribute toward the development of their home countries.

Awards are for taught Master’s programmes only, subjects must be related to the economic, social and technological development of a candidate’s country.

UCL expects to be able to allocate five awards this academic year.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a Commonwealth developing country, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country (please see the CSSS information booklet for a list of eligible countries);
  • Hold a first degree at either first- or upper second-class level;
  • Be sufficiently fluent in English to pursue the programme;
  • Have not previously studied for one year or more in a developed country;
  • Not be employed by a government department (at national level) or a parastatal organisation (employees of universities are normally acceptable);
  • Be themselves, or through families, unable to pay for the proposed programme of study in the UK;
  • Be willing to confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete.
  • Apply for admission to UCL for one of the eligible programmes below:
Institute for Global Health
Global Health and Development MSc
Institute of Archaeology
Museum Studies MA
Managing Archaeological Sites MA
Development Planning Unit
Development Administration and Planning MSc
Environment and Sustainable Development MSc
Urban Development Planning MSc
Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering
Earthquake Engineering with Disaster Management MSc
Genetics Institute
Genetics of Human Disease MSc
School of Slavonic and East European Studies
Comparative Business Economics MA
School of Medicine and Life Sciences
Clinical & Public Health Nutrition MSc

Value, Benefits and Duration

  • The award will cover tuition fees, a maintenance allowance, economy air travel to and from the UK at the beginning and end of the scholar’s degree programme plus additional discretionary allowances.
  • Awards are normally tenable for one year.

Application Procedure and Deadlines

  • You must separately apply for admission to UCL for one of the eligible programmes through the standard admissions procedure.
  • Before completing the UCL Master’s Scholarship Application Form, please read the Master’s Scholarship Guidance Notes.
  • Complete the reference form with the application form, however if the Referee arranges with the UCL Student Funding Office they may complete a separate Reference form to send to us.
  • Return your completed application and supporting documentation to:

    Student Funding Office, Student & Registry Services, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom

    Or via email to:

  • The deadline for submitting the UCL Scholarships Application Form – along with supporting documents specified in the form – to the UCL Student Funding Office is:
    Monday 17th March 2014.
    If an application is received after this deadline it will not be deemed eligible and cannot be considered.
  • You must also complete the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Electronic Application System (EAS) online: by their deadline of Wednesday, 16 April 2014
  • You must hold an eligible UCL admissions offer by Friday, 11 April 2014


Potential candidates must ensure that they submit a full scholarship application by 17 March 2014 irrespective of whether an offer of admission on a programme has reached them or not.

Scholarships applicants without an eligible UCL admissions offer on 11 April 2014 will be excluded from the competition at this point. It is for this reason that we recommend you apply for admission as early as possible, and submit your scholarship application by the deadline.

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Selection Procedure

The CSSS is a shared scholarship between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) and UCL, and selected candidates have to be accepted and approved by both parties, hence the requirement to also complete the CSSS online application form.

The successful and reserve candidates will be selected upon the recommendation of an academic panel and the Student Funding Office.

Notification of Results

Successful and reserve candidates selected by UCL can expect to be informed by email at the beginning of June. Final notification by the CSC should be expected around the beginning of July.

We are unable to inform unsuccessful applicants. If you do not hear from UCL Student Funding Office by the end of June, please assume your application has been unsuccessful.

Further information can be found on the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission website here.

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