Distance-Learning Scholarships 2023/2024 for Developing Countries (Fully-funded)
Commonwealth Distance Learning programme is one of three Master’s programmes
offered by the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission.
Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) provides the UK government
scholarship scheme led by international development objectives. It operates
within the framework of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship plan (CSFP)
and offers a vivid demonstration of the UK’s enduring commitment to the
Commonwealth. By attracting individuals with outstanding talent and
identifiable potential from all backgrounds and supporting them to become
leaders and innovators on returning to their home countries, the CSC’s work
combines sustainable development with the UK national interest and provides
opportunities for international partnerships and collaboration.
by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Commonwealth
Distance Learning Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to
access training and skills required for sustainable development not available
in their home countries.
beneficiaries: Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are for
candidate from eligible low- and middle-income Commonwealth countries, to
undertake part-time taught Master’s study with UK universities while remaining
in their home countries.
scholarships are offered under six CSC Development themes.
for Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships for the 2023/24 academic year
are now open.
closing date for applications is Tuesday 28 March 2023 at 16:00 (GMT).
must apply and secure admission to study an approved Master’s course at a
participating UK university in addition to applying for a
Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship via the CSC’s online application system.
can apply for more than one course and to more than one university, however
they may only accept one offer of a Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship.
Note that Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are only for Master’s courses
and not for undergraduate or PhD study. Please check with the chosen
university for their specific advice on when to apply, admission requirements
and rules for applying.
CSC is unable to accept any applications that are not submitted via the CSC’s
online application system.
Distance Learning Scholarship applications will be shared with UK universities,
who will nominate their chosen candidates to receive a Commonwealth Distance
Learning Scholarship in May 2023. The CSC then checks that the candidates
nominated meet the CSC’s eligibility criteria. Universities inform candidates
if they have successfully been awarded a Commonwealth Distance Learning
Scholarship in July 2023.
are advised to complete and submit their Commonwealth Distance Learning
Scholarship application as early as possible as the CSC’s online application
system will be very busy in the days leading up to the application deadline.
must include supporting documentation to be eligible.
that candidates are required to collect references, on institution letterhead
or an email clearly showing the sender’s details, from referees and then upload
them to the application system in PDF format with their other supporting
documentation. This is a change from previous years when referees would receive
a separate email requesting their statements.
references must be uploaded to the application system by the deadline for
applications and we are unable to accept references any other way or after this
must upload the following documents with the application:
that the applicant is a citizen or has refugee status in an eligible
Commonwealth country: a copy of a valid passport (or national ID card) showing
a photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship
transcripts detailing all higher education qualifications, including to-date
transcripts for any courses currently being studied, with certified
translations if not in English
from at least two individuals, on institutional letterhead or an email clearly
showing the sender’s details
any of the required documentation is not provided by the closing date, the
application will be considered ineligible.
can also upload any university admissions letters held for their chosen course.
CSC will not accept supporting documentation submitted outside the online
note that the CSC does not charge candidates to apply for any of its
Scholarships or Fellowships through its online application system, and it does
not charge organizations to nominate candidates.
list of eligible courses for 2023 can be found on the how to apply tab, sorted
may find the following resources useful when researching their choices of
UK – British Council website, with guidance for international students
and a course and institution search
information for postgraduate students, with a course search
Excellent Framework 2021 results – results of a system for assessing
the quality of research in UK higher education institutions
Postgraduate – guidance on how to find and apply for a postgraduate
the official website for comparing UK higher education course data
Council for International Student Affairs) – advice for international
students on choosing a course of study
CSC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
be eligible for a Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship, candidates
Be a citizen of
or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country, or be
a British Protected Person
resident in a developing 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.
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.
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 guidance on reporting fraud.
CSC is committed to proactively 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
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 protected]
see list of eligible countries below as stated in the DAC
list published in January 2022)
Papua New Guinea
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
the application form
the application form, candidates will be asked to:
undergraduate and postgraduate university qualifications obtained
List up to 10
publications and prizes
of their employment history and explain how each job is relevant to the
programme to be undertaken
statement on the relevance of their previous work experience to the proposed
List names and
positions of two referees who are qualified to comment on both the candidate’s
capacity to benefit from the proposed Scholarship in the UK and their ability
to deliver development impact afterwards. One referee must be a current
employer (if applicable)
a Development Impact statement in 4 parts.
first part should explain how the candidate’s proposed Scholarship relates to:
issues at the global, national, and local level
issues connected to your chosen CSC development theme and the wider sector.
second part should explain how the candidate intends to apply their new skills
and qualification after returning home.
third part should outline what the candidate expects will change in development
terms following the Scholarship, including:
outcomes they aim to achieve
timeframe for their implementation
the beneficiaries will be
fourth part should outline how the impact of the candidate’s work could be best
measured. It should:
what the candidate’s award objectives are and how each of them will be met by
the Scholarship programme
what the candidate’s objectives are for the next five years and how each of
them will be met by the Scholarship programme
what the candidate’s objectives are in the longer term and how each of them
will be met by the Scholarship programme
a personal statement to summarise the ways in which the candidate’s personal
background has encouraged them to want to make an impact in their home country.
Candidates should indicate areas in which they have already contributed, such
as having overcome any personal or community barriers in the chosen career
the ways in which the candidate has engaged in voluntary activities and the
opportunities where they have had to demonstrate leadership
participating UK University will conduct its own recruitment process to select
a specified number of candidates for Distance Learning Scholarships.
Universities must put forward their selected candidates to the CSC by 9 May
2023. The CSC will then confirm that these candidates meet the eligibility
criteria for this scheme and universities will inform candidates of their
results in July 2023.
Academic merit of
of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country
Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship covers tuition fees and study grants
where required. Other scholarships, awards, or bursaries that cover the same
costs may not be held concurrently.
the CSC to administer submitted applications effectively and efficiently, it
will be necessary to create a record in each candidate’s name. Where a
candidate is nominated for an award to the CSC, their details will be kept on
file. Basic anonymised demographic data for all applicants will be kept for
analytical research. The CSC is committed to protecting candidates’ and
scholars’ personal information and to being transparent about the information
we are collecting about them and what we do with it. Personal information will
be used to conduct necessary due diligence checks to the CSC’s satisfaction,
before the CSC proceeds with any type of formal agreement or contractual
relationship. In most cases, the due diligence checks will be straightforward,
however further information may be requested, so we ask scholars for full
co-operation to speed up the process. If scholars do not agree to personal data
being used for the purpose of conducting due diligence, the CSC will not be
able to proceed further with the application process. To find out more, see
an application is successful, the candidate’s university will notify them that
they have been selected university via email.
CSC does not require any candidates to take an IELTS (English language) test.
Please note, however, that, as a further condition of a Scholarship, candidates
may be required by their university to provide evidence of a particular level
of English language proficiency.
CSC will not be able to offer Scholarship to candidates if it would contravene
the terms and conditions of another Scholarship that they have previously held.
terms of admission to the university have been agreed, the university will send
a formal Notification of Award letter.
will be expected to abide by the Commission’s
Code of Conduct for Award-Holders and Disciplinary
Policy and Procedure. Your award may be terminated at any time for reasons
of unsatisfactory conduct, progress, or attendance, or if your registration is
suspended or terminated by your university for any reason.
are not eligible to apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship or Fellowship if they;
are an employee, a former employee, or relative of an employee of the
Government of the United Kingdom; or a staff member of the Association of
Commonwealth Universities or the British Council; or a Commonwealth Scholarship
Commissioner, former Commonwealth Scholarship Commissioner or a relative of a
Commonwealth Scholarship Commissioner. Former employees of the organisations
listed above are eligible to apply three years after ceasing their employment
line with the UK Bribery Act 2010, any applicant convicted of bribery will be
banned from reapplying for a Commonwealth Scholarship or Fellowship for a
period of up to five years.
and Scholars will be expected to abide by the Commission’s
Code of Conduct for Award Holders and Disciplinary
Policy and Procedure. Awards may be terminated at any time for reasons of
unsatisfactory conduct, progress, or attendance, or if a candidate’s registration
is suspended or terminated by their university for any reason.
CSC is committed to administering and managing its Scholarships and Fellowships
in a fair and transparent manner. For more information, see the CSC
anti-fraud policy and procedure at and the FCDO
guidance on reporting fraud.
conditions of award are subject to UK local law and practices and are subject
to change by the CSC.
enquiries about the nomination for Scholarships should be directed to candidates’
more information on other Scholarships offered by the CSC, visit the CSC
Scholarships and Fellowships page.
general enquiries about applying for Commonwealth Scholarships or Fellowships,
please use the Contact