Distance Learning Scholarships at UK Universities for Developing Commonwealth Countries


CSC/DFID Distance LearningScholarships

Course(s) Offered: Approved OnlineCourses
Course Level: Graduate (masters)
Provider: CSC, DFID, UK Universities
Country to Study in: Any country

Scholarship Description
The Commonwealth Distance LearningScholarships offer students from developing Commonwealth countries the opportunity to study for a UK Master’s degree while living and working in their home country.

Established in 2002, the scholarship scheme is part of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) and UK Department for International Development (DFID) commitment to exploring new methods of scholarship delivery.

Rather than offering these scholarships directly to students, the CSC works with UK universities to identify appropriate courses and recruit candidates. To date, it has funded courses at over 20 UK institutions, awarding over 1,000 scholarships to students from across the developing Commonwealth.

To be eligible for a Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship, candidates should:

  • be Commonwealth citizens of a developing Commonwealth country, refugees or British protected persons
  • be permanently resident in a developing Commonwealth country
  • normally hold a first degree of upper second-class (2:1) standard, or higher qualification. In certain cases, we will consider a lower qualification and sufficient relevant experience

You must meet the specific eligibility requirements of the course you are interested in. Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships may not be held concurrently for more than one course.

Eligible groups
Nationals of Commonwealth Developing Countries:

  • AFRICA: Botswana, Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe*
  • OTHER COUNTRIES: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Barbados Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Fiji*, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Maldives, Montserrat, Nauru, Pakistan, , Pitcairn, St Helena, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tristan da Cunha, Turks and Caicos, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

* Awards offered to build the capacity of civil society organisations

Participating Institution(s)
All recognized UK Universities (see list in ‘Fields of study’)

Fields of study
Several approved Masters Courses are offered at participating schools.

Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are being offered in 2016/17 for the following Master’s courses. Full details of these courses and the application process must be obtained from the relevant institution:

  • Cardiff University: MSc in Palliative Medicine and Care (available toapplicants from Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka only)
  • Bangor University: MSc Tropical Forestry
  • Open University
    • MA Online and Distance Education
    • MSc Environmental Management (available to applicants from Kenya only)
  • Queen Mary, University of London
    • MSc Burn Care
    • MSc Endocrinology and Diabetes
    • MSc Gastroenterology
    • MSc Orthopaedic Trauma Science
    • MSc Trauma Sciences
  • Royal Veterinary College: MSc Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health (available to citizens of Sri Lanka only)
  • SOAS, University of London: MSc Public Financial Management (available to citizens of Malawi and Tanzania only)
  • UCL Institute of Education:
    • MA Education and International Development (available to citizens of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda only)
    • MA Education, Gender and International Development (available to citizens of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda only)
    • MA Education, Health Promotion and International Development (available to citizens of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda only)
  • University of Birmingham: MSc International Development (Conflict, Security and Development)
  • University of Edinburgh
    • MSc Biodiversity, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health
    • MSc Clinical Education
    • MVetSci Conservation Medicine
    • MSc Family Medicine
    • MSc Global Challenges
    • MSc Global eHealth
    • MSc Global Health and Infectious Disease
    • MSc International Animal Health
    • MSc One Health
    • MSc Paediatric Emergency Medicine
    • MPH Public Health
  • University of Leicester: MSc Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management
  • University of Liverpool: MPH Public Health
  • University of Oxford: MSt International Human Rights Law
  • University of Southampton
    • MSc Global Ageing and Policy
    • MSc Gerontology
  • University of Stirling: MSc Dementia Studies (available to applicants from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka only)
  • University of Strathclyde
    • MSc Finance (available to applicants from Kenya, Malawi, and Tanzania only)
    • MSc Hydrogeology (available to applicants from Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe only)
  • University of St Andrews: MSc in Sustainable Aquaculture
  • University of York: MA Public Policy and Management

Number of awards
Not specified by provider.

Depending on the number of applications, the selection committee decides on the number of scholarships to be allocated to each course after ALL eligible Expressions of Interest from course providers (i.e. universities) have been received and considered.

Sponsorship duration
Complete duration of the program

Scholarship benefits
Covers overseas tuition fees at Master’s degree-level for citizens of a developing Commonwealth country

Method of Application
You must make your application using the CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS). See full information on how to use the EAS, including detailed guides.

Before applying, you must check with your UK university for their specific advice and rules for applying. You will be required to complete a university application form in addition to your EAS application form.

It is important to visit the official website (link to it is below) for complete information on the application procedure for this scholarship.

The closing date for the submission of all applications for 2016/17 CommonwealthDistance Learning Scholarships is 3 May 2016 at 23.59GMT.

The CSC may require candidates to undertake the academic IELTS English language test as a condition of eligibility. Candidates should check with the UK institution/provider whether this requirement applies to them.

All enquiries about these scholarships should be directed to the university to which you wish to apply.

Please note that the CSC does not charge candidates to apply for any of its scholarships or fellowships through its Electronic Application System (EAS), and it does not charge organisations to nominate candidates.

Application Deadline: 3 May 2016
Open to International Applicants: Yes

Application Link

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