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Commonwealth Scholarship : Benefits, Requirements & Process

Updated on 10 October, 2023

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Commonwealth Scholarship is an internationally renowned program available to international students from Belgium, India, Malaysia, and Bangladesh. Commonwealth Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship offered by the British council. The Commonwealth Scholarship program is for international students in financial crisis to study abroad in the UK. 


Commonwealth Scholarships are available to meritorious international students who can positively impact globally. More than 800 students are enrolled in postgraduate and doctoral programs under the scholarship. Commonwealth Scholarship is the most popular program in the UK. It is available for undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral programs. 

To apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship, students need to belong to a Commonwealth country. The financial grant through Commonwealth Scholarship is available throughout the course duration. The scholarship program offers funding options for allowances, travel, and tuition fee. It is a transformative opportunity for students with good academic records and economically weaker backgrounds to study abroad.  

Scholarships in UK

Commonwealth Scholarship: Eligibility 

An important eligibility criterion to apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship is that every student should belong to a Commonwealth country. Various eligibility criteria and requirements are based on the degree level and programs. Since it is a merit-based scholarship, students need to have good academic records. Here are the eligibility criteria of Commonwealth Scholarships for Bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. doctoral programs.  

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Eligibility Criteria for Bachelor’s Programs

1. Students should have completed class 12th or their final year of upper school from a recognized board of study.

2. They shouldn’t be more than 40 years.

3. They should be able to study even without a scholarship program.

4. Students should belong and be permanent citizens or residents of developing Commonwealth countries like Belgium, Bangladesh, India, and Malaysia.  

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Eligibility Criteria for Master’s Programs 

Students need to meet a few eligibility criteria and requirements for Commonwealth Scholarship in master’s programs. 

1. Students should be permanent citizens or residents of a Commonwealth country.

2. There is no minimum age requirement. However, the upper age limit is 40.

3. Students should not be registered for any master’s program in any foreign university.

4. Students interested in abroad studies or any training programs can apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship.

5. The students should be able to study in the UK even without a scholarship.

6. Students applying for a master’s degree under a Commonwealth Scholarship should have a three-year bachelor’s degree from a recognized board of study.

7. The minimum score requirement is 60% for social science subjects and 65% for science subjects. 

Eligibility criteria for Ph.D. programs 

Students taking admission to Ph.D. programs with Commonwealth Scholarship need to fulfill the following eligibility requirements: 

1. Students should belong and be permanent citizens or residents of developing Commonwealth countries.

2. Students applying for Ph.D. programs should have a full-time master’s degree or be in the final semester of the course.

3. Students should not have applied for any Ph.D. or MPhil program at any university.

4. They should be able to study in the UK even without a scholarship.

5. The maximum age limit is 40 years.

6. Students should have scored at least 60% marks or above in social science and science subjects.

7. Students should have a valid and confirmed admission granted by any university in a Commonwealth country. 

Benefits of Commonwealth Scholarship 

Commonwealth Scholarship offers funds for tuition fees, travel, and allowances. It does not include grants or funds for accommodation. Here are all the common benefits and tuition fee benefits that students get from Commonwealth Scholarships: 

1. The economy class airfare tickets are given to students two times. Once when they join the program and after completing the program when they return to their home country.

2. The scholarship offers a child allowance of GBP 465 every month for the first child. For second and third child, who are below 16 years, GBP 114 is granted under the scholarship.

3. Financial support and aid.

4. Allowance for woolen clothes for all students during the winter season.

5. For 18 months long scholarships, a spouse allowance of about 233 GBP per month is offered.  

Financial Aid for the tuition fee in Commonwealth Scholarship

1. Commonwealth Scholarship for a master’s degree

Financial support for thesis and work-related travel expenses within the UK or overseas are covered under it.   

2. Commonwealth Scholarship for Ph.D. programs

Study cost and travel grants are provided when students travel overseas for Ph.D. or Postgraduate course thesis fieldwork. Travel expenses to home during the mid of the course are covered.   

Important Documents for Commonwealth Scholarship 

International students must submit the supporting documents to apply for the Commonwealth Scholarship program. Here are all the important documents: 

1. Proof of identification.

2. Supporting statement from a supervisor in the UK from one educational institution named on the application form and it has to be submitted by the supervisor.

3. Copy of passport.

4. Academic transcripts.

5. Admission letter of a UK university.

6. Proof of exams to study in the UK.  

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How Can You Apply?  

For the Commonwealth Scholarship program, there is a specific application process. Students need to apply for the scholarship through the following steps: 

1. Over 90 students can seek the Commonwealth Scholarship scheme. Students need to check the website for the list of universities that offer a Commonwealth Scholarship program. The universities offer Commonwealth Scholarship programs to students from countries with low incomes.

2. The Commonwealth Scholarship scheme does not accept a direct application. The students need to apply through various nominating bodies. There are National Nominating Agencies like the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Government of India. There are non-governmental agencies and charitable nominating committees that offer nominations too.

3. The students need to visit the MHRD website to apply before visiting the ECAS (Electronic Application System) portal. Students need to apply for the Commonwealth Scholarship program on both portals before the deadlines

4. Students must create profiles on the ECAS portal. Fill in all the information, upload documents and submit the online application.  

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Selection Criteria for the Commonwealth Scholarship 

The scholarship is very competitive because there is no quota country-wise. No country has an individual quota which makes it easy for the students. The scholarship application will be checked by the subject matter expert advisor of the relevant program and then by the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme selection committee.  

The academic merit, record, and research proposal potential and impact of the research on the home country are considered for the selection. The Commonwealth Scholarship scheme invites the nominating bodies to submit a few nominations. The number of nominations is three times more than the actual intake capacity.  

Important Dates for Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme 

The application for the Commonwealth Scholarship program starts in December. Students can start uploading the documents from the following January month.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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