Development Training
for Scholars:
The ‘Leaders in Sustainable Development’ Programme

Development training is a key part of the Commonwealth Scholarship award. The CSC aims to equip Commonwealth Scholars with the skills to effect real development impact on their return home, as well as to creating a community of motivated Commonwealth Scholars through an extensive programme of training and networking. The flow diagram below shows how Scholars can progress through the different stages of the Leaders in Sustainable Development Programme throughout the academic year.

1. Register for FutureLearn Training

2. Register for Workshops

3. Complete the FutureLearn Training

4. Attend at least one workshop

5. Complete Development Training Record

6. Receive Leaders in Sustainable Development Certificate

Young woman wearing a hijab sitting at her kitchen table using a laptop.

Understanding Development Impact training

The ‘Understanding Development Impact’ training course hosted on FutureLearn is open to all new Scholars. This online training introduces some of the key concepts in development today and provides approaches and tools to help Scholars achieve development impact through their work.

Throughout the training there are opportunities for Scholars to improve their professional skills and development understanding whilst also connecting with fellow Scholars through group discussion and peer review activities. We encourage all Scholars to complete this course as a foundation for the ‘Leaders in Sustainable Development’ programme.

Diverse group of people sitting at a table discussing ideas and making notes, with flipchart in background.


The Leaders in Sustainable Development workshops provide Scholars with valuable knowledge and skills as well as opportunities for networking to assist in their development impact and post-scholarship projects.

The workshops will often include pre-workshop tasks as well as providing ample time for discussions and group work. 

You can visit the events page to find out more about the workshops taking place this academic year. 


A scholar progressing through the Leaders in Sustainable Development programme

Creating your Development Training Record

As Scholars progress through the Leaders in Sustainable Development programme, we encourage them to complete a Development Training Record to collate their reflections and consolidate the knowledge and skills they have gained during the ‘Understanding Development Impact’ training and the training workshops this year.

We have designed a Development Training Record checklist to signpost the key learning steps in the training and guide Scholars through completing this reflective exercise. Scholars can view examples of Development Training Records that have been submitted by former Scholars below.

Development Training Record sample 1
Development Training Record sample 2

What Scholars say about the programme?

Scholar participant in 2021, Preparing for Social Impact workshop

“The impacts of most research in development is judged by how it improves communities. Therefore for Commonwealth Scholars, this training and others alike are essential.”

Scholar participant in 2021, Research Project Management workshop

“I would like to thank the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission for giving me the opportunity to participate in this useful workshop on Research Project Management which has equipped me with new and relevant skills. I promise to use what I have learnt not only in my dissertation project but also in development projects that I involve in to enable me contribute greatly to the development impact that I desire to create.”

Scholar participant in 2022, Research Project Management workshop

“Along with our academic education, these programs are very useful. I think these are best practices how to give the best output to the Scholars. I’m motivated by these programmes to putting a positive impact on the planet. I’m taught how to think from a different perspective.’”