Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are for candidates from least developed, low, and lower middle-income Commonwealth countries, for part-time Master’s study by distance learning on selected courses offered by UK universities. These scholarships are funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
Purpose: To contribute to development needs of Commonwealth countries by providing training for skilled and qualified professionals in key development areas.
Intended beneficiaries: High-quality postgraduate students who wish to access training not available in their home countries, who wish or need to remain in their home country while they study, and who have the potential to enhance the development of their home countries with the knowledge and leadership skills they acquire.
These scholarships are offered under six CSC Development themes.
How to apply
You must apply to study an eligible master’s course at a UK university that is participating in the Distance Learning scheme. Click here for a list of participating universities and eligible courses.
You must also apply and secure admission to your university course in addition to applying for a Distance Learning Scholarship. You must check with your chosen university for their specific advice on when to apply, admission requirements, and rules for applying. You must make your application using the CSC’s online application system, in addition to any other application that you are required to complete by your chosen university. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the online application system.
You can apply for more than one course and/or to more than one university, but you may only accept one offer of a Distance Learning Scholarship.
Applications are now closed. Candidates can expect to hear the outcome of their application by July.
Applications must include the following supporting documentation to be eligible for consideration:
- At least one reference– submitted directly by the referee to the online application system (referees will be sent an email request)
- An offer letter to start the chosen course of study in the 2022-2023 academic year – uploaded to the online application system
- Full transcripts detailing all your higher education qualifications (with certified translations if not in English) – uploaded to the online application system
The CSC will not accept supporting documentation submitted outside the online application system.
Supporting documentation uploaded to the online application system must be uploaded as files that are no more than 5 MB in size and must be in one of the following formats: PDF, .doc, .docx, .odt, .jpg, .jpeg. Files submitted in any other format (including Zip files and PDF Portfolios) will NOT be accepted.
Applicants are responsible for seeking permission from their referees in advance of submitting their application; for ensuring that their referees are available to complete the reference by the deadline and have received the reference request email from the online application system.
Each 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 2022. 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 2022.
Selection criteria include:
- Academic merit of the candidate
- Potential impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country
To be eligible for a Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship, candidates should:
- Be a citizen of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country, or be a British Protected Person
- Be permanently 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.
The 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.
Please note that only candidates from the 25 eligible countries listed below can apply for Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships in 2022.
Papua New Guinea
- A 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.
- In order for the CSC to administer your application effectively and efficiently after you have submitted, it will be necessary to create a record in your name. If you are nominated for an award to the CSC, your 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 your personal information and to being transparent about the information we are collecting about you and what we do with it. To find out more, see our privacy notice.
- If your application is successful, you will be notified by your selected university via email
- The CSC does not require any candidates to take an IELTS (English language) test. You should note, however, that, as a further condition of your scholarship, you may be required by your university to provide evidence of a particular level of English language proficiency.
- The CSC will not be able to offer you a scholarship if it would contravene the terms and conditions of another scholarship that you have previously held.
- When terms of admission to the university have been agreed, the university will send you a Notification of Award (formal offer of a scholarship)
- 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.
- Scholars 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.
- In 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.
Applicants are expected to adhere to the CSC’s Code of Conduct for award-holders which states:
“As a Commonwealth Scholar or Fellow, you are an ambassador for both the CSC and your home country, and your actions and remarks will have an impact on the reputation of both. You are therefore expected to adhere to high standards of conduct and behaviour and to show respect to others and your surroundings at all times.
“The CSC aims to enable a free exchange of ideas during all its activities in order to achieve the maximum potential impact for all participants. Recognising the diversity of backgrounds among our award holders – in terms of race, religion, gender, sexuality and cultural values – you are reminded to always be respectful to others.
“The CSC is committed to proactively safeguarding and promoting the welfare of Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows, and to protecting all those with whom the CSC comes into contact. The CSC requires Commissioners, Secretariat staff, and Scholars and Fellows to fulfil their role and responsibilities in a manner consistent with requirements for safeguarding. See the CSC safeguarding policy
“Any complaints received will be taken very seriously and any behaviour that does not adhere to the above values and expectations will be addressed by the CSC.
The 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.”
All conditions of award are subject to UK local law and practices, and are subject to change by the CSC.
If you have any queries about applying for a Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship, you can Contact us. We will not use your email address for any purpose other than responding to your enquiry.