Home Opportunities Bursaries Commonwealth Masters Scholarships 2023/2024

Commonwealth Masters Scholarships 2023/2024


Commonwealth Masters Scholarships 2023/24: The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) is offering full scholarships to South African students to undertake full-time taught Master’s studies at a UK university or higher education institution with which the CSC has a part funding agreement for a specific programme of study to undertake full-time taught Master’s study.

Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and are aimed at students who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK.

Candidates are selected on the basis of merit and their potential to contribute to sustainable development in their home countries.

The Department of Higher Education and Training (the Department) is the Nominating Agency for South African citizens who wish to apply for this scholarship. Final selection of candidates will be made by the CSC.

Degree level

  • One-year taught Master’s programmes

The awards are offered under six development themes:

  • Science and technology for development
  • Promoting global prosperity
  • Strengthening resilience and response to crises
  • Strengthening health systems and capacity
  • Strengthening global peace, security and governance
  • Access, inclusion and opportunity

 The CSC does not fund MBAs.

Visit https://cscuk.fcdo.gov.uk/csc-development-themes/  to read more about the development themes.


  • The closing date for applications (including all supporting documentation) is 18 October 2022 at 16:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Candidate Requirements
  • Be citizens of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country, or be a British Protected Person;
  • Be permanently resident in an eligible Commonwealth country;
  • Be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September 2023;
  • By September 2023, hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard, or a second class degree (2:2) and a relevant postgraduate qualification;
  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship;
  • Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format.
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The CSC would not normally fund a second UK Master’s degree. If you are applying for a second UK Master’s degree, you will need to provide justification as to why you wish to undertake this study.

Bursary Enquiries

For more information on the Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship, please visit: https://cscuk.fcdo.gov.uk/scholarships/commonwealth-masters-scholarships/

The following resources will be useful when researching your choices of institution and course of study in the UK:

  • Study UK – British Council website, with guidance for international students and a course and institution search;
  • Steps to Postgraduate Study – a guide to asking the right questions about taught postgraduate study in the UK;
  • Postgrad.com – information for postgraduate students, with a course search;
  • Prospects – information on postgraduate study in the UK;
  • Research Excellent Framework 2014 results – results of a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions;
  • UCAS Postgraduate – guidance on how to find and apply for a postgraduate course;
  • Unistats – the official website for comparing UK higher education course data;
  • UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs)  – advice for international students on choosing a course of study.

For general enquiries about applying for Commonwealth Scholarships or Fellowships; please use the Contact us form or contact the Department via email at: internationalscholarships@dhet.gov.za

Conditions of Bursary

Applications will be considered according to the following selection criteria:

  • Academic merit of the candidate
  • Quality of the plan of study
  • Potential impact on the development of the candidate’s home country

For further details, see the Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships 2023 selection criteria.

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Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Programme Page  

CSC development themes

Example of the questions asked within the online application system

Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships 2023 selection criteria

Handbook for Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows

Bursary Inclusion
  • Approved airfare from your home country to the UK and return at the end of your award;
  • Approved tuition fees;
  • Stipend (living allowance);
  • Warm clothing allowance, where applicable;
  • Thesis grant towards the cost of preparing a thesis or dissertation, where applicable;
  • Study travel grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas;
  • A child allowance of £529 per month for the first child, and £131 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if you are accompanied by your children and they are living with you at the same address in the UK (rates quoted at current levels)
  • If you share that you have a disability, a full assessment of your needs and eligibility for additional financial support will be offered by the CSC.

Note: The CSC’s family allowances are intended to only be used as a contribution towards the cost of maintaining your family in the UK. The true costs are likely to be considerably higher. You must be able to supplement these allowances to support any family members who come to the UK with you.

How to Apply

The Department is one of the Nominating Agencies for South African citizens who wish to apply for the Commonwealth Scholarships tenable in the UK for the academic year commencing in September/October 2023.

Please select South Africa: Higher Education and Training to be nominated through the Department.

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Candidates must complete an application using the CSC’s online application system. Please see the completing the application form document for an example of the questions asked within the online application system.

Candidates must upload the following supporting documents with the application to be eligible (If any of the required documentation is not provided by the closing date, the application will be considered ineligible):

  • A copy of a valid passport (or national ID card) showing a photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship
  • Full transcripts detailing all higher education qualifications, including to-date transcripts for any courses currently being studied, with certified translations if not in English
  • References from at least two individuals on institutional letterhead (also provide the names and contact details three referees who will be contacted in advance of the placement stage, should your application be under consideration for a scholarship)

Note : Please 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 organisations to nominate candidates.

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