Commonwealth Shared Scholarships Scheme (DFID Award)

  • Commonwealth Shared Scholarships Scheme (DFID Award)

Apply now!

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are offered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) in partnership with UK universities. These scholarships are intended for students from eligible developing Commonwealth countries, who would not otherwise be able to afford to undertake Master’s level study in the UK, to gain skills and knowledge which will allow them to contribute to the development of their home countries.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme

The University has three awards under this scheme to support scholars commencing their studies in 2018-19. The awards are available to students taking the following one year Master's degree programmes:

Each scholarship* normally covers for the successful candidate:

  • Approved airfare from candidate’s home country to the UK and return at the end of the award (the CSC will not reimburse the cost of fares for dependants, nor usually the cost of journeys made before your award is finally confirmed)
  • Approved tuition fees
  • Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,065 per month for 2017-18 (2018-19 to be confirmed)
  • Warm clothing allowance, where applicable
  • Study travel grant towards the costs of study-related travel within the UK or overseas
  • Excess baggage allowance, up to an annual approved limit, when returning home
  • Reimbursement of the cost of a mandatory tuberculosis (TB) test, where required for a visa application (receipts must be supplied)

Additional allowances for spouses or other dependants are not usually available.

*Please note that candidates should be sufficiently fluent in written and spoken English to pursue their proposed studies. A pre-sessional English course is not covered by the scholarship.


Applicants must: 

  • 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 an eligible Commonwealth country
  • Be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September/October 2018
  • Hold a first degree of at least an upper second class (2:1) standard, or a lower second class degree (2:2) and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree) by the specified closing date (12 April 2018). For comparability of qualifications refer to International Students: Your Country;
  • Not have studied or worked for one (academic) year or more in a high income country
  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship
  • Have applied for and been offered a full time place at Queen’s on one of the eligible programmes above;
  • Satisfy the University’s English Language requirements for entry to the programme by the specified closing date (click here for further details);
  • Confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as possible after the award comes to an end.

For further details regarding the scholarship terms and conditions please refer to: Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

How to Apply

Candidates must apply for both admission and a scholarship.

Step 1 – Apply for Admission
Candidates must apply online for a place on one of the eligible courses at Queen’s University Belfast.  Further guidance is provided on the University website in Applying for Postgraduate Study

It will not be possible to assess your application without a fully-completed application form and supporting documentation as detailed at Essential Supporting Documentation and English Language Requirements.  It is recommended candidates apply for admission in advance and at least two weeks prior to the closing date (12 April2018) to allow sufficient time for a decision to be processed. 

Note entry to postgraduate taught Masters programmes at Queen’s usually requires either a UK upper second-class (2:1) or a lower second-class (2:2) undergraduate degree.  To be eligible for consideration for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship candidates must have qualifications equivalent to a UK upper second-class (2:1) undergraduate degree or a lower second class undergraduate degree (2:2) and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree) by the specified closing date (12 April 2018).  For comparability of qualifications refer to International-students/Your-Country/

Step 2 – Apply for a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship 
Candidates must apply for a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship via the EAS Portal by 12 April 2018.  Both an application for a place at Queen’s and the on-line scholarship application form on the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission’s online EAS portal must be completed by 12 April 2018.  It is recommended candidate(s) should wait until an offer of a University place has been confirmed before applying for the scholarship on the EAS portal.  The EAS portal for scholarship application will be open 27 February 2018 to 12 April (inclusive). There are three occurrences (see below). 

For further details regarding how to apply via the EAS and frequently asked questions (FAQs) click here.

CSCUK: DFID - Shared Scholarships Information

Additional Information

As part of the EAS application process for the scholarship you will be required to provide the names, position and contact details for three referees whom you have asked to act as your referee.  They should have the ability to comment on your ability to benefit from the proposed programme.  When you submit your application each referee will automatically be sent an email, containing a link to your application and inviting them to complete their reference online on the EAS portal.  Applicants will not be able to see the references, but will be able to see which referees have completed their references. 

Selection Process
Candidates should satisfy any conditions relating to their admission offer (for example English Language requirements) by 12 April 2018.  The Queen’s selection panel will meet in April to consider candidates on the basis of academic merit, references and the potential impact of their work on the development of the candidate’s home country. The University will be the judge of academic calibre and will forward its nominations by 15 May 2018 to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission for its agreement.  Only candidates who have received a formal unconditional offer of admission for one of the eligible postgraduate courses may be nominated by the University for a scholarship.

Visit the FAQ page if you are having any issues: Frequently Asked Questions

Queries/Contact details
Queries about Commonwealth Shared Scholarships at Queen’s should be directed initially to the 

Queries about Admission should be sent to:

For a full list of eligible Countries see terms and conditions available at: Eligible Commonwealth Countries

Timetable for 2017-18

From February 2018

Candidates to apply for a place on an eligible course at Queen’s University Belfast using the Queen’s online application portal.  An offer of a place does NOT guarantee consideration for funding. 

It is recommended candidates apply for admission in advance and at least two weeks prior to the closing date 12 April 2018 to allow sufficient time for a decision for admission to be processed.  Candidates should satisfy any conditions relating to admission (for example English Language) by the Queen’s closing date.  

From 23 February 2018 to 12 April 2018

Candidates to apply for a place at Queen’s (see above) and must also apply for a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship on the Commission’s EAS portal which is open for 2018 Shared Scholarship applications from 23 February to 12 April 2018.   

It will not be possible to apply for a Queen’s Commonwealth Shared Scholarship after the EAS Portal closes on 12 April 2018. 

30 March - Friday 6 April 2018 (inclusive) University CLOSED for Easter.
April 2018 Selection meeting to be held to consider applications and to determine nominations for the scholarships.
By 17 May 2018 Nominations for the scholarships will be submitted by the University for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission’s agreement.
July 2018 Candidates notified regarding the outcome of their scholarship application.
July-August 2018

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) advises University of approved nominations. Queen’s to forward CSC award documentation to approved nominees, offering the award.

Nominated candidates to be advised regarding the next step in the award process, visa application process and travel arrangements.

September 2018 Successful candidates are expected to arrive in time to attend the University’s International Welcome and Orientation Programme for international students (normally held mid-September) prior to the commencement of the programme.

It is expected that up to three Commonwealth Shared Scholarships will be available at Queen’s University Belfast for September 2018 entry.  The following Masters courses are eligible:

  • MA in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice
  • Masters of Public Health in Global Health

Closing date for applications for admission (a place): preferably two weeks prior to the closing date for the scholarship application.

Closing date for scholarship applications: 12 April 2018