The Graduate School

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships Scheme (DFID Award)

The University has two awards under this scheme to support scholars commencing their studies in 2017-18. The awards are available to students taking the following one year Master's degree programmes:

Note, due to the limited number of awards available for 2017 entry, Commonwealth Shared Scholarships will NOT be available for either the MSc Leadership for Sustainable Development or MSc Leadership for Sustainable Rural Development (previously eligible courses).

Each scholarship* normally covers for the successful candidate:

  • Approved airfare from your home country to the UK and return at the end of your award (arranged by the university)
  • Approved tuition and examination fees
  • Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,043 per month, (rates quoted at 2016-2017 levels)
  • Thesis grant towards the cost of preparing a dissertation, where applicable (claimed from and paid by the university; funded by the CSC)
  • Warm clothing allowance and visa reimbursement, where applicable
  • Study travel grant towards the costs of study-related travel within the UK or overseas (claimed from and paid by the university; funded by the CSC)
  • Excess baggage allowance, up to an annual approved limit, when returning home (claimed from and paid by the university; funded by the CSC)

*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.

*No additional allowances are available for spouses or other dependants.



Applicants must: 

  • Be a Commonwealth citizen, refugee, or British protected person;
  • Be permanently resident in a developing Commonwealth country
  • Be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September 2017;
  • Hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) classification, or lower second class (2:2) classification plus a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree) by the specified closing date (28 February 2017). For comparability of qualifications refer to International Students: Your Country;
  • Not have studied or worked for one (academic) year or more in a developed country;
  • Be unable, either themselves, or through their families, to pay to study in the UK;
  • 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 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 (28 February 2017) 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.  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 28 February 2017.  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 28 February 2017.  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 opens 17 November 2016 to 28 February 2017 (inclusive). 

Further details regarding how to apply via the EAS and frequently asked questions (FAQs) are at:

CSCUK: DFID - Shared Scholarships 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 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.  Applicants will not be able to change the name of any of their referees.

Selection Process

Candidates should satisfy any conditions relating to their admission offer (for example English Language requirements) by 28 February 2017.  The Queen’s selection panel will meet in March 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 in April 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:
Developing Commonwealth Countries


Timetable for 2017-18



From 17 November 2016

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 (28 February 2017) 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 28 February 2017.

By 28  February 2017

Candidates must apply for a place at Queen’s (see above) and also must apply for a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship on the Commission’s EAS portal. 

It will not be possible to apply for a Queen’s Commonwealth Shared Scholarship after the EAS Portal closes on 28 February 2017.

March 2017

Selection meeting to be held to consider applications and to determine nominations for the scholarships.

14 April - 21 April (inclusive)

University CLOSED Easter.

29 April 2017

Nominations for the scholarships will be submitted by the University for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission’s agreement.

June 2017

Candidates notified regarding the outcome of their scholarship application.

June-August 2017

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

September 2017

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.