Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are offered for citizens of certain developing Commonwealth countries. These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), with the aim of contributing to the UK’s international development aims and wider overseas interests, supporting excellence in UK higher education, and sustaining the principles of the Commonwealth.
To contribute to development needs of Commonwealth countries by providing training for skilled and qualified professionals in key development areas.
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.
Area of focus
Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and are aimed at those unable to study in the UK for financial and other reasons. These scholarships are offered under six themes:
1. Science and technology for development
The scholarship, which may be in any area of science or technology (including, for example, agriculture, veterinary science, or forestry), will develop knowledge and/or skills that are directly related to the specific needs of a low or middle income country. Where possible, applications should cite expressed national or local priorities.
2. Strengthening health systems and capacity
The scholarship will develop knowledge and/or skills that will improve health provision or outcomes for disadvantaged groups in low and middle income countries. A range of approaches could be adopted, such as training staff to fill critical shortage areas; establishing better systems, processes, or management; health promotion and improving understanding of non-take up; or developing new treatments.
3. Promoting global prosperity
The scholarship will support economic prosperity in low and middle income countries. The knowledge and/or skills gained could lead to, for example, enhanced trade capacity; improved economic understanding or decision- making by business or government; new products and services; or long-term capacity building, through the development of entrepreneurial skills, for instance.
4. Strengthening global peace, security and governance
The scholarship will develop knowledge and/or skills that will strengthen peace and security at national, regional, or international levels. Multiple approaches could be used, such as strengthening open and transparent governance; improving mutual understanding within and between societies; or building systems that reduce the potential for conflict or encourage its resolution.
5. Strengthening resilience and response to crises
The scholarship will develop knowledge and/or skills which will help low and middle countries adapt to changing contexts, withstand sudden shocks, or increase capacity to preserve the continuity of operations following such events. This could apply to a broad range of threats, including natural and physical disasters; long-term threats such as climate change; interruptions to the supply of key resources; or sudden economic or technological disruption.
6. Access, inclusion and opportunity
The scholarship will develop knowledge and/or skills that will promote opportunity amongst historically disadvantaged groups in low and middle income countries. This could be through, for example, expanding educational opportunities; conducting community outreach; enhancing access to decision-making; or increasing understanding of the barriers faced. A range of disadvantage can be addressed – including social, economic, gender, ethnic, regional, or political – provided that the need is clearly stated.
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.
Eligible Countries for the Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships
Papua New Guinea
How to apply for the Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships
You must apply to study an eligible Master’s course at a UK university that is participating in the Distance Learning scheme. See list of participating universities and eligible courses.
You must also secure admission to your 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.
The application deadline is 13 April 2020
You can visit the program website here