Preparing Yourself for Commonwealth Scholarships: To Whom it Concerns


Last month, I wrote on the “key requirements for international scholarships”. The essay can be accessed via this link ICYMI https://studentsmirror.com/key-requirements-of-international-scholarships-for-prospective-applicants/

As we approach the 3rd quarter of the year, most international scholarships will open application soonest. This informs the need for prospective applicants to prepare right ahead of time, as some requirements are EXTREMELY DEMANDING and cannot be acquired within the tight timeframes/deadlines of the application. In this post, I refer specifically to such programmes under the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission that have very difficult conditions, but easy to clinch once you meet them satisfactorily:

  1. Commonwealth Shared Scholarship: this requires applicants to first, get admission for an approved course with a UK university, then bid for the scholarship through that University. In this case, the University is the nominating agency, unlike the normal CSC master’s programme where FSB is the nominating agency. Kindly search for your course and the university that offers it, bid for admission, and wait for the scholarship call, for it might be too late to secure admission when the scholarship application is open. Approved courses in the various universities are spread across the six (6) CSC thematic areas and can be found in this link https://cscuk.fcdo.gov.uk/commonwealth-shared-scholarships-eligible-courses/
  2. Commonwealth Distance Learning Master’s Scholarship: operates almost the same as the shared scholarship discussed above (you must get admission in an approved course/UK University first before bidding for it). However, it is different from the normal master’s programme because it is distance learning and you do it strictly online while still in your home country. List of eligible course/universities offering them can be found in this link: https://cscuk.fcdo.gov.uk/commonwealth-distance-learning-scholarships-eligible-courses/
  1. Commonwealth PhD Scholarship for least developed countries: this also requires applicants to get admission- or at least, supervisors’ approvals at UK Universities (maximum of three) to stand a chance. These supervisors must submit [or give you to submit] supporting statements to your application, otherwise, the application is invalid. Read more about the scholarship at: https://cscuk.fcdo.gov.uk/scholarships/commonwealth-phd-scholarships-for-least-developed-countries-and-fragile-states/
  2. Commonwealth Split-site PhD Scholarships: this is for registered Ph.D. students in developing countries. To stand a chance, you MUST get a supervisor at a UK university that agrees to co-supervise your thesis with your home supervisor. This enables you to run your Ph.D. jointly within the context of that linkage between the two institutions, and you can spend up to 12 months in the UK in the process. Read more at: https://cscuk.fcdo.gov.uk/scholarships/commonwealth-split-site-scholarships-for-low-and-middle-income-countries/

NB: There are other scholarships offered by the CSC too that have their specific requirements, you can check them up at https://cscuk.fcdo.gov.uk/about-us/scholarships-and-fellowships/

But obviously, the requirements highlighted above are stringent and require adequate preparation ahead of time. It is extremely difficult to get admission or supervisor’s approval within short notice, but very easy if you start on time. Good news? Information about eligible courses and supervisors at UK Universities are available on their websites. You can check them up and reach out accordingly.

Kindly use this as a guide to prepare yourself ADEQUATELY for the next scholarship application rounds. Success, they say, is for those who are prepared for it, and that could be YOU. See you in the UK soon!

Tordue Simon Targema lectures in the department of Journalism and Media Studies, Taraba State University and is currently a visiting Ph.D. Student at the University of Glasgow, UK. Email: torduesimon@gmail.com

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