Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

Key information

Deadline date
Tuition fees, allowances and student stipend

Scholarship overview

The Shared Scholarship Scheme is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission with funding from UK Department of International Development (DFID), and UK universities, to support scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the United Kingdom.

SOAS has been offered 3 awards for 2023/24. Please see below the eligible programmes and application procedure.

The Commission funds the cost of tuition fees (at overseas rate), return airfares and other allowances and SOAS supports the student stipend for the award holders.

Eligible programmes

Candidate criteria

In order to be eligible, applicants 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 an eligible Commonwealth country
  • be available to start their 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 lower second-class degree (2:2) and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree)
  • 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 university without this Scholarship
  • have provided all supporting documentation in the required format

Development Impact statement

The first part should explain how the candidate’s proposed Scholarship relates to:

  1. Development issues at the global, national, and local level.
  2. Development issues connected to your chosen CSC development theme and the wider sector.

The second part should explain how the candidate intends to apply their new skills and qualification after returning home.

The third part should outline what the candidate expects will change in development terms following the Scholarship, including:

  1. the outcomes they aim to achieve
  2. the timeframe for their implementation
  3. who the beneficiaries will be

The fourth part should outline how the impact of the candidate’s work could be best measured. It should:

  1. Confirm what the candidate’s award objectives are and how each of them will be met by the Scholarship programme.
  2. Confirm what the candidate’s objectives are for the next five years and how each of them will be met by the Scholarship programme.
  3. Confirm what the candidate’s objectives are in the longer term and how each of them will be met by the Scholarship programme.
  4. Provide a personal statement to summarise the ways in which the candidate’s personal background has encouraged them to want to make an impact in their home country. Candidates should indicate areas in which they have already contributed, such as having overcome any personal or community barriers in the chosen career.
  5. Summarise the ways in which the candidate has engaged in voluntary activities and the opportunities where they have had to demonstrate leadership.

Scholarship application procedures

Applicants must follow two steps in order to be considered for these scholarships:

Step 1: Apply for your programme

Applicants must submit a COMPLETE on-line application for admission to study one of the eligible programmes at SOAS as soon as possible. You will be required to have an offer of admissions BEFORE selection takes place. Selection will start on 17 January 2023

A complete application for admission includes transcripts, an explanation of the grading system for any degree obtained outside the UK, CV and a personal statement. 

Step 2: Apply for the scholarship by 16:00 (GMT) on 13 December 2022

For a full overview on the application procedure and what you will need to provide, please visit our Commonwealth Shared Scholarships page. Please read this before submitting your application online.

References and notification of results - Important information

If SOAS decides to nominate you for the scholarship, you will be required to submit the hardcopy of the references in April to CSC as these are required in order to confirm eligibility.

Due to the competitive nature of the scholarship, please note that only successful applicants will be notified. If you have not received an email from us informing you of your nomination by the end of April 2023, please assume your application has been unsuccessful.

SOAS will nominate 3 applicants who we believe should be offered the award subject to CSC's approval. We will also contact reserve applicants, should the other applicants not be able to take up the award. If you are a reserve nominated applicant, please look into other alternatives of funding.

Please note that final award confirmations are issued by CSC and will be confirmed by them directly in June - July 2023.

Contacts for all enquiries