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Unlocking Academic Excellence: Commonwealth PhD Scholarships in the UK


For international students from less developed countries and vulnerable Commonwealth states, the fully-funded Commonwealth PhD Scholarships in the UK open a door to advanced education and research without financial restrictions. These scholarships are a beacon of hope for those who aspire to pursue doctoral studies abroad, providing the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This comprehensive guide provides information on fields of study, the application process, eligibility criteria, and the notable benefits these scholarships offer.

Fields and Departments

Commonwealth PhD scholarships cover a range of disciplines and departments, ensuring that academics from diverse academic backgrounds can pursue their passions. The following titles are available to potential applicants:

  • Promoting Global Prosperity: Addressing Global Economic Challenges and Opportunities.

  • Science and Technology for Development: Advancing Scientific Knowledge for Sustainable Development.

  • Strengthening International Peace, Security and Governance: Contribution to Global Peace and Security Efforts.

  • Resilience and crisis response: Preparing educators to respond effectively to global crises.

  • Strengthening health systems and capacity: Improving health infrastructure and knowledge.


Applicants should be aware of the Commonwealth PhD Scholarships deadline, which is 17 October 2023. Meeting this deadline is essential to ensure consideration for this prestigious opportunity.

Eligibility Criteria

To determine your eligibility for a free PhD in the UK, please consider the following eligibility criteria:

  • Nationality: Applicants must be citizens of eligible Commonwealth countries, have refugee status or be British Protected Persons.

  • Residence: Candidates must be permanent residents of eligible Commonwealth countries.

  • Start date: Applicants must be available to commence academic study in the UK at the start of the UK academic year in September 2024.

  • Educational Qualification: Candidates must have at least a second class honors upper standard (2:1) or second class degree (2:2) and a first degree of a relevant postgraduate qualification (Master’s degree) before September 2024.

  • Current PhD registration: Applicants must not be registered for a PhD or Master of Philosophy leading to a PhD at a UK university. They must not have started or currently enrolled in a similar program in their home country or elsewhere.

  • Supervisor Support: Candidates must be supported by at least one potential UK university supervisor listed on the application form.

  • Financial Need: Most importantly, applicants must not be able to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship.


Commonwealth PhD Scholarships offer a comprehensive benefits package that allows academics to focus on their academic journey:

  • Approved Airfare: Airfare coverage from the applicant’s home country to the UK and back after completion of the scholarship.

  • Tuition Fees: Full payment of approved tuition fees.

  • Stipend: A stipend (living allowance) of £1,347 or £1,652 per month for academics studying at universities in the Greater London area.

  • Clothing Allowance: Allowance for warm clothing is provided if necessary.

  • Scholarship for study tours: Scholarship holders get a scholarship for study tours.

  • Fieldwork Support: Arrangement to cover the cost of fieldwork abroad (return economy class airfare to the fieldwork location) if approved.

  • Mid-Term Visit: Paid mid-term visit to home country (airfare) or allowances for spouse and/or children, if applicable.

  • Family Allowance: Support for family members, if applicable.

  • Disability Support: People with disabilities will receive a thorough assessment of their needs and eligibility for additional financial support.

Application process

To start your journey towards a fully funded PhD in the UK, follow these steps for the application process:

  • Online Application: Access the online application portal on the official website.

  • Document submission: Prepare and upload all required documents, including proof of citizenship or refugee status, transcripts, references and a supporting statement from the proposed UK supervisor.

  • Document Format: Please ensure that all uploaded documents are in PDF, .doc, .docx, .odt, .jpg or jpeg format and are not larger than 5 MB in size.

  • List of publications and work history: Please include a list of publications (up to 10) and details of your work history, explaining its relevance to your chosen program in the UK.

  • Development Impact Statement: Prepare a Development Impact Statement containing required sections.

Finally, Commonwealth PhD Scholarships in the UK are a gateway to academic excellence and leadership development for international students from less developed countries and vulnerable Commonwealth states. These scholarships not only provide financial support but also train scholars to become agents of positive change in their home countries. They offer a comprehensive benefits package, covering tuition fees, living expenses, travel, and more. Don’t miss the chance to get a free PhD in UK while contributing to the betterment of your nation and the world. Apply today and open doors to a better future through education and research.

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