SOAS University of London – Commonwealth Shared Masters Scholarships 2020/2021

SOAS, University of London is awarding Commonwealth Shared scholarships to students from developing countries wishing to undertake select Masters courses (see below) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).


Commonwealth Shared Masters Scholarships

The Commonwealth 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.

Commonwealth Shared Masters Scholarships Eligibility

In order to be eligible, applicants should:

  • Be nationals of (and permanently domiciled in) Bangladesh and eligible Commonwealth countries in Africa, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country
  • Hold a first degree at either first or upper second class level
  • Hold an offer of admission to pursue one of the eligible programmes by the time selection at SOAS takes place.  Priority may be given to applicants with unconditional offers.  It is expected that selection will take place shortly after the scholarship deadline.
  • Meet the English language condition of your offer of admission to study at SOAS as soon as possible but no later than 1 June 2019.  Please arrange your English test and ensure you meet the English requirements as soon as possible.
  • Have not previously studied for one year or more in a developed country
  • Be able to confirm in writing that neither they nor their families would otherwise be able to pay for the proposed course of study
  • Be willing to confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete
  • SOAS positively encourages women to apply for these Shared Scholarships, particularly the award from India, in-line with the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission’s equality strategy.

In addition to the above criteria, applicants must provide a statement of financial need with your on-line admission application. The short supporting statement should include the following information:

  • – details of family and financial background: your financial situation growing up, are you the first in your family to go to university?
  • – how did you fund your past education – through scholarships, awards, parental assistance/self-funding?
  • – how does your situation now prevent you from funding an education in the UK – do you have family dependents or outstanding debts (student loans for example)?
  • – past employment – have your previous salaries put you in a position to be able to afford an education in the UK?
  • – further clarity as to how you will use your education at SOAS to help your future goals
  • – any additional information you think will help your application – extenuating financial circumstances, other financial burdens

Selection Criteria: 

  • Candidates will be assessed on academic merit by a Selection Panel consisting of three academic members.
  • The assessment of your application will be based on the information in the application submitted via the CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS) and in your on-line application for admission to study at SOAS.  Selectors will be looking at the degree results, and also at academic references, statement and other relevant information.

Fields of Study: 

  • Full-time MSc Development Studies
  • Full-time MSc Globalisation and Development
  • Full-time MSc Environment, Politics and Development
  • Full-time MSc Migration Mobility and Development
  • Full-time MSc Violence, Conflict and Development
  • Full-time LLM in Law, Development and Globalisation
  • Full-time MSc Development Economics
  • Full-time MSc Public Financial Management
  • Full-time MSc Political Economy of Development
  • Part-time programmes are not eligible.

Value of Scholarship

  • 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.
  • The scholarships are shared with International Student House (ISH), which provides free accommodation at ISH.  The scholarships also provide a small contribution in food vouchers.
  • In addition, the School provides a small maintenance grant.  The ISH provision and the School’s contribution constitute the student stipend of the DFID Shared Scholarship Scheme.

Duration of Scholarship: Duration of candidate’s chosen course

How to Apply for Commonwealth Shared Masters Scholarships

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

  • Apply for your programme & provide a statement of financial need by Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Applicants must submit a COMPLETE on-line application for admission to study one of the eligible programmes at SOAS as soon as possible but no later than 11 December 2019. You will be required to have an offer of admissions by the time selection takes place.  Selection will start on 24 January 2020

A complete application for admission includes transcripts, an explanation of the grading system for any degree obtained outside the UK, two references, CV and a personal statement.  IMPORTANT: In order to be considered for this scholarship, please remember to provide a statement of financial need with your application for admissions. Applications without the statement of financial need will not be considered. The panel will be considering your scholarship application TOGETHER with your online application for admission.

  • STEP 2: Apply for the scholarship by 16:00 on Wednesday, 18 December 2019

The scholarship application system opens on 6 November – please go HERE

All applications must be submitted by 16.00 (GMT) on 18 December 2019 at the latest.

For more information, visit Commonwealth Shared Masters Scholarships.

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