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Government Scholarships for International Students in the United Kingdom

As an international student, tuition and living costs can add up quickly. Fortunately, there are a range of scholarships that governments across the United Kingdom offer to eligible students. 

Scholarships are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels in general, but specific scholarships may be limited by academic level, a student’s home country, or chosen course. Keep reading for more information on requirements, application processes, and key dates.

Before You Apply

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) recommends that students check their eligibility for Government Student Support before applying for scholarships. Different GSS funds are available in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

Many scholarships require proof of acceptance at a UK university before awarding a scholarship. We recommend creating a calendar of scholarship and course application due dates. A calendar can help students understand when to start preparing for applications, and which scholarships to prioritize.

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Chevening Scholarships and Fellowships

  • Scholarship Amount: Varies; covers the full cost of one year’s tuition, plus return flights and accommodation.
  • Eligible UK Destinations: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
  • Eligible Applicant Countries: Students from over 160 countries may apply. Search the full list.

Chevening is a scholarship and fellowship program with the goal of developing future global leaders. Recipients are selected by British embassies and high commissions around the world.

Chevening Scholarship

Chevening scholarships are offered to students enrolling in an eligible one-year master’s degree who demonstrate high leadership potential. Applicants must have at least two years of work experience before applying. 

Chevening Fellowship

Conversely, the ideal Chevening Fellowship applicant is a mid-career professional. Applicants are often in a leadership position with an existing postgraduate qualification (or equivalent training/experience.) Participants take part in research, placements, and/or tailored short courses at UK universities. Fellowship alumni may continue corresponding on their fellowship subject with UK embassies and high commissions after returning home. This ongoing connection builds the alumni international network. Fellowship eligibility requirements vary, so please refer to the program pages.

Is Chevening right for you? Note that all Chevening scholars must agree to return to the country of their citizenship for two years after the scholarship ends, ideally with the goal of fostering change and leadership there.

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Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships

  • Scholarship Amount: Varies; covers the full cost of one year’s tuition, plus return flights and a living allowance.
  • Eligible UK Destinations: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
  • Eligible Applicant Countries: Students must be a citizen or permanent resident of a Commonwealth country.

Every year, around 800 students from Commonwealth countries receive Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships. These scholarships are targeted to future innovators and leaders; specifically, students who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK. 

A range of scholarships are available at the master’s and PhD levels, and criteria varies. All applicants must have completed an undergraduate honours degree of at least 2:1 (roughly equivalent to scores of B, 3.0, or 80 from a well-ranked international school.)

All scholarships, which are funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, are offered under six development themes. These themes range from science and technology for development to promoting global prosperity. While there are no restrictions on students’ fields of study, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission gives priority to applicants whose studies align best with their criteria.

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Global Wales Postgraduate Scholarship (GWPS)

  • Scholarship Amount: Up to £10,000.
  • Eligible UK Destinations: Wales.
  • Eligible Applicant Countries: The European Union, India, Vietnam, and the United States.

The Global Wales Postgraduate Scholarship (GWPS) offers postgraduate students up to £10,000 towards tuition fees for one year of full-time, master’s-level study in Wales. Eligible universities include: 

Students need to apply for a place in an eligible postgraduate program before applying to this scholarship. The GWPS requests that students include their university application number in their scholarship application, and notes that applications with invalid numbers will be rejected.

A hand holding a scholarship letter, overlaid with confetti and gold coins.

GREAT Scholarships

Two kinds of scholarships are available through this program: GREAT Scholarships and GREAT Scholarships for justice and law.

GREAT Scholarships

  • Scholarship Amount: A minimum of £10,000.
  • Eligible UK Destinations: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
  • Eligible Applicant Countries: Bangladesh, Brunei, China, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Vietnam.

GREAT Scholarships award a minimum of £10,000 towards tuition fees for a one-year postgraduate course. Scholarships are jointly funded by the UK government’s GREAT Britain campaign, and the British Council, with support from participating UK educational institutions.

Students from 18 countries are eligible to apply. Most countries offer between five to eight scholarships for each academic year. 

GREAT Scholarships for Justice and Law

  • Scholarship Amount: A minimum of £10,000.
  • Eligible UK Destinations: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
  • Eligible Applicant Countries: China, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Thailand.

GREAT Scholarships for justice and law are available to students who have applied to a one-year postgraduate course in justice and law related subjects at one of 30 participating universities. Each of these scholarships offers a minimum of £10,000 towards tuition fees. 

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Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships

  • Scholarship Amount: £8,000.
  • Eligible UK Destinations: Scotland.
  • Eligible Applicant Countries: Canada, China (including Hong Kong), India, Japan, Pakistan, and the United States.

The Saltire Scholarships award up to 50 international students with £8,000 toward tuition for one year of a full-time master’s program at any Scottish university. As of 2021, they also offer £4,000 towards study at Scottish colleges at the Higher National level. (Note that college-level scholarships are only available to EU and European Economic Area-based students.) 

Scholarships are available to applicants studying: 

  • Healthcare and medical sciences
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Creative industries
  • Renewable and clean energy 

 

Looking for more scholarships? Check out the Top UK Scholarships for International Students!