Scholarships to Study in UK for International Students


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Feb 25, 2022 4:07 PM IST

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Scholarship Opportunities to Study at UK Universities

UK universities are consistently ranked among the top universities in the world not only for their academic reputation but also for their faculty-student ratio, academic reputation, percentage of international faculty and international students accepted, among others. 

While the UK does offer great academic opportunities, it also goes without saying that higher education in the UK is not cheap. However, the country and its universities do provide international students with a number of scholarships or financial aid that help ease the financial burden to a great extent.

Also Read: University of Manchester Offers STEM Scholarships to Indian Women

Check if You Qualify for Scholarships in the UK Here!

UK Government Scholarships for International Students

Here are the two scholarships offered by the UK government to international students from all across the world:

Chevening Scholarships

Funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) along with partner organisations, over 50,000 professionals have studied in the UK through Chevening since 1983. British embassies and high commissions across the world select recipients of Chevening scholarships. 

These awards are typically for a one-year master’s degree, awarded to scholars from eligible countries around the world. This is aimed at covering a return airfare to the UK, tuition fees, living allowance and additional grants for other essential expenditure. 

To be eligible for Chevening scholarships, one must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a citizen of a country or territory considered eligible under Chevening.

  • Must return to the country of origin for at least two years after the award has ended.

  • Must meet the minimum work-experience requirement for the scholarship that include full-time employment, part-time employment, voluntary work, or paid or unpaid internships. 

  • Must have work experience of at least two years (equivalent to 2,800 hours).

  • Must have completed all components of an undergraduate degree that will get you entry into a postgraduate programme at a university in the UK. 

  • Must apply to three different courses at a UK university and have received an offer from one of these by July 15, 2021.

Commonwealth Scholarships

Launched in 1960, more than 27,800 students have been awarded the Commonwealth Scholarship to date. The scholarships are awarded to those students who demonstrate talent and capability to make a positive impact at the international level. 

It is aimed at helping students financially who would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the UK. It funds postgraduate studies in a range of study formats, helping to support leaders and innovators. 

Types of Commonwealth Scholarships include: 

  • Commonwealth Professional Fellowships 

  • Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships (for low and middle-income countries) 

  • Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships 

  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for least developed countries and fragile states) 

  • Commonwealth Shared Scholarships 

  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for high-income countries) 

  • Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships 

  • Commonwealth Medical Fellowships 

In order to be eligible for the scholarship, you must:

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of a Commonwealth country. Those who are refugee or British protected person will also be considered eligible. 

  • Have an undergraduate honours degree of at least second class (2:1).

  • Have a postgraduate degree in case you wish to study for a PhD. 

Value: Most are fully funded.

Also Read: Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship Application 2021

Use Our Comprehensive Search to Find Universities with the Best Scholarships

University-Specific Scholarships in the UK for International Students

Given below are the scholarships in the UK offered to international students, which are specific to universities:

Gates Cambridge Scholarship

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship is offered by the University of Cambridge to those who seek admission to full-time postgraduate study at the university. Every year, Gates Cambridge offers a total of 80 full-cost scholarships to students with outstanding academic background from countries outside the UK. 

These scholarships are offered to students who are either applying for a postgraduate degree in any subject offered by the university or those who apply for PhD.

You can apply for this scholarship only if you are:

  • A citizen of any country outside the UK.

  • Applying to pursue PhD/ MSc/MLitt/one-year postgraduate full-time residential courses of study at the University of Cambridge

Also Read: Gates Cambridge Scholarship Programme Application Process 2021

Rhodes Scholarship

The Rhodes Scholarship is aimed at supporting exceptional young individuals applying for postgraduate study at the University of Oxford. The scholarship is offered in more than 22 designated Rhodes constituencies. 

Specifically for India, a total of five scholarships are available. The first Indian Rhodes Scholars took up residence in Oxford in 1947, since when more than 200 Indians have been granted the scholarship.   

Only those who fulfil the following criteria may apply (only for Indians; the eligibility criteria for each country/ region will be different):

  • You must be a citizen of India with an Indian passport or equivalent proof of citizenship.

  • You must have undertaken formal study at an Indian educational institution for at least 4 of the last 10 years.

  • You must be at least 18 and have not reached your 24th birthday.

  • You must have completed your undergraduate degree with first-class or equivalent.

University of Edinburgh: Global Research Scholarship

Offered by the University of Edinburgh, Global Research Scholarship is made available to 30 excellent overseas students who wish to pursue a PhD research programme. It is grant covering the difference between overseas and home PhD fees. Only new overseas applicants will be considered eligible and the award covers the full three years of fees.

Candidates are ranked at School level, and selected at the College level, on the basis of their scholarship application and the two references submitted with their PhD application.

Candidates apply to the Scholarships Office.

MBA Skoll Scholarships

These scholarships are offered by Said Business School at the University of Oxford, aimed at finance Master degree students. In order to be eligible for this scholarship, you should not be a citizen of the UK with relevant experience of managing an enterprise for no less than 12 years. 

The scholarship covers all expenses including tuition fees and living expenses.

Denys Holland Scholarship

Offered by the University College London, there are some bursaries available for foreign undergraduate scholars who are not able to finance their studies abroad. It is a grant worth £9,000 per academic year, which can be spent in whichever way the student deems fit.

UK Scholarships from the British Council

International students wishing to pursue a Bachelor or a Master’s degree in the UK can also seek an IELTS award, a scholarship awarded by the British Council to students from any country. It is a scholarship, a partial one ranging between £3,000 and £10,000. 

Note: This is not an exhaustive list of scholarships available for international students in the UK. One can find the complete list on the official website of the British Council, which provides detailed information about all the latest scholarships offered to students wishing to study in the UK.

Also Read: University of Strathclyde Scholarship 2021-22

Know Everything You Need to Apply for UK Scholarships

FAQs on Scholarships to Study in UK for International Students in 2022

What scholarships does the University of Cambridge offer for international students?

Among the sea of scholarship options available for international students at the University of Cambridge, the most popular scholarship is the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which covers the entire cost of pursuing a postgraduate degree at the university of an international student.

Do international students need to apply for a scholarship?

While international students may be required to apply to some of the scholarship schemes offered by the UK and the different universities in the country, some universities also offer merit-based scholarships, where meritorious students are automatically considered for and offered partial or full scholarships.

What scholarships does the British Council offer international students?

The British Council offers an IELTS scholarship specifically to international students, who aspire to pursue a Bachelor’s or Masters degree in the UK. However, the scholarship covers partial costs and usually ranges between GBP 3,000 and GBP 10,000.

Are Indian students eligible to avail Rhodes Scholarships?

Yes, Indian students can be eligible for Rhodes Scholarships. As per their policy, a total of 5 Rhodes Scholarships are reserved for Indian students, that have been granted to over 200 Indian students since 1947.

What are the popular university scholarships in the UK for international students?

Some of the popular university scholarships in the UK that international students can apply to include Gates Cambridge Scholarships, Rhodes Scholarships, Global Research Scholarships at the University of Edinburgh, MBA Skill Scholarships, Denys Holland Scholarships, scholarships by the British Council, etc.

What are the scholarship opportunities in the UK for international students?

International students planning to study in the UK can apply for UK government scholarships or thousands of University-specific and department-specific scholarships, offered by either the university themselves or private organisations and charities.

What does the Chevening Scholarships in the UK cover?

Chevening Scholarships, a UK government scholarship, covers several aspects of an international student’s study abroad journey, including the airfare to the UK, tuition costs offering a living allowance and additional grants for essential expenditure. These scholarships are specifically designed for those looking to pursue a postgraduate study in the UK.

What UK government scholarships can international students apply for?

As an international student, you can apply for the Chevening Scholarships, Commonwealth Scholarships, and many more UK government scholarships.

Can international students apply for UK government scholarships?

Yes, the UK government offers several different types of government scholarships for international students, covering several aspects of studying in the UK.

Can international students apply for scholarships in the UK?

Yes, international students, regardless of their nationality or background are eligible for different types of scholarships. However, it should be noted that students must first meet the eligibility criteria of individual scholarships offered in the UK, before applying for any.

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