Not many countries in the world can compete with the United Kingdom in terms of the quality of higher education. This country claims second spot in the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings 2018, just behind the USA. But the reason why many don’t even dream about completing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in the UK is that its universities charge a fortune in tuition, and the cost of living here too is anything but low. However, thanks to numerous scholarships available for international students, many others can still dream about studying in the land of Brits. Below, you’ll find a list of the six best master’s scholarships in the UK for international students.
Best UK Scholarships for International Master’s Students
1. Chevening Scholarships
- Scholarship Value: Full tuition funding, accommodation, airfare
Chevening Scholarship is one of the most popular scholarships among international students pursuing a master’s degree in the UK. One of the main reasons behind its popularity is that it covers not only tuition, but also accommodation and airfare. The fact that around 1,500 students from more than 160 countries and territories receive this Master’s scholarship in UK for international students each year is another reason. However, the downside of its popularity is that it has grown into a highly competitive scholarship.
To be considered eligible for Chevening Scholarships, a candidate must meet the academic requirements to study at postgraduate level in the UK. They must have applied to three different full-time master’s programs at either the same UK-based university or different ones, and received an unconditional offer from one of the three. Meeting the scholarship’s English language requirement is also necessary, and so is having a two-year work experience. Once the award has come to an end, recipients are required to return to their country for at least two years.
2. Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships
- Scholarship Value: Full tuition funding, monthly living allowance worth £1,110 to £1,362, airfare
Just like Chevening Scholarship, Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship is also a highly sought-after scholarship. Each year, a few hundred international students from more than 40 eligible Commonwealth countries receive this scholarship, which is funded by the British government’s Department for International Development (DFID). In addition to covering tuition for a one-year, full-time taught master’s program (except MBA) and airfare, it provides recipients with a living allowance every month. The amount of the living allowance is £1,362 per month if the university is positioned in the London metropolitan area, while it’s £1,110 per month if the university is outside the London metropolitan area. Moreover, if applicable, they may also receive warm clothing allowance, thesis grant, study travel grant, and family allowance.
Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships are only meant for students who are in financial need, and won’t be able to afford to study in the UK if they don’t receive this Master’s scholarship in UK for international students. Those who already have a master’s degree from a UK-based university are not eligible to apply for a second one. It must be noted that applications are to be made through the government agencies or non-government organizations and charitable bodies that serve as this scholarship’s nominating bodies.
3. Clarendon Fund Scholarships at University of Oxford
- Scholarship Value: Full tuition funding, annual living allowance worth £5,003 to £15,009
Clarendon Fund Scholarships are meant for graduate (both master’s and DPhil) students at the prestigious University of Oxford coming from and outside the UK. It is offered to about 130 new students every year. In addition to fully funding the tuition, it provides a living allowance or study support grant of £15,009 per year to full-time master’s students, and £5,003 per year to part-time master’s students.
Unlike the other two scholarships mentioned above, Clarendon Fund Scholarships don’t require a separate application. Those who apply for any of the master’s programs at Oxford are automatically considered. There’s also no restriction on subject area. However, it must be noted that selection is made entirely based on academic merit and potential. As a result, these scholarships can be extremely competitive as well.
4. Gates Cambridge Scholarships
- Scholarship Value: Full tuition funding, annual maintenance allowance worth £17,500, airfare
The Gates Cambridge Scholarship program came into being in 2000 after the University of Cambridge received a humongous donation of $210 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It covers the University Composition Fee, airfare, as well as visa and Immigration Health Surcharge costs. On top of that, it provides a recipient with £17,500 per year as maintenance allowance. Furthermore, a number of different additional funding may also be provided on a discretionary basis, such as academic development funding worth £500 to £2,000, and family allowance worth £4,320 to £10,120.
Each year, around 80 graduate students at Cambridge coming from outside the UK receive the Gates Cambridge Scholarships, with approximately one-third of them being master’s students. These scholarships are meant for those who possess outstanding intellectual ability and leadership potential. They need to be committed to improving the lives of others. Reasons for choice of their program are also taken into account during the selection process.
5. Think Big Postgraduate Scholarships at the University of Bristol
- Scholarship Value: Tuition waiver worth £5,000 to £20,000
The most prominent scholarship at the University of Bristol for postgraduate students coming from outside the UK is the Think Big Postgraduate Scholarship. A total of 35 international students receive this Master’s scholarship in the UK for international students each year. Five of them are awarded an annual tuition waiver worth £20,000. The tuition waiver is £10,000 per year for 10 students, and £5,000 per year for 20 students.
International students who have applied to any of the one-year, full-time taught master’s programs at Bristol, excluding the ones in distance-learning study mode, are welcomed to apply for the Think Big Postgraduate Scholarships. Hence, an offer to study at the university isn’t necessary to be considered eligible. Submitting one application for the scholarship is enough even for those who have applied to multiple programs at the university.
6. Developing Solutions Masters Scholarships at the University of Nottingham
- Scholarship Value: Half to full tuition waiver
Beginning its journey in 2001, the Developing Solutions Masters Scholarship is the flagship international scholarship program at the University of Nottingham. Each year, a total of 105 students receive this scholarship. Some of them are awarded 100 percent tuition waiver, while the rest enjoy 50 percent tuition waiver.
To be considered eligible for the Developing Solutions Masters Scholarship, a student must come from one of the 90-plus eligible countries. They must have an offer of admission to any master’s program falling under the Nottingham faculties of Engineering, Medicine and Health Sciences, Science, and Social Sciences. Those who have studied outside their home country in the past are not eligible for the scholarship.
I hope that this article on Master’s scholarships in UK for international students was helpful. If you are interested, visit the UK Scholarships Page!