The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is an international programme under which member governments offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries. The CSFP was established at the first Commonwealth education conference in 1959, and over 26,000 individuals have benefited. Awards in the UK are funded by the Department for International Development, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Education (DFE), in conjunction with UK universities. The CSC also nominates UK citizens for scholarships to study in other Commonwealth countries under the CSFP.


Commonwealth Scholarships are only available for applicants from countries within the Commonwealth. The scheme is run by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) who delegates the management of the scheme to the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and the British Council. From 1 April 2013 the responsibilities of the ACU and British Council changed, with the ACU being responsible for all the UK administration including nomination, selection, and placement, and the British Council’s role focusing on pre-departure services, including pre-departure briefings and visa information signposting, and supporting the CSC alumni engagement strategy, through agreed activities. The British Council works delivers the Commonwealth Scholarship programme in the following countries: Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The ACU also manage Distance Learning and third-country training awards that do not involve the British Council, although Distance Learning scholars can be involved in alumni activity.

The CSC website provides information about the scheme (

Type of CSFP available in Malaysia

The CSC offers in Malaysia :

  • Commonwealth Scholarships for PhD study at a UK university
  • Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s study at a UK university
  • Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships for PhD candidates to spend up to 12 months  in the UK as part of their doctoral studies. 

Aims & Funding


  • Contribute to the UK’s international development aims and wider overseas interests
  • Support excellence in UK higher education
  • Sustain the principles of the Commonwealth.


Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for awards to  citizens from developing Commonwealth countries.

Department for Education for awards to citizens from developed  Commonwealth countries.

UK universities also provide a valuable contribution.

Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship

Purpose: To contribute to development needs of Commonwealth countries by providing training for skilled and qualified professionals and academics, and to contribute UK Higher Education and foreign policy aims by encouraging collaboration and links.

Intended Beneficiaries:  high quality postgraduate students who have the potential to enhance the development of their home countries with the knowledge and leadership skills they acquire

Focus Sector: All sectors with significant impact.

Application process: Public Service Department (JPA)

Award Duration: 12 – 24 months (Taught, Full time)


  1. Citizen of Malaysia 
  2. Starts academic year Sept/Oct 2019 
  3. Hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard, or a second class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree). 
  4. Unable to afford to study without this scholarship. 

6 Themes offered from this scholarship:

  1. Science & technology for development 
  2. Strengthening health systems and capacity
  3. Promoting global prosperity 
  4. Strengthening global peace, security and governance 
  5. Strengthening resilience and response to crises
  6. Access, inclusion and opportunity 

How to apply?

  • Stay tuned for the scholarship opening by Public Service Department (PSD)
  • Apply to study at part-funding UK university
  • Application must be submitted by 19 December 2018
  • More information here.

Commonwealth PhD Scholarship

Purpose: To enhance individual teaching and research capacity leading to increased institutional capacity in nominating countries and to contribute to UK higher education and research by attracting high calibre international candidates and encouraging links and collaboration

Intended beneficiaries:  high quality graduates who have the potential to become influential leaders, teachers or researchers in their home countries and whose proposed research topic has been described to the satisfaction of the selection committee has a developmental and leadership focus

Focus Sector: All sectors. A number of awards are specifically offered to academic staff, in all disciplines, from selected Commonwealth universities

Application process:  Public Service Department (JPA)

Award Duration: 3 years 

Mode: Full time study only


  1. Citizen of Malaysia 
  2. Starts academic year Sept/Oct 2019 
  3. Hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard, or a second class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree). 
  4. NOT be registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, at a UK university before September/October 2019
  5. NOT have commenced and be currently registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, in your home country or elsewhere
  6. Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship

More information here

Scholarships Value

Each scholarships provide:

  • Approved airfare from your home country to the UK and return at the end of your award 
  • Approved tuition fees
  • Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,084 per month and £1,330 per month for universities in London. 
  • Warm clothing allowance
  • Thesis grant
  • Study travel grant

See also