International students aspiring to study abroad in a low or middle country of the Commonwealth can now access a fully-funded scholarship covering tuition fees, living expenses allowances and return flight tickets under the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships.

Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships

Aimed at students who are committed to creating change in their communities, the scholarships are a life-changing opportunity to experience a new country and culture, to broaden horizons, and to build a global network that will last a lifetime.

Through cultural exchange and academic collaboration, Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholars help bring about positive change and find solutions to the shared challenges we face – both in their home countries and those that host them. As an active part of the Commonwealth network, scholars will help shape its future.



Who can apply for a Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarship (QECS)?

Citizens (or those who hold refugee status) in a Commonwealth country are welcome to apply.

Can I apply for a QECS in my home country/country of citizenship?

No. Applicants must apply for a QECS award in a country other than their home country/country of citizenship.

What do I do if the link in the myACU registration email doesn’t work?

If the direct link does not take you to the application form, please use to access the myACU portal. Once you log in you will be able to access the application form through the link in the 'QECS applications open' announcement.

Is there an age limit for QECS awards?

No. There is no upper age limit to be eligible for a QECS Award.

Can I apply for a QECS in the final year of my undergraduate degree?

No. You must have already completed your degree and have graduated with an equivalent of a 2:1 at the time of application. As part of the application process you will be asked to provide a copy of your final transcript and degree certificate.

Can I apply for a QECS to study in Canada, the UK or Australia?

No. The QECS awards are only hosted by low and middle income countries. Therefore these awards will not be hosted in Canada, the UK or Australia.

I have started a course but am unable to pay for the fees, can I apply for a QECS to pay the fees?

No. QECS awards are only for new students and cannot be used to fund a course that has already been started.

Can I apply for a QECS to study for an undergraduate degree?

No. QECS are available for master's degrees only.

Can I apply for a QECS to study for a PhD?

No. QECS are available for master's degrees only.

The Masters course that I am interested in is longer than two years, can I apply for a QECS for this course?

No. The QECS will only fund two year Masters Courses.

I already have a master's degree, will this meet the eligibility requirements?

Please check with your preferred university to ensure you meet the entry requirements for your chosen courses.

Applying for a QECS

Which universities are hosts for the current Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarship application cycle?

Only those universities listed online are hosting QECS awards for the current application cycle.

The country where I want to study is not listed on the QECS website. Why is this?

The current hosts of the QECS awards are only those listed on the website. If a country/university is not on the website, it means that they are not a host for the current cycle of awards. In some cases this may be due to the timing of the application cycle, for example some institutions have an academic year starting in January/February therefore they would be included in the second cycle of awards. Please keep an eye on the website for more details on those institutions/countries that will be included in the second application cycle.

Please note that QECS awards are only hosted by low and middle income countries. Therefore these awards will not be hosted in Canada, the UK or Australia.

The website mentions that there are two application cycles, why is this the case?

Academic years start at different times across the globe with some starting in July-October and others starting in January-February.

The country that you wish to study in will determine when you need to submit an application. Keep an eye on the website for further details.

What subjects/courses can I study under the QECS?

Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships sponsor Master’s Degrees in a broad range of subject areas.

The subject areas available differ according to the Host University and/or Country. Please refer to the QECS homepage for further details.

Can I submit more than one QECS application?

As QECS awards can be held in a variety of Commonwealth Countries, you can submit more than one application as long as they are for different host countries/universities. However if you submit two applications for one host country/university only the first application submitted will be considered.

I applied last year, and I want to apply again, will my last result affect my chances this year?

No. Awards are selected by an independent, objective panel and therefore results from previous years will not be taken into account.

Application form queries

My country is not showing in the drop down list of the application form, why is this?

Applicants cannot apply for an award in their home country/country of citizenship as this is an international programme. If you are attempting to apply for a QECS in a university in your home country you will not find your country in the drop down and should consider applying for an award in another country.

When do I have to upload all of my supporting documents?

You will need to upload your supporting documents before submitting your application.

I have submitted my application and have realized that there are documents that weren't included or some of the information is incorrect. Am I able to update this information?

No. It is not possible to make any amendments, such as uploading any further documentation, once your application has been submitted. Therefore it is extremely important that you check your application before it is submitted.

Do I need to have been accepted onto a course before I apply for a QECS Scholarship?

No. However, you are encouraged to apply for your chosen course of study before or at the same time as applying for a QECS award. Further guidance on whether you should apply for your course at the same time as the scholarship is explained on the individual QECS university webpages.

What is the English language requirement?

The requirement for English language testing depends on the university that you are intending to study at. Therefore you will need to look at your chosen university's admissions website to determine whether English language results are required for your admission. Some universities will require for applicants to meet their English language requirement. This often involves submitting the results of an English language test.

English is not my first language but all of my studies were taught in English. Do I need to take an English language test?

This will depend on the University that you are interested in studying at as their entry requirements will differ. If an English language test is required by the University, this is indicated on the University's QECS page. If you have any further questions regarding the English language requirement please write to the University directly.

I cannot get an academic reference, what can I provide instead?

Academic references are advised, these are usually referees who have taught you or worked with you throughout your academic career. However if you are unable to obtain academic references we would advise that you use professional referees that are able to write you references demonstrating the points outlined on the application form

My internet access is limited. Can I submit a paper copy of the application form?

No. Applications must be submitted online through Online Application System. This system will be used throughout the selection process. We recommend you find alternative internet providers that are available locally.

I forgot my password. What can I do?

You will need click on the “Forgot?” link. This will send an email to reset your password, to the email address that you used for your application. Please check your junk/spam mail to ensure that the email has not been sent there.

Can I still apply if I do not have a valid passport?

Yes, you can submit your application without a valid passport. Instead you can provide your National ID or current invalid passport within the application form. However, if you are selected for an award you will need to ensure that a copy of your passport is valid for the entire period of your stay in your host country and is sent to the CSFP unit so that you flight(s) can be arranged.

Can the deadline for submitting my application be extended?

No. Extensions will not be granted under any circumstances.

English is not my first language but all of my studies were taught in English. Do I need to take an English language test?

This will depend on the University that you are interested in studying at as their entry requirements will differ. If an English language test is required by the University, this is indicated on the University’s QECS page. If you have any further questions regarding the English language requirement please write to the University directly.

University applications

Do I need to apply for admission to my chosen university course separately to the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarship application?

Yes. You will need to submit an application for admission to your chosen university course directly to the university in addition to completing a QECS application. On the QECS at University webpage there is guidance on where to find information and who to contact regarding university admission applications.

When do I have to apply for admission to my chosen university courses?

You should visit your chosen university's website for more information on their admissions procedures and when their applications open.

Do I need to have a university offer letter when applying for a Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarship?

No. As some university application cycles will open after the QECS award applications close, you do not need to have secured an offer and received an offer letter at your chosen institution at the time of submitting your QECS application. Please note that The Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships at X university webpage will indicate whether you will have to apply to the university at the same time (or after) the QECS application deadline.

Applications for my chosen course do not open before the deadline for submitting my QECS application, what should I do?

You should speak with your chosen university to determine when the applications open. In some instances it will be possible to apply for your course once you have been selected for your award. Please note that this is not (recommended nor is it) possible in all cases.

My university is asking me to pay an application fee, what should I do?

Some universities require an application fee to process your application. The QECS will not pay this deposit and it is your responsibility to secure your university offer. If applications to your chosen university close after the QECS applications close then it may be possible to hold off on completing your university application and paying the application cost at this time. You will need to check when the applications for your chosen course should be submitted by to see whether this is possible.


What does a QECS cover?

Award recipients receive:

  • Fully-funded tuition fees
  • Living expenses allowance (stipend) for duration of award
  • Return economy flights to their host country
  • An arrival allowance
  • Research support grant – on request only; subject to approval

How much will my allowance be during the scholarship?

If selected, all allowances will be stated in your award letter.

Can I accept another scholarship/additional funding alongside my QECS?

Scholars can have additional funding for purposes not covered by their QECS, however you will need to seek approval from the QECS (CSFP Unit) before any further funding is accepted.

Can I have additional funding for a language course?

All courses undertaken through this scholarship should be taught in English and therefore additional funding for this purpose should not be required.

How can a government, business or individual support the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships?

We are seeking the active support of Commonwealth governments for the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) itself and for expansion of the CSFP Endowment Fund which funds the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships. Please contact [email protected] for more details.


When am I likely to hear back regarding the outcome of my application?

The timing of when you will hear the outcome of your application will depend on the application cycle you have applied in.

Cycle 1 applicants for courses starting in July-October should receive the outcome of their application by July of the year of award.

Cycle 2 applicants for courses starting in January-February should receive the outcome of their application by the October prior to the start of award.

Will I receive feedback if my application is unsuccessful?

We are unable to provide individual feedback on why an application has been unsuccessful. However, many of the applications received do not pass through to the next stage (and are not eventually selected) due to a few common reasons.

Failing to follow the application instructions will result in your application being unsuccessful. The selection committee assesses applications using four key criteria:

  • Academic history/references
  • Plan of Study
  • Development Impact and Post Study Outreach
  • Creating Networks

For an application to be considered for selection, applicants must ensure that:

  • Their personal statement is written clearly so that a non-specialist can understand what the aims of the research are and how they will be implemented
  • They clearly outline why they are applying to the courses and institutions listed on their application form. You must tailor these answers to each institution – if you write the same answer for each course/institution or copy and paste text from university websites, then your application will not be considered.
  • They meet all the eligibility requirements for their chosen university course, including having the necessary work experience
  • Two referees are identified and references are provided– references should be detailed and include the content outlined on the application form
  • Include full details about marks/grades gained for particular degrees. Applicants are strongly encouraged to ensure that full supporting documentation is provided at the time of application, in the form of an official transcript.

We strongly advise all applicants to read all of the instructions and FAQs carefully before starting their application, and then complete all of the questions fully.

On award

Can I bring my family with me?

We strongly discourage scholars from bringing dependants with them to their host country. Award allowances are calculated to cover the scholar’s costs only. Scholars will be solely responsible for all welfare and financial arrangements for any accompanying dependants.

If I am awarded a scholarship, will I be able to get in touch with other alumni?

Yes! Once your award has been confirmed, you will be introduced to fellow CSFP scholars on award and alumni. This group will include those on the programme prior to the QECS rebranding who may be at your host institution, from your home country or studying in your home country.


Is accommodation included in my scholarship?

Accommodation is not pre-arranged as part of your award, your living allowance is to be used to cover accommodation costs in addition to other living expenses. Some universities will help with arranging accommodation, however this will need to be discussed with the university directly.

Who pays for my accommodation?

Scholars are responsible for finding, and paying for, their own accommodation, using their QECS stipend, unless stated otherwise. QECS is not able to pay for your accommodation on your behalf.

Can the QECS help me find somewhere to live?

We are limited in the assistance we can provide for accommodation. We encourage you to contact your Host University, or alternatively scholars currently on award, for advice about finding accommodation before travelling to your host country.

Visas, immigration, travel and welfare

Do I need to wait until I have received my visa to book my flight?

Yes, flights will not be booked by the CSFP Unit until you have confirmed receipt of your visa to your host country.

Can I book my own flight and be reimbursed for it?

No, it will not be possible to provide reimbursement for flights booked independently so do refrain from doing so. All flights are booked through the CSFP Unit and our nominated travel agencies. You should not book a flight using any other methods.

Will QECS arrange for my visa to be processed?

No, scholars will need to request support from their host university. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to provide guidance on all global immigration processes.

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