Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Please note the earlier deadline for these scholarships

Awards made under this scheme are jointly funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), as part of the British aid programme to developing countries, and participating institutions in the United Kingdom. The scheme is administered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK.

The aim of the scheme is to assist students of excellent academic calibre from developing Commonwealth countries who would benefit from higher education in the United Kingdom, to the developmental advantage of their home countries, but who, for financial reasons, are unable to study in Britain and are outside the scope of other British Government Support Schemes.

For 2020 entry, LSE will be awarding five scholarships. The assessment will be based on eligible candidates who have completed the Commonwealth Commissions online application by the closing date 18 December 2019.

Further information can be found here.

You must also submit your application for admission from LSE to be considered and secure an offer of admission (either conditional or unconditional).

Eligibility - LSE programmes

Awards are for full-time one-year taught postgraduate courses only. No awards will be made for undergraduate study.

The following programmes are confirmed as eligible for an award at LSE in the 2020/21 academic session.

Applicants are expected to hold a first degree at either first class or upper second class level.

You must also confirm that you are sufficiently fluent in written and oral English to pursue your studies at LSE immediately, as no pre-course English Language teaching is available under these awards.

Applicants who have already studied for one year or more in a developed country, or who possess sufficient resources to self-fund, are not eligible for an award.

Applicants must certify that they:

  • Are nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) an eligible Commonwealth developing country and not at present living or studying in a developed country;
  • Have not undertaken studies lasting one year or more in a developed country;
  • Are themselves, or through their families, unable to pay to study in the United Kingdom;
  • Will return to their home country as soon as their award ends.

Applicants are advised that false declarations will cause at least DFID's share of the award to be terminated, even if the course of study has started. In such circumstances, the candidates will be required to refund any payments made by DFID in connection with the award.

Eligibility - Developing countries 

Applicants must be currently domiciled in and a national of one of the following Commonwealth Countries

  • Bangladesh
  • Cameroon
  • Eswatini
  • The Gambia
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rwanda
  • Samoa
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Vanuatu
  • Zambia

Scholarship amount

DFID and participating United Kingdom institutions will jointly meet the full costs of an award holder's study in the United Kingdom, including airfares to and from the United Kingdom. The full tuition fees and a maintenance allowance (£16,775 in 2019/20) will be provided.

A grant of up to £225 to cover master's thesis costs is available along with a small allowance for any fieldwork costs; the cost of up to 10 kilograms of accompanied excess baggage is also available for scholars returning home at the end of their awards.

No additional allowances are paid for spouses or other dependants.

How to apply

Please note the earlier deadline for these scholarships

To apply for Commonwealth funding for programmes beginning in September 2020, you must:

  • submit your application for admission to one of the eligible programmes at LSE - Enquiries and applications for admission to the School should be addressed to the LSE Graduate Admissions Office.
  • submit your application to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, via their webpages, by 18 December 2019
  • submit your Graduate Financial Support Application Form via LSE for You in order to be considered for other LSE Scholarships you may be eligible for
  • Receive an offer of a place (conditional or unconditional)

The CSC will provide LSE with the applications submitted to them. LSE will then short list and identify suitable candidates based on financial need and academic merit and return LSE's first choice nominations and reserves to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission for its agreement.

While you may apply to more than one institution, only one offer of award may be accepted

*Please note the earlier deadline for these scholarships*

We recommend that you also complete the Graduate Financial Support Application Form in order to be considered for any other LSE Scholarships for which you meet the criteria.

See how to apply for graduate study at LSE

The outcome to your Graduate Support Scheme application will be displayed after you have received an offer. Successful applicants selected for other LSE Scholarships or awards will be notified by the end of July 2020.