The University has a number of awards for UK/EU and overseas candidates starting a one-year Masters programme, some of which are region- and country-specific scholarships. Interested candidates are strongly urged to apply. See the Postgraduate Prospectus - scholarships page.

To award outstanding achievement and to attract students of the highest calibre from around the world, the University of Birmingham is pleased to offer a number of international scholarships. Scholarships for international students.

Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships

The International Development Department is delighted to be able to offer ten prestigious Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships provided by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSCUK). These are for students from low or middle income Commonwealth countries joining the distance-learning MSc International Development (Conflict, Security and Development) and commencing studies in September 2024.  

Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are offered for citizens of certain Commonwealth countries. These scholarships are funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), with the aim of contributing to the UK’s international development aims and wider overseas interests, supporting excellence in UK higher education, and sustaining the principles of the Commonwealth. 

Candidates who wish to undertake an IDD distance learning masters on a Commonwealth Scholarship must submit two separate applications: one to the University of Birmingham, for acceptance onto the programme, and one to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, for the funding. 

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission have set a deadline of 16:00 GMT on 28th March 2024 to apply for scholarships for study beginning in September/October 2024. See details on their website, including an overview of the scholarships, and how to apply. The University of Birmingham is a participating university under the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission's 'Strengthening global peace, security and governance' theme. 

Meanwhile, the deadline for submitting the application to the University of Birmingham for acceptance onto the programme is 3rd April 2024 for applicants who wish to be considered for a Commonwealth Scholarship (This is sooner than the general deadline for applications to our programmes, because of the administration involved in allocating the scholarship awards). Applicants must state clearly on their application that they are applying for the Commonwealth Scholarship. This allows us to link up your University of Birmingham application with your Commonwealth Scholarship application. Read about how to apply.

Please note: due to the high demand for these scholarships, candidates will only be considered if they have a strong academic record at undergraduate level and clear evidence of a commitment to the 'strengthening global peace, security and governance' scholarship theme, demonstrated through their ‘Development Impact’ and ‘Career Plans’ statements on the scholarship application form. 

In summary: joining IDD as a distance learning student on a Commonwealth Scholarship Commission scholarship requires you to submit two separate applications, one to the University of Birmingham for admission, and one to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, for funding. These are separate applications, and it is possible that a candidate could receive an offer of admission onto the programme, but be unsuccessful with the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission funding application. In this situation, a candidate would be very welcome to join the programme, but would need to have available an alternative source of funding for the course fees. Thus, please note that an offer letter from the University of Birmingham offering admission onto the programme is not the same thing as an offer of scholarship funding from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.

MSc in Development Policy and Politics (with Mo Ibrahim Foundation Internship)

The scholarship is provided by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and is for a two-year programme, with the successful candidate undertaking the full one-year MSc programme, as well as an integrated one-year internship. The internship enables the successful candidate to spend six months with IDD working on research with academics and the GSDRC and then six months with the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in London working alongside the team on a variety of the Foundation’s initiatives that aim to “put governance at the centre of Africa’s development”. This includes participating in the Now Generation Forum, a new forum for African emerging leaders and young professionals as part of the Ibrahim Forum and the Ibrahim Governance Weekend.

The deadline is 8 April 2024.

Find out more about the Internship

Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program

The Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) is open to citizens of certain developing countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts. At the University of Birmingham, scholarships are offered for those who wish to apply to the MSc Conflict, Security and Development programme.

Application Window 1: 15 February January - 29 February 2024 (12:00 noon EST)

Application Window 2: 25 March 2023 - 24 May 2024 (12:00 noon EST)

Bursaries for IDD degrees by research

The University has a number of awards for UK/EU and overseas candidates starting a one-year Masters programme for PhD study, some of which are region- and country-specific scholarships. Interested candidates are strongly urged to apply. More information on the Scholarships and grants page.

Other scholarships and bursaries at IDD

In-Country scholarships and government awards

The large majority of study fellows are funded by their own organisation, the British Council or an associated funding source.

Opportunities vary from country to country and the British Council is best placed to advise on potential funding opportunities for you. Contact details of all British Council offices can be found on the British Council website

Grant-making bodies

Many grant-making bodies have funds available for international students to undertake postgraduate study in the UK. Awards vary greatly according to the subject area and to the country of the applicant.

The Directory of Social Change provides a comprehensive guide to funding possibilities.

Donor agencies

Many bi-lateral and multi-lateral donor agencies offer awards for students to undertake postgraduate study in the UK. These include the World Bank, UN agencies such as UNICEF, UNESCO or UNDP, and the European Commission.

Many of these agencies have local offices and you are advised to address them first to ask about funding opportunities for students from your country.

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

IDD is recognised by the British Economic and Social Research Council as a centre of excellence for postgraduate research and for training in research methods.

Eligible applicants may apply to the ESRC for funding to undertake research (+3) and should contact the ESRC directly for information.

(Please note that in order to be considered for an ESRC scholarship, you will need to be nominated by the School of Government and Society.)

Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships

'Ambassadorial Scholarships, the Rotary Foundation's oldest and best-known program, is the world's largest privately funded international scholarships program. 

'The purpose of the Ambassadorial Scholarships program is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas. While abroad, scholars serve as goodwill ambassadors to the host country and give presentations about their homelands to Rotary clubs and other groups. Upon returning home, scholars share with Rotarians and others the experiences that led to a greater understanding of their host country.'

Rotary Foundation's Ambassadorial Scholarships