HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD Studies

The collaboration of the Pakistani and British governments combines sustainable development with the UK national interest by assisting innovators and future leaders from throughout the Commonwealth and bringing excellent talent to Britain’s universities. Since 1960, more than 27,800 persons have applied for HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD studies.

The program has evolved over those six decades, adapting to the very different world of a 53-nation Commonwealth in 2019. Commonwealth Scholarships help talented and motivated individuals achieve the information and skills needed for long-term development and are available to inhabitants of Commonwealth countries with poor and intermediate incomes.

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) funds these scholarships, intending to contribute to the UK’s international development goals and broader overseas interests, encouraging quality in UK higher education, and upholding Commonwealth principles.

If you’re looking for financial assistance to help you pursue a Master or PhD abroad, then look no further. These are the HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD Studies for you. Please keep reading to find out how they work and how to apply for them.

HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Master's and PhD
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About the HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD Studies

HEC Commonwealth Master’s and PhD Scholarships, established by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), enable outstanding and motivated individuals to achieve the knowledge and skills essential for sustainable development. The scholarships are open for students who would otherwise be unable to pay to study in the United Kingdom.

These scholarships will help improve individual teaching and research capability, resulting in increased institutional capacity in Commonwealth countries’ academic and other sectors. Also, they will benefit UK higher education and research by attracting high-calibre international contestants and spurring collaboration and linkages.

For full-time study in the United Kingdom, these HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD students provide financial support for candidates from low- and middle-income Commonwealth nations. These scholarships are available under the following six themes:

  • Science and technology for development
  • Strengthening health systems and capacity
  • Promoting global prosperity
  • Strengthening global peace, security and governance
  • Access, inclusion and opportunity
  • Strengthening resilience and response to crises
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Programme Benefits

HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s Studies

Each HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s studies provides:

  • Airfare from your home country to the UK and return at the end of your award
  • Tuition fees
  • Stipend at the rate of £1,133 per month, or £1,390 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area
  • Warm clothing allowance (where applicable)
  • Thesis grant towards the cost of preparing a thesis or dissertation (where applicable)
  • Study travel grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas

Suppose you are accompanied by your children, living with you at the same address in the UK. In that case, the scholarships provide a child allowance of £485 per month if you are widowed, divorced, or a single parent for the first month. It also grants £120 per month for the second and third children under 16.

On the other hand, if you declare a disability, you will be eligible for a comprehensive assessment of your needs and additional financial assistance.

HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for PhD Studies

Each scholarship provides:

  • Airfare from your home country to the UK and return at the end of your award
  • Tuition fees
  • Stipend at the rate of £1,133 per month, or £1,390 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area
  • Warm clothing allowance (where applicable)
  • Study travel grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas
  • Provision towards the cost of fieldwork undertaken overseas (where approved)
  • Paid mid-term visit to your home country
  • Family allowances

Just like the other type of scholarship, if you declare a disability, a full assessment of your needs and eligibility for additional financial support will also be offered by the FCDO.

Eligibility Requirements

HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s Studies

To apply for these scholarships, you must:

  • Be a citizen of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country, or be a British Protected Person.
  • Be permanently resident in an eligible Commonwealth country.
  • Be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year.
  • Hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard, or a second class degree (2:2) and relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree)
  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship.
  • Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format.

HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for PhD Studies

To apply for these scholarships, you must:

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  • Be a citizen of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country, or be a British Protected Person.
  • Be permanently resident in an eligible Commonwealth country.
  • Be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year.
  • Hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard, or a second class degree (2:2) and relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree)
  • Not be registered for a PhD or an MPhil leading to a PhD at a UK university or in your home country before the determined application window.
  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship.
  • Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format.

How to Apply for the HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD Studies

HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s Studies

HEC and FCDO do not accept direct applications for these scholarships. Hence, you must apply to one of the following nominating bodies:

  • National nominating agencies
  • Selected non-governmental organisations and charitable bodies

Each nominating body is in charge of its selection procedure, which may include additional eligibility requirements. Check with your nominating body for detailed application guidelines and restrictions, as well as their qualifying criteria and application deadlines.

In addition to any other applications necessary by your nominating body, you must submit your application using the FCDO’s online application system. The selection committee will reject any applications not submitted through the online application method.

Then, in the application form, you must:

  • List all undergraduate and postgraduate university qualifications obtained (if applicable).
  • List up to 10 publications and prizes (if applicable).
  • Give details of your employment history and explain how each job is relevant to the programme you wish to undertake in the UK (up to 100 words per employment).
  • Provide a statement on the relevance of your previous work experience to the proposed scholarship (up to 300 words).
  • List names and positions of three referees who are qualified to comment on both your capacity to benefit from your proposed scholarship in the UK and your ability to deliver development impact afterwards.
  • Provide a Development Impact statement in 4 parts.

Click here to apply.

HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for PhD Studies

You must apply to one of the following nominating bodies in the first instance – the FCDO does not accept direct applications for these scholarships:

  • National nominating agencies
  • Selected universities/university bodies, which can nominate their academic staff
  • Selected non-governmental organisations and charitable bodies
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Each nominating body is responsible for its selection process and may have additional eligibility criteria. You must check with your nominating body for their specific advice and application rules, eligibility criteria, and the closing date for applications.

Naturally, just like the other scholarship, you must make your application using the online application system, in addition to any other application that you have to complete by your nominating body. The FCDO will only accept applications submitted via the online application system.

In the application form, you must:

  • List all undergraduate and postgraduate university qualifications obtained (if applicable).
  • List up to 10 publications and prizes (if applicable).
  • Provide details of your employment history and explain how each job is relevant to the programme you wish to undertake in the UK (up to 100 words per employment).
  • Provide a statement on the relevance of your previous work experience to the proposed scholarship (up to 300 words).
  • List names and positions of three referees who are qualified to comment on both your capacity to benefit from your proposed scholarship in the UK and your ability to deliver development impact afterwards.
  • Provide a Development Impact statement in 4 parts.

Click here to apply.

Closing Date

Submit your application form for the HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD Studies, as well as all supporting documentation by November 1. After submission on the FCDO portal, you must also apply on HEC online application portal here.

While submitting an online application at the HEC website, do attach scan copy of the deposit slip of Rs. 800/- (non-refundable) deposited in HEC online Account No. 17427900133401 in HBL, Sector H-9, Islamabad for HEC Aptitude Test (HAT) to be conducted by Education Testing Council (ETC).

Interested candidates should make all payments to HEC through HBL online facility available across HBL branches in Pakistan.

Contact Details

It would help if you directed all enquiries about these scholarships to your nominating body. However, please use this Contact Us form instead if you have any general queries about applying for these HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD Studies. Alternatively, you can mail your messages to the following address:

Learning Opportunities Abroad (LOA)

HRD Division, Higher Education Commission Sector H-9, Islamabad

UAN 051-111-119-432 or 0334-1119432

HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD Studies’ Official Website

For more information on the HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD Studies, visit HEC’s official website at www.hec.gov.pk.

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