Scholarships to Study in UK for International Students

Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Jun 16, 2023 12:10 PM IST

Rhodes Scholarship Awarded to 5 Indian Students

  • November 18,2022 12:00 AM IST
  • Five Indian students were selected for the Rhodes Scholars-Elect for India 2023. They are set to attend Oxford University next year for graduate studies along with a cohort of more than 100 scholars. Read about Indian Students Receiving Rhodes Scholarship 2023 for more information.

Show More
Show Less

Scholarship Opportunities to Study at UK Universities

UK universities are consistently ranked among the top universities in the world not only for their academic reputation but also for their faculty-student ratio, academic reputation, percentage of international faculty and international students accepted, among others. 

While the UK does offer great academic opportunities, it also goes without saying that higher education in the UK is not cheap. However, the country and its universities do provide international students with a number of scholarships or financial aid that help ease the financial burden to a great extent.

Scholarships and funding opportunities in UK universities are highly sought after by students. This means that the scholarships are extremely competitive in nature and thousands of students are contesting for the same scholarship. Nonetheless, international students do not have reasons to worry as there are a growing number of scholarships being offered by UK universities to attract talent in the country. UK government, external organisations and UK universities are the chief providers of scholarships to study various undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research courses in the country. Below you will find a wide range of scholarships to choose from. 

Check if You Qualify for Scholarships in the UK Here!

UK Government Scholarships for International Students

The UK government provides scholarships to those international enthusiasts who wish to pursue higher education in the country. Financial aid is provided to motivate them to study in UK and also relieve them of the stress of monetary burden. The scholarships are also intended to award the academic achievement of the students and help them in their educational progression. 

Applying to a reputed and prestigious study program or course in the UK is a dream for many. Therefore, students must be motivated to apply for all the types of scholarships at their disposal. They must not restrict themselves to applying only for the reputed ones. There are numerous scholarships provided by the UK government for students from various countries and often they collaborate with the government of another country or UK institutions to make scholarships accessible for a diverse range of students. 

uk government scholarships

Here are the two scholarships offered by the UK government to international students from all across the world:

Chevening Scholarships

Funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) along with partner organisations, over 50,000 professionals have studied in the UK through Chevening since 1983. British embassies and high commissions across the world select recipients of Chevening scholarships. The UK offers more than 1,500 Chevening scholarships every year which demonstrates its commitment towards creating leaders for the future. 

These awards are typically for a one-year master’s degree, awarded to scholars from eligible countries around the world. This is aimed at covering a return airfare to the UK, tuition fees, living allowance and additional grants for other essential expenditures. Also, awardees will get opportunities to exclusive networking events, talks, workshops, internships and volunteering opportunities that will give them global exposure.

The selection process for this scholarship is rigorous. The most suitable candidates are selected by British high commissions and embassies around the world. 

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for Chevening scholarships, one must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a citizen of a country or territory considered eligible under Chevening.

  • Must return to the country of origin for at least two years after the award has ended.

  • Must meet the minimum work-experience requirement for the scholarship that include full-time employment, part-time employment, voluntary work, or paid or unpaid internships. 

  • Must have work experience of at least two years (equivalent to 2,800 hours).

  • Must have completed all components of an undergraduate degree that will get you entry into a postgraduate programme at a university in the UK. 

  • Must apply to three different courses at a UK university and have received an offer from one of these by July 15, 2021.

Selection Process

Students applying for Chevening scholarships have to select their country of origin from a drop-down menu. After the application is made, it will be assessed against the eligibility criteria of the scholarship. Eligible applications will be assessed by independent reading committees which will create a longlist of candidates. 

Once longlisted, the candidates will be called to submit references and invited for an interview with the British embassy or high commission of the country of origin. A panel of interviewers will conduct a face-to-face interview to know the personal and professional goals of the candidates and how the Chevening scholarship will contribute to achieving them. The choice of course also plays an important role in this regard. 

The selection process for this scholarship is rigorous. The most suitable candidates are selected by British high commissions and embassies around the world. 

Commonwealth Scholarships

Launched in 1960, more than 27,800 students have been awarded the Commonwealth Scholarship to date. The scholarships are awarded to those students who demonstrate talent and capability to make a positive impact at the international level. Each year around 800 students are given the opportunity to study for postgraduate degrees in UK universities through this scholarship. Students from commonwealth countries who believe to make a difference in the world but are unable to fund their education.

It is aimed at helping students financially who would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the UK. It funds postgraduate studies in a range of study formats, helping to support leaders and innovators. The programme attracts outstanding talents to UK universities while also supporting sustainable development overseas.

Types of Commonwealth Scholarships include: 

  • Commonwealth Professional Fellowships 

  • Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships (for low and middle-income countries) 

  • Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships 

  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for least developed countries and fragile states) 

  • Commonwealth Shared Scholarships 

  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for high-income countries) 

  • Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships 

  • Commonwealth Medical Fellowships 

In order to be eligible for the scholarship, you must:

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of a Commonwealth country. Those who are refugee or British protected person will also be considered eligible. 

  • Have an undergraduate honours degree of at least second class (2:1).

  • Have a postgraduate degree in case you wish to study for a PhD. 

  • Must be unable to afford education in the UK.

Value: Most are fully funded. It covers the tuition fees, airfare to and fro from the country and a living allowance to support the stay in the UK. 

Supporting Documents

The documents that one must submit for Commonwealth scholarships are:

  • Scanned copy of the passport

  • Academic transcript

  • Existing university degree certificate

  • Two letters of reference

  • Admission letter

The annual application deadlines are generally December of that particular year.

GREAT Scholarships

GREAT scholarships are funded jointly by the UK government’s GREAT Britain Campaign and British Council with participating UK higher education institutions. Students from 14 countries are offered the opportunity to study 1 year of taught postgraduate courses with a discount of GBP 10,000 towards their tuition fees. In the academic year 2023-24, 200 scholarships are being offered by 49 universities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Eligibility for Indian Students for GREAT Scholarships

The aspirants must possess the following attributes to be eligible for GREAT scholarships:

  • The student must be a citizen of India.

  • He/She must have an undergraduate degree, must be motivated and have an interest in the proposed area of study.

  • He/She must meet the English language requirement of the UK university.

  • He/She should engage with the UK as a scholar, through personal and academic fulfilment.

  • He/She must be willing to maintain contact with the British Council and their HEI and must act as an ambassador of GREAT scholarships. 

  • The student must be willing to attend networking events with other GREAT scholars to share their experience and capture their perception of studying in UK.

  • He/She as an alumnus of the GREAT scholarship must be willing to speak to potential candidates about their experience of studying at a UK university. 

Application Process for the GREAT Scholarship

The application process for the GREAT scholarship is:

  • Applicants must visit the university page to find out more information related to the scholarship and then follow the link through the website.

  • Apply for individual scholarships following the instructions.

  • Check the deadlines as the institutional deadlines differ.

  • Successful candidates are informed by the universities.

  • Universities will issue scholarships after registration to students.

Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships

Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships help Indians in their early to mid-stage careers to spend their time in the UK and achieve artistic, academic and professional ambitions and increase international contacts. Following an agreement between the Indian and UK government in 1981, CWIT was established as an English charity. In the last 40 years, they have given more than 3,000 grants to students. 

The grants are of a few types:

  • CWIT long-term grants: This scholarship is mainly given for full-time MA courses in arts or Heritage Conservation. It covers the living costs and tuition fees in the UK. The Indian citizens must be between 28 to 38 years old with professional experience and education in relevant discipline.

  • CWIT Short Research Grants: 15 grants are given each year for short-term research.  This grant is especially given to researchers and professionals working in the art and conservation sector. Selected students will be given a grant of GBP 1,500 towards their short stay in the UK. 

  • Grants towards the final year of Doctoral study in UK: Grants are given to doctoral candidates who are in the last year of their study in UK universities. GBP 500 to 600 are given to meet the funding gaps. The subjects covered are arts, heritage conservation and humanities. Students must return to India after completion of their course and must be between 25 and 38 years of age.

University-Specific Scholarships in the UK for International Students

Given below are the scholarships in the UK offered to international students, which are specific to universities:

Gates Cambridge Scholarship

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship is offered by the University of Cambridge to those who seek admission to full-time postgraduate study at the university. Every year, Gates Cambridge offers a total of 80 full-cost scholarships to students with outstanding academic backgrounds from countries outside the UK. 2,081 scholarships have been awarded to date.

These scholarships are offered to students who are either applying for a postgraduate degree in any subject offered by the university or those who apply for a PhD.

You can apply for this scholarship only if you are:

  • A citizen of any country outside the UK.

  • Applying to pursue PhD/ MSc/MLitt/one-year postgraduate full-time residential courses of study at the University of Cambridge

Rhodes Scholarship

The Oxford University Rhodes Scholarship is aimed at supporting exceptional young individuals applying for postgraduate study at the university. The scholarship is offered in more than 22 designated Rhodes constituencies. It is a fully funded full-time postgraduate scholarship that enables talented individuals from all over the world to study at Oxford.

The stipend provided by Rhodes Scholarship is GBP 17,310 per year from which scholars can pay all living expenses and accommodation costs. Also, student visa fees, associated International Health Surcharge (IHS) and the cost of economy flight tickets are paid.

Specifically for India, a total of five scholarships are available. The first Indian Rhodes Scholars took up residence in Oxford in 1947, when more than 200 Indians have been granted the scholarship.   

Only those who fulfil the following criteria may apply (only for Indians; the eligibility criteria for each country/ region will be different):

  • You must be a citizen of India with an Indian passport or equivalent proof of citizenship.

  • You must have undertaken formal study at an Indian educational institution for at least 4 of the last 10 years.

  • You must be at least 18 and have not reached your 24th birthday.

  • You must have completed your undergraduate degree with first-class or equivalent.

University of Edinburgh: Edinburgh Doctoral College Scholarships

Offered by the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Doctoral College Scholarships are made available to the best and brightest overseas students who wish to pursue a PhD research programme. It wants to offer unparalleled research facilities and super supervisions along with development opportunities to support research students. The scholarships cover the tuition fees as well as provide a stipend worth GBP 17,668 per annum to students. If the students display satisfactory progress, they are provided scholarships for three to four years as agreed upon. 

The scholarship is open to UK and overseas students applying for on-campus research in 2023-24. Applicants must have outstanding academic achievements and research potential. They must acquire at least UK first-class degree at the undergraduate or international level. Financial status, nationality and proposed field of study will also be taken into consideration. Candidates apply to the Scholarships Office.

MBA Skoll Scholarships

These scholarships are offered by Said Business School at the University of Oxford, aimed at Finance MBA students. In order to be eligible for this scholarship, you should not be a citizen of the UK with relevant experience in managing an enterprise for no less than 12 years. Up to four scholarships are awarded each year. 

The application process includes answering Skoll scholarship essay questions and submitting an MBA application. The MBA admissions team will consider the eligibility of the candidates. Two states of the online interview will take place post which students will be considered for the scholarship. 

Offered by the University College London, there are some bursaries available for foreign undergraduate scholars who are not able to finance their studies abroad. It is a grant worth £9,000 per academic year, which can be spent in whichever way the student deems fit.

UK Scholarships from the British Council

International students wishing to pursue a Bachelor or a Master’s degree in the UK can also seek an IELTS award, a scholarship awarded by the British Council to students from any country. It is a scholarship, a partial one ranging between £3,000 and £10,000. 

Note: This is not an exhaustive list of scholarships available for international students in the UK. One can find the complete list on the official website of the British Council, which provides detailed information about all the latest scholarships offered to students wishing to study in the UK.

Know Everything You Need to Apply for UK Scholarships!

Scholarships by the Indian Government

The Indian government offers study abroad scholarships to Indian students who are interested to study overseas and are unable to do so because of the high cost of education abroad. It is an initiative of the Indian government to help the underprivileged get the opportunity to develop academically and later economically by studying abroad. While merit is often an important criterion for selecting students for scholarships, there are other factors such as financial background, caste, gender and sports that are determinants of the eligibility of a student for the scholarship. Study abroad aspirants must be aware of the prevailing scholarships by the Indian government to study in UK. 

Here is a comprehensive list of some of the popular Indian government scholarships that will help to reduce the financial burden of students to some extent. 

Ms. Agatha Harrison Memorial Fellowship

Ms. Agatha Harrsion Memorial Fellowship is administered by the Ministry of Human Resource Department of the India Government and is a fully-funded scholarship. There is only one fellowship spot and the selected fellow is given a place at St. Antony College, University of Oxford, London. The student will attain the status equivalent to Junior Research Fellow at Oxford University. 

The duration of the fellowship is for one year which can be extended for another year based on the performance of the fellow. The value of the fellowship includes a stipend amount, travel allowance, college lunches, 6 high table dinners and administrative costs. The amount of the scholarship is GBP 29,944.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for Ms. Agatha Harrison Memorial Fellowship are:

  • Candidate should have a uniform academic record.

  • Must have a 60% in post-graduation and PhD in a relevant field.

  • Must be between the age of 30 and 40 years.

  • Must have an academic interest and bent of mind.

  • Must have specialised in History, Economics or Political Science.

  • Must have at least three years of teaching experience at graduation or post-graduation level. 

Padho Pardesh

It is a flagship programme of the Indian government that provides interest subsidies on educational loans for overseas studies for students who belong to the minority community. 

This scheme is designed to promote the educational advancement of minority communities and help them become more employable. The courses are to be studied at the masters, MPhil or PhD levels.

Eligibility Criteria

The Indian government set the eligibility criteria for Padho Pradesh as:

  • The student must have secured admission at the master, MPhil and PhD levels abroad at approved courses.

  • He/She must have taken a loan from a scheduled bank under the Education Loan Scheme of the Indian Banks Association.

  • Students should have applied for the benefits under the scheme in the first year of study. Applications in the second or subsequent years will not be entertained.

  • Preference to applications will be given which are covered under the lower rate of interest by various banks.

  • The income of the family should not exceed INR 6 lakhs.

STEM Scholarships

UK is one of the top destinations to study STEM courses but the high tuition fees can be daunting for some. There are numerous Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics courses in the UK that make the students highly employable. Keeping that in mind, there are several STEM scholarships available to study in the UK. The scholarships cover the cost of studying in UK fully or partially, living expenses, aeroplane fare, etc.

The range of STEM scholarships in UK has been curated below:

British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM

Women aspirants dreaming to study STEM in UK can now fulfil their aspirations through the British Council Scholarship for Women in STEM. British Council has partnered with 26 UK universities to provide this scholarship to benefit women belonging to South Asia, South East Asia, the Americas, Ukraine, Egypt and Turkey. 

The scholarship seeks women who have a STEM background and need financial support. Also, they must be able to inspire future generations of women to pursue an academic career in STEM courses. Some of the participating UK universities are the University of Strathclyde, Middlesex University, the University of Durham, The Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Aberdeen. 

Eligibility Criteria

The applicants must fulfil the following eligibility criteria to be considered for the scholarship:

  • They must be able to take up the course in the 2023-24 academic session.

  • They must be a citizen of the countries listed under this scholarship scheme.

  • They must have a demonstrated need for financial support.

  • Applicants must have an undergraduate degree that will enable them to participate in post-graduate courses in the UK.

  • They must be proficient in English.

  • They must be active in the field by either having work experience or demonstrating interest in the subject.

  • They must be passionate about the course.

Research Chairs and Senior Research Fellowships: Royal Academy of Engineering

The Royal Academy of Engineering’s scheme is running successfully for the last 35 years and has supported around 200 students till now.  The scholarship programme seeks to improve the link between industry and academia by supporting exceptional academics. The awardees are expected to establish or enhance a world-leading engineering research group and disseminate the outcome of their research for appropriate academic impact.

Eligibility Criteria

The applicants must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

  • Awardees can study only at UK universities.

  • All the awards made in the next round must start on September 1, 2023.

  • Research chairs are professional appointments so the applicant should be a professor.

  • Applicant must have an excellent research profile.

  • Applicant must be from an engineering discipline. Computer science and materials are also included.

  • The award duration is 5 years therefore applications for shorter durations will not be accepted.

DeepMind Scholarship: University of Cambridge Trust

DeepMind Scholarships is a fully funded scholarship for students studying AI-related fields through the Cambridge Trust. The scholarship aims to build a strong and inclusive AI community to bring a wide range of experiences to AI and computer science fields. It funds women and black students to study AI-related fields at the University of Cambridge thus giving representation to underrepresented groups.

Students applying for  Advanced Computer Science, Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence, Scientific Computing, or a PhD in Computer Science are eligible to get this scholarship. 

Women in STEM Scholarship 2022-23: King’s College London

The Faculty of Natural, Mathematical and  Engineering Sciences at Kings’s College London offer this scholarship to women candidates to increase the representation of women studying and working in STEM courses. The scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students studying at the university. 

The student must be studying an undergraduate programme in the Department of Departments of Chemistry, Informatics, Mathematics, Physics or Engineering and must not be repeating a year. The scholarship value is GBP 1,000 per year for 3 years. The awardees must attend events and get involved in activities. 

The Manchester Science and Engineering International Excellence Scholarships: University of Manchester

This scholarship is specially awarded to Indian students studying undergraduate courses at the University of Manchester. The highest performing students will be awarded this scholarship based on the information provided in the UCAS. For 2023, 50 scholarships are available. 

The value of the award is GBP 4,000 for the first year and then GBP 1,500 for the next three years. 

Eligibility Criteria 

The applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must be an international fee-paying student.

  • Must be holding an offer for the full-time undergraduate course at the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

  • Must have accepted the offer and made a firm choice by the end of June 2023.

  • Maintain 60% attendance in the undergraduate course.

Tips to Get Scholarship in UK

Getting a scholarship in UK is easy as well as tough. It completely depends on how the student utilises the opportunity to get a scholarship. Here are some of the time-tested ways that will help international students get a scholarship to the UK:

  • One should not wait until the last moment to search for scholarships. The application process to UK universities and scholarship search must go hand in hand. Some scholarships require early application and students must not miss the deadlines of the same. The evaluation process for the scholarships is strict so searching early helps to get an idea of the requirements of the scholarships.

  • It is important to check the eligibility criteria for the scholarships thoroughly. There are scholarships for different categories of students and one may be lucky to find the one best suited for themselves. The UK universities offer various regional scholarships where competition is less and these kinds of scholarships can help a student finance their education in the UK.

  • Some scholarships are based on the test results of the entrance examinations. So a student must prepare diligently and appear for the test so that they can be awarded those scholarships.

  • As academics are often core criteria for the scholarship, students must work hard on keeping their grades high in schools or colleges. 

  • Additionally, the scholarship committees often look for well-rounded candidates. Therefore, nurturing other soft skills besides hard skills is equally important. One must engage in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities to get a stellar profile for a scholarship.

  • The scholarship essay is an important part of the application for a scholarship. Students must answer the questions well and to the point. They must reflect their aims and ambitions in the scholarship essay so that the officers are convinced of their abilities. 

As one can understand getting a scholarship to the UK requires preparedness, awareness and hard work. One must be very prompt and proactive to get a good scholarship to study at UK universities.

 Find UK Universities with the Best Scholarships!

FAQs on Scholarships to Study in UK for International Students in 2024

What scholarships does the University of Cambridge offer for international students?

Among the sea of scholarship options available for international students at the University of Cambridge, the most popular scholarship is the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which covers the entire cost of pursuing a postgraduate degree at the university of an international student.

Do international students need to apply for a scholarship?

While international students may be required to apply to some of the scholarship schemes offered by the UK and the different universities in the country, some universities also offer merit-based scholarships, where meritorious students are automatically considered for and offered partial or full scholarships.

What scholarships does the British Council offer international students?

The British Council offers an IELTS scholarship specifically to international students, who aspire to pursue a Bachelor’s or Masters degree in the UK. However, the scholarship covers partial costs and usually ranges between GBP 3,000 and GBP 10,000.

Are Indian students eligible to avail Rhodes Scholarships?

Yes, Indian students can be eligible for Rhodes Scholarships. As per their policy, a total of 5 Rhodes Scholarships are reserved for Indian students, that have been granted to over 200 Indian students since 1947.

What are the popular university scholarships in the UK for international students?

Some of the popular university scholarships in the UK that international students can apply to include Gates Cambridge Scholarships, Rhodes Scholarships, Global Research Scholarships at the University of Edinburgh, MBA Skill Scholarships, Denys Holland Scholarships, scholarships by the British Council, etc.

What are the scholarship opportunities in the UK for international students?

International students planning to study in the UK can apply for UK government scholarships or thousands of University-specific and department-specific scholarships, offered by either the university themselves or private organisations and charities.

What does the Chevening Scholarships in the UK cover?

Chevening Scholarships, a UK government scholarship, covers several aspects of an international student’s study abroad journey, including the airfare to the UK, tuition costs offering a living allowance and additional grants for essential expenditure. These scholarships are specifically designed for those looking to pursue a postgraduate study in the UK.

What UK government scholarships can international students apply for?

As an international student, you can apply for the Chevening Scholarships, Commonwealth Scholarships, and many more UK government scholarships.

Can international students apply for UK government scholarships?

Yes, the UK government offers several different types of government scholarships for international students, covering several aspects of studying in the UK.

Can international students apply for scholarships in the UK?

Yes, international students, regardless of their nationality or background are eligible for different types of scholarships. However, it should be noted that students must first meet the eligibility criteria of individual scholarships offered in the UK, before applying for any.

Popular Universities in United Kingdom

View All

Admissions Open 2024

View All

Our Study Abroad Offerings

Guide to study in United Kingdom

Planning to study in United Kingdom?

  • Not sure, Help me decide

Explore Colleges

Planning to study in United Kingdom?

Interested in Studying Overseas?

Connect with us and kickstart your learning journey for a rewarding experience!

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekhoAbroad Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.