Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships - application FAQs

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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. Refugees should apply as if they were a citizen of the country that has offered them refugee status.

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 https://crm.acu.ac.uk/user/login 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.

What are the minimum academic requirements to be considered eligible?

You must have attained a minimum of 2:1 (or equivalent) at undergraduate level to be eligible to apply.

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. You will be asked to provide a copy of your final transcript and degree certificate.

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

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

I have started a course but am unable to pay for the tuition fees, can I apply for a QECS to pay these 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 for Master's degrees only.

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

No. QECS are for Master's degrees only.

The Master's 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 Master’s courses with a maximum duration of two years.

Can Master's courses be less than 2 years in total?

Yes, the QECS will fund Master’s courses with a maximum duration of up to two years.

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.

Can I apply for a QECS to study for a Master’s degree part-time?

No. The QECS awards are for full-time study only.

Can I apply for a QECS to study for a Master’s degree remotely/by distance learning?

No. The QECS awards are international scholarship opportunities and are for courses taught in-person on campus only.

Applying for a QECS

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

Only universities listed on the QECS homepage are hosts for the current application cycle.

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

The universities listed on the QECS homepage are hosts for the current application cycle. 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 or follow the ACU social media channels for more details on those institutions/countries that will be included in the next application cycle.

Please note that QECS awards are only hosted by low- and middle-income countries. Therefore these awards will not be hosted in high income countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand or UK.

Why does the website mention that there are two application cycles?

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

The country that you wish to study in will determine when the QECS applications open and 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?

QECS sponsors 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 you can only submit one application per host university. Therefore 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 considered.

I am from an island in the West Indies and the university I am interested in has a campus in my country of citizenship, however I want to apply to study on a campus in a different West Indies country. Can I apply for this university?

If the university that you are interested in has a campus in your country of citizenship you are not eligible to study at the university despite considering another campus. We recommend that you consider another host university. For example, if you are from Barbados, Jamaica or Trinidad and Tobago you cannot apply for a scholarship at the University of the West Indies.

I am from an island in the South Pacific and the university I am interested in has a campus in my country of citizenship, however I want to apply to study on a campus in a different South Pacific country. Can I apply for this university?

If the university that you are interested in has a campus in your country of citizenship you are not eligible to study at the University despite considering another campus. We recommend that you consider another host university. For example, if you are from Fiji, Samoa or Vanuatu you cannot apply for a scholarship at the University of the South Pacific.

I am interested in applying to more than one university/host country but I am having issues starting more than one application at a time?

You should be able to use the same email address/log in to submit more than one application for different host universities. However you may need to submit one application before starting another.

I have citizenship for one country but am currently living in another country that I would like to apply for a scholarship in, can I apply?

Applicants cannot apply for a scholarship in their country of citizenship. For example, if you are a Ghanaian citizen you cannot apply for a scholarship in Ghana but you can apply for a scholarship in another country that is currently offering a scholarship.

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?

No. As some university application cycles will open after the QECS applications close, you do not need to have received an offer at your chosen institution at the time of submitting your QECS application.  

However, you are encouraged to apply for your chosen course of study before or at the same time as applying for a QECS. Further guidance on whether you should apply for your course at the same time as the scholarship is explained on the QECS homepage under the relevant host university section. 

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 would be indicated on the university's own website. 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?

Including one academic reference is advised, these are usually referees who have taught you or worked with you throughout your academic career. However, if you are unable to obtain an academic reference for one of your references, we would advise that you use two professional referees for both references. Your professional referee(s) should write 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 password?” 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.

Can the deadline for submitting my application be extended?

No. Extensions will not be granted under any circumstances.

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 homepage there is a link to the university's website for more information and contact details that can be used to write to the university with any questions that you may have 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.

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?

QECS scholars receive:

  • Fully-funded tuition fees
  • Living 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 team 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 info-qecs@acu.ac.uk for more details.


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

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

Cycle 1 applicants  (courses starting in July-October) : July of the year of award.

Cycle 2 applicants (courses starting in January-February): 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 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. QECS living 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 groups individuals who may already be studying 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. 

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 QECS team 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 QECS 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. It is not possible for us to provide guidance on all global immigration processes.


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