Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships – FAQs


What subjects can I study under the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships (QECS)?
Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships sponsor 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.

Who can apply for the scholarships?
Citizens (or those who hold refugee status) in a Commonwealth country are welcome to apply.

Is there an age limit for QECS awards?
No. There is no upper age limit to be eligible for a QECS Award.

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. As part of the application process you will be asked to provide a copy of your final transcript and degree certificate.


What does a QECS cover?
Award recipients receive:

  • Tuition fees
  • A living allowance (stipend)
  • An economy class return airfare to their Host country
  • An arrival allowance
  • A 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 (CSFP Unit) 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 [email protected] for more details.

Apply for a QECS

Can I apply for a QECS to study for an undergraduate degree?
No. QECS are available for master's degrees only.

Can I apply for a QECS to study for a PhD?
No. QECS are available for master's degrees only.

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.

The country where I want to study is not listed on the QECS website. Why is this?
The current hosts of the QECS awards are only those listed on the website. 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 for more details on those institutions/countries that will be included in the second application cycle.

Please note that QECS awards are only hosted by low and middle income countries. Therefore these awards will not be hosted in Canada, the UK or Australia.

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 taken into account.

The website mentions that there are two application cycles, why is this the case?
Academic years start at different times across the globe with some starting in July-October and others starting in January-February.

The country that you wish to study in will determine when you need to submit an application.

Keep an eye on the website 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 if you submit two applications for one host country/university only the first application submitted will be considered.

When do I have to upload all of my supporting documents?
You will need to upload your supporting documents before submitting your application.

Do I need to have been accepted onto a course before I apply for a QECS Scholarship?
No. However, you are encouraged to apply for your chosen course of study before or at the same time as applying for a QECS award. Further guidance on whether you should apply for your course at the same time as the scholarship is explained on the individual QECS university webpages.

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?” 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 and is sent to the CSFP unit so that you flight(s) can be arranged.

Can I have an extension to my application?
No. Extensions will not be granted under any circumstances.

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 is indicated on the University’s QECS page. If you have any further questions regarding the English language requirement please write to the University directly.

University applications

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.


When am I likely to hear back regarding the outcome of my application?
The timing of when you will hear the outcome of your application will depend on the application cycle you have applied in.

Cycle 1 applicants for courses starting in July-October should receive the outcome of their application by July of the year of award.

Cycle 2 applicants for courses starting in January-February should receive the outcome of their application by the October prior to the start of award.

On award

Can I bring my family with me?
The CSFP Unit strongly discourages fellows from bringing dependants with them to their host country. Award 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 group will include those on the programme prior to the QECS rebranding who may be 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. QECS is not able to pay for your accommodation on your behalf.

Can the CSFP Unit help me find somewhere to live?
The CSFP unit is 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 CSFP Unit 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 CSFP Unit 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. Unfortunately it is not possible for us to provide guidance on all global immigration processes.