Scholarships to Study in UK: Types, Application, Eligibility, Award

The scholarships for international students to study in the UK are mostly merit-based or need-based. International students can avail numerous UK Government scholarships and financial supports like bursaries, fellowships, loans and grants. Besides, the universities and private organizations offer a plethora of financial support to the international students. Some of the top universities in UK exhibit an annual endowment of more than 1 billion GBP.

Every year, more than 3,40,000 non-EU students enter UK universities with India being the second highest contributor. The universities mostly offer financial aid to the students enrolling in the postgraduate programs in UK. Comparatively, the competition for scholarships offered to the students pursuing undergraduate programs is on the higher side. The scholarships include tuition and fees, travel and accommodation in UK, research instruments, and sometimes personal miscellaneous expenses including airfare.

Types of Scholarships to Study in UK

UK offers a wide range of merit-based and need-based scholarships for international students. The government sponsored scholarships are quite popular among the international students. However, the scholarships offered by different universities contribute majorly in the financial aids for international students. Also, numerous department-specific scholarships are awarded to the international students by the UK universities.

Students arriving in the UK from a non-EU nation can also avail the country specific scholarships offered by different colleges and private organizations in UK. The home country of the international applicant also offers a limited number of financial aids to study in UK. Besides, several non-government organizations offer scholarships and other financial grants to the meritorious international students.

Eligibility Criteria for Applying to International Scholarships in UK

International students need specific eligibility criteria to apply to the scholarships in UK. Although every scholarship has certain eligibility criteria, however, following are the common prerequisites for applying to the scholarships in UK:

  • Academic Achievements: The applicants must have excellent academic scores in their previous studies with a competitive GPA. Although admission to the programs in UK universities require average scores, the students need around 60-80% score in their previous academic programs to avail scholarships in UK.
  • English Language Proficiency: Students with non-English primary languages need demonstration of proficiency in English to avail certain scholarships. Students need a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent in similar tests to avail major scholarships in UK.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Students involved in different extracurricular activities are considered for specific scholarships. Students with leadership experiences and active social welfare involvements are considered for some of the best scholarships. Sports and athletic achievements can also get you several scholarships to study in UK.

Also Check: Exams to study in UK.

Government Scholarships to Study in UK

The UK Government offers a number of scholarships to international students. Following are some of the top scholarships for international students in UK:

Chevening Scholarship: Mostly, mid-career professionals are awarded with the Chevening Scholarship. It offers financial aid to students from over 160 countries and territories. It supports the scholars with professional development, dynamic training and research opportunities in the UK. The Chevening Scholarship for Indian students provides total fundings to free them from the financial pressure. This lets the student focus on achieving their academic goals. The award includes:

  • Travel cost to and from the UK
  • Visa application cost
  • Tuition fees
  • A monthly stipend
  • An arrival allowance
  • A homeward departure allowance
  • Travel grant to attend Chevening events in the UK

Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships: The eight different types of scholarships are offered to the outstanding postgraduate and professional development students with potential to make social changes. Most of the Commonwealth Scholarships are fully-funded and include tuition fees, airfare and living allowance. Depending upon the type of the scholarship, you can apply through a university, a national nomination agency or a non-government organization.

The yearly application deadlines for the scholarships are generally in December. The selection process is dependent on factors like the programs and the student’s merit. The application process requires a scanned copy of your passport, university degree certificate, academic transcripts, two LOR and an admission letter, if available.

GREAT Scholarships: GREAT Scholarships are offered to the meritorious students of specific countries, seeking admission to master’s universities in UK. UK Government’s GREAT Britain Campaign and the British Council jointly offer these scholarships to study in UK. International students from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, China, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico or Thailand can avail various Great Scholarships. There are 60 scholarships across various subjects for the Indian students studying across 27 universities in the UK. Each scholarship provides at least 10,000 GBP (~10,30,000 INR) for tuition and fees to the international students taking admission to a 1-year postgraduate program.

University Scholarships to Study in UK

Most of the universities offering admission to international students provide a number of scholarships. Here are some of the top universities and scholarships available in UK:

University Scholarships Grant Amount
University of Cambridge Gates Cambridge Scholarships for International Students Full cost of a postgraduate degree
University of Birmingham University of Birmingham International Scholarships Up to 10,000 GBP
Imperial College London Imperial College London Bursaries and Scholarships 1,000-54,000 GBP
University of Bristol Bristol University International Scholarships Up to 10,000 GBP
Kingston University Kingston University International Scholarships 5000 GBP
University College London University College London Scholarships Living and tuition expenses
Cardiff University Cardiff India Scholarships 5,000 GBP for Indian students
Aberystwyth University Aberystwyth University International Scholarships 10,000 GBP
University of Oxford Clarendon Scholarships at University of Oxford Course fees and accommodation costs
University of Westminster University of Westminster Scholarships for International Students Study and living expenses

Scholarships in UK for Indian Students

International students are offered with several scholarships to study in UK for their respective countries. Following are some of the scholarships offered to the Indian students pursuing various programs in UK.

  • Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships: Students pursuing doctoral or research programs are eligible for receiving these scholarships. The different types of grants in Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships offer full tuition, accommodation and even international fares. Also, final year doctoral students receive up to 10,000 GBP (~10,32,000 INR).
  • Saltire Scholarships: These scholarships are offered by the Scottish Government and the Scottish universities. International students studying in science, technology, renewable & clean energy, creative industries, healthcare and medical sciences can avail this scholarship. The scholarships are limited for certain countries including India, Pakistan, USA, Japan, China and Canada. In an academic year, 50 individuals can avail the Saltire Scholarships, each worth 8,000 GBP (~8,25,000 INR) on condition of studying postgraduate master’s programs in any of the registered Scottish higher educational organisations.
  • The Felix Scholarship: The sole purpose of this merit-based and need-based scholarship is to provide full-financial support to the underprivileged students in UK from 21 developing countries including India. Every year, approximately 20 individuals from the University of Oxford, the University of Reading and the School of Oriental and African Studies receive these scholarships. The basic requirement for availing the Felix Scholarship is to achieve a first class degree in the bachelor’s program from a recognized university or college and a recommendation from that institution.
  • Inlaks Scholsrship: The scholarship is provided to the meritorious international students studying in a variety of disciplines. Applicants are required to be below the age of 30 years. The scholarship covers tuition fees, living cost, airfare and travel expenses. The award amount is variable and can range up to 72,000 GBP (~74.16 lakh INR).
  • Dr. Manmohan Singh Scholarships: The initiative of covering total expenses the meritorious students is taken by St. John’s College of University of Cambridge. The fully-funded scholarship covers all expenses including fees, travel allowances, visa costs, and miscellaneous through monthly allowances. Indian students below the age of 35 years with first class degrees in graduate and postgraduate courses can avail the scholarships. 
  • Rhodes Scholarships: Every year, five awards are offered to the outstanding Indian students. Being one of the oldest international scholarships, the awards are provided to students pursuing 1-2 years long postgraduate prrograms. The award amount of the scholarship is 59,490 GBP (~61.28 lakh INR).

Learn more about Scholarship for Indian Students in UK

International Organization Scholarships to Study in UK

Numerous international organizations offer a plethora of scholarships to study in UK to international students. Following are some of the coveted scholarships offered by international non-governmental organizations:

  • Euraxess UK: This is a career development portal formed in collaboration with British Council, offering different types of funds to the international students. The portal gives access to various funding opportunities based on location, programs and research fields across the UK.
  • The Royal Society Grants: The Royal Society supports international students, currently at an initial stage of their research career and involved in fields like research opportunities in UK. 37 types of grants and financial aid are offered to the international students through the Royal Society Grants.
  • Sir Ratan Tata Post-Doctoral Fellowship: The fellowship program is focused on the early career postdoctoral researchers working on south-Asian social science. The selected fellows are awarded with a monthly allowance of 1,750 GBP (~1,80,000 INR) and research facilities for six months. The applicant must have a Ph.D. and should be in permanent employment with an institution in SAARC region.

Check: Popular scholarships to study in UK.

MBA Scholarships in UK

MBA is one of the highly enrolled programs around the world. Students choosing to study MBA in UK are provided with a plethora of merit-based and need-based scholarships. Along with the international organizations, the universities in UK also provide program-specific scholarships to the MBA students. Following are some of the top universities in UK and MBA scholarships offered by them:

Universities Scholarships Eligibility Criteria Grant Details
University of Oxford Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarships Academic achievements, potentials and GMAT or GRE scores Variable awards to 40 MBA students.
University of Birmingham Claire and Sean Henry Scholarship Outstanding Indian student, genuine need determined by the university, relevant experience and clear future perspective 30,450 GBP (Full tuition fee).
Cranfield University Exceptional Student Scholarship Academic and professional excellence, GMAT score of 730 Up to 39,000 GBP (100% tuition fees).
University of Cambridge The Cambridge MBA Beyond Profit/Social Impact Scholarship Outstanding applicant working on a non-profit organization or social enterprise 25,000 GBP
Imperial College London Imperial College Business School Full Time MBA Scholarships Upper second class bachelor’s degree and competitive GRE or GMAT 15,000-54,500 GBP.

MS Scholarships in UK

Meritorious international students pursuing various master’s of science programs in UK are awarded in bulk with most of the scholarships offered in UK. Most of the scholarships for MS programs are need-based or merit-based. Some of the ranked universities offering MS in UK and the program specific scholarships are tabulated below:

Universities Scholarships Eligibility Criteria Grant Details
University College London Thomas Witherden Batt Scholarship Financial need determined by the university 10,000 GBP
London School of Economics and Political Science LSE Scholarships for Indian Students LSE Graduate Financial Support application, demonstrated need Fully funded program
University of Manchester Master’s Degree Bursaries Any master’s school applicant with an offer can apply 4,000 GBP
University of Warwick WMG Excellence Scholarships Self-funded, full time M.Sc. student 10-50% tuition fee discount.
University of Oxford Oxford Funding Accepted students are automatically considered Course fees and accommodation fees

Work While Study in UK

As an international student, you can apply to work while studying programs offered by different universities in UK. You are allowed to work for a maximum of 20 hours a week during sessions and full-time during holidays. There are a couple of eligibility requirements for working as a student, one from the university and the other from the state-run official institutions.

Students must be over 16 years of age and have a tier 4 UK student visa to be eligible to work in part-time jobs. Some colleges have restrictions on working outside the college, however, there are various options available for the overseas students. Indian passport holders must have work eligibility mentioned in the passport stickers to work while studying in UK.

Student Loans to Study in UK

The UK Government reinforces international students on budget through Student Finances. In case you are unable to grab a scholarship to study in UK, you can avail the student loan. The monthly repayment policy is also utterly dependent on the salary earned by the student after completion of the course.

Students below the age of 25 can apply to the estranged program if they do not have any connection with their parents. Student finance requires supporting documents proving that the student is independent.

The increase in requirements of skilled professionals across various companies in UK resulted in the colleges attracting more overseas students gradually. But as education in the UK is of high-cost nowadays, scholarships play a vital role in admission of international students. Although the competition for scholarships to study in UK is quite tough, students are always encouraged to apply for the scholarships if needed.


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