Commonwealth Scholarships 2017, by online study

Masters in Public Policy and Management (MA)

Masters of Public Administration - International Development (MPA)

2017 applications are closed.

The University of York has been awarded 15 Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSCUK) for 10 students joining the online Masters in Public Policy and Management programme and 5 students joining the Masters of Public Administration - International Development programme, commencing their studies in September 2017.  The Commonwealth Scholarships are administered by CSCUK, working as the UK arm of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP). The awards themselves are funded by the Department for International Development (DFID).  The CSFP are working towards partnerships between developed and developing countries aimed at combining academic excellence with the desire to make a real difference in some of the world’s poorest countries.

Please note: due to the high demand for these scholarships candidates will only be considered if they have a strong academic record at undergraduate level and clear evidence of a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrated through their Future Career Plans and Home Country Benefit statements on the application form.


Scholarships are available to applicants who meet all of the following criteria:

  • a citizen of a developing Commonwealth country, refugee, or British protected person
  • permanently resident in a developing Commonwealth country
  • hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) standard. A lower qualification and sufficient relevant experience may be considered in certain cases
  • are working in or with public organisations, including NGO's, aid agencies and local/national government departments, and can demonstrate throughout their application that they are working towards the Sustainable Development Goals
  • can dedicate at least 15 hours each week to their studies with a number of study sessions being over 2 hours in length
  • meet the University Entry Requirements for the programme (see the 'Entry requirements' on each course web page)

The degree programme

The two programmes are two years in length, flexible, highly interactive, well supported and directly relevant to the aims of the Sustainable Development Goals. Students will find that they are part of a lively international learning community. 

How to apply

Full instructions for the Electronic Application System (EAS) are contained on the Scholarship Commission's website: 

It is very important that you use the EAS and please do not apply directly to the University.  If your scholarship application is short-listed we will notify you at the appropriate time to apply to the university.  The scholarship application will ask you to provide email addresses for 2 referees.  When you submit your application to the EAS your referees will be contacted to ask them to provide and upload a reference.  We receive a huge volume of applications for these awards and therefore will only consider those applications supported by 2 references at the closing date (12th May) so please submit your application at least 1 week before the deadline to allow your referees time to write a letter for you.  Applicants are responsible to follow up with their referees to ensure letters are submitted.

Short-listed applicants 

If you are short-listed you will be notified by the University on 17th May 2017 and asked to complete a short (1500 words) piece of written work, write a study plan and also, potentially, attend a Skype interview.  The written work will be due, by email, on 24th May 2017 and, if you pass that stage, Skype interviews will then take place on 2nd, 5th, 6th and 7th June.  It is essential that you are available on these dates.

In order that you have time to prepare, the questions for the written work are: 

Public Policy and Management applicants: Identify a current problem or issue that raises challenges for public policy or the management of public services. What is the origin of this problem, and why is it important? Based on your professional experience, what are your reflections on how this problem should be tackled?

International Development applicants: Identify a current problem or issue that raises challenges for international development. What is the origin of this problem, and why is it important? Based on your professional experience, what are your reflections on how this problem should be be tackled?

The decision as to which students are offered a scholarship will be made by CSCUK, based on the University recommendations, and successful applicants will be notified during August 2017.

Useful links

Commonwealth Scholarships

Your alternatives

If you are not eligible for the scholarship, we offer discounted fees for students in developing countries on all our online programmes.

Contact details

Helen Chan
Programme Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 1273

Dr Sally Brooks
MPA International Development Programme Director

Dr Enrico Reuter
Public Policy and Management Programme Director

Online Masters Programmes in Public Management - Image (cc)

Other online courses you may be interested in if you are not applying for the scholarship: