UK scholarships for international students 

Updated on: Feb 19, 2024

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Scholarships are an international student's best friend. Learn about scholarships to study in the UK and make your education cost-effective and affordable.


What is a scholarship? 

Scholarships are financial aids given to students to help fund their education. Unlike a student loan, you don't have to pay back the money you received. 

So, where does the money come from? Alongside the government, many organisations, charities, foundations, businesses, universities, and even individuals step forward to help students financially. 

What are the types of scholarships available?

Depending on your profile, you might receive a fully paid scholarship that funds your education entirely or a partial scholarship that covers part of your tuition. 

Based on where the money comes from scholarships can be put under the following categories: 

  • UK Government scholarships
  • Private scholarships
  • University scholarships

UK Government scholarships for international students

The UK offers financial assistance for international students through many scholarships, and bursaries.

Here are some of the well-known UK government-funded scholarships for international students.

British Chevening Scholarships

The Chevening Scholarship is a full-ride scholarship awarded to international students exceptional in their field. If you are a recipient of this scholarship, you can pursue a one-year postgraduate course in any UK university without financial stress. This scholarship covers your tuition fee, accommodation and even flight costs.  

While applying for the Chevening scholarship, you need to upload your education documents, references, and an unconditional offer from a UK university

Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Commonwealth Countries 

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK awards this scholarship to international students from low-income and middle-income Commonwealth countries. This scholarship fully funds the education of the recipient. Flight fares, accommodation, tuition and personal allowances are all cared for. 

Commonwealth Scholarships are merit-based, so you need to have a good academic history. The central vision behind this scholarship is to aid the development of commonwealth countries. If you share the same vision, you are more likely to get the scholarship. 

Private scholarships for international students

Government scholarships can be competitive, but they are not the only way to fund your studies. Private scholarships are financial aid provided by businesses, charities, foundations and individual people with a vision for global education. 

Here are some of the well-known private scholarships for international students.

CastleSmart Scholarship 

Castle Smart Estate offers a scholarship of £6,000 for students pursuing an undergraduate degree at UK universities. Unlike the other scholarships, this one has an interestingly unique entry criterion. To apply, you need to make a YouTube video about your education and future aspirations

Students belonging to all nationalities are eligible to apply to this scholarship.   

The Royal Society Grants 

The Royal Society is an independent scientific academy. The society offers several scholarships and grants for undergraduate (UG), postgraduate (PG), and PhD students. Different Royal Society scholarships have different eligibility criteria. You need to check to see if you are eligible to apply before submitting your application.  

University scholarships for international students

Most UK universities offer multiple scholarships and financial aids for international students. These scholarships are easier to acquire than government and private scholarships. In most cases, you will have to apply for financial assistance or scholarship while submitting your university application, so you need to prepare in advance and make sure you meet all the requirements.

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