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Study Abroad: Scholarships Available To Study & Research In The UK

April 13, 2024by admin

Studying abroad is an incredible opportunity to gain international exposure and widen your horizons. However, it also involves huge financial commitments. This guide provides comprehensive information about various scholarships that can support your higher education goals in the UK.

The UK remains one of the most popular study abroad destinations for Indian students. With top ranked universities offering world-class education, it is a dream destination for many. However, international tuition fees and the cost of living can be steep. Scholarships play a major role in making quality education more affordable and accessible.

This post is your one-stop resource to explore funding options that can fund your postgraduate degree, research or exchange programs in the UK. Read on to learn about prominent scholarship programs, eligibility criteria, application process and deadlines.

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Introduction to scholarships for UK education

Scholarships provided by UK universities, charities, trusts and government bodies can significantly reduce tuition costs or cover living expenses. These awards are highly competitive with rigorous selection criteria. Some evaluate academic excellence while others focus on your field of study, research potential or diversity.

Most scholarships allow you to pursue master’s, MPhil or PhD programs on a full or partial funding basis. Few provide funding for undergraduate degrees or professional certificates as well. Award amounts vary depending on the course, institution and your financial need.

Some prominent scholarships fully sponsor tuition fees, living expenses, books and visa costs. Others offer partial support through monetary grants. A few even cover travel or provide additional grants for research expenses, field trips or professional development.

Make sure to examine each program carefully to understand what costs are covered. Start your search and application process well in advance as deadlines are usually 6-12 months before the intended start of your program.

Government and diplomatic missions

The British Council and Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) manage a number of UK government scholarships for international students.

GREAT Britain Campaign

Considered one of the most prestigious awards, GREAT scholarships are available through 26 universities in technical and social science fields. Each offer covers a minimum of £10,000 in tuition fees and is open to Indian students with good academic profiles.

Eligibility: Indian citizen, undergraduate degree, English requirements, acceptance at partner UK university

British Chevening Scholarships

Funded by the FCDO, Chevening scholarships aim to develop global leaders. It supports one-year master’s programs at any UK university.

Eligibility: Indian passport, leadership potential, 2 years professional work experience

Commonwealth Scholarships

Covering tuition and living costs, Commonwealth scholarships fund one-year master’s globally including the UK. Priority fields include STEM, governance, media etc.

Eligibility: Citizen of Commonwealth country, 180 days residency, degree requirement.

Inlaks Scholarship by FCDO

This competitive award offers up to £100,000 for Indian students to pursue master’s or PhD at top international universities including the UK.

Eligibility: Indian citizenship, admission to university abroad, no previous foreign degree

British Council Scholarships

Some notable BC scholarships are the Charles Wallace India Trust awards for arts/heritage courses and Women in STEM fellowships for postgraduate programs and early career researchers in science and technology.

Eligibility and deadlines vary but generally assess academic excellence, leadership and diversity.

University and college level scholarships

Many UK universities offer partial or full tuition waivers and grants through their schemes. Research potential funding options at schools you’re interested in.

International postgraduate research awards

Universities provide stipends, tuition coverage and additional grants through research council scholarships like DTA, CDT or DTP. These support PhD and MRes programs across science, engineering and humanities.

Eligibility assessments include academic transcripts, statements of research, referees’ reports and interviews. Options are more limited for taught master’s programs.

College and department scholarships

Inquire about awards established through private donations or college endowments which may have less rigid criteria than national scholarships. These could support both coursework and research oriented programs.

Funding From Trusts, Foundations And Professional Bodies

Consider exploring scholarship opportunities administered through charities, think tanks and industry partner organizations. A few notable ones are:

  • Leverhulme Trust Awards (research in humanities, social sciences)
  • Royal Society International Exchanges with India
  • Gates Cambridge Scholarship (postgraduate study at Cambridge)
  • BI India Industrial Fellowship for STEM PhD
  • Annamalai University UK Trust Scholarship

Guidance On Identifying Suitable Scholarships

With so many options, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Here are a few pointers to narrow down opportunities:

  • Check eligibility criteria like nationality, grades, experience, subject fit etc. carefully
  • Scan programs aligned to your academic interests be it coursework, research area or industry sector
  • Factor in timelines and plan as competitive awards have 9-15 months lead time
  • Weigh full funding vs. partial support based on budget requirements
  • Connect with mentors, seniors or university international offices for institution-specific funds
  • Explore scholarships beyond popular sites via specialized academies, foundation websites
  • Approach faculty members for department-linked awards tied to research interests
  • Consider professional associations in your sector which may fund continuing education

Tips for Strong Scholarship Applications

Gearing up a compelling application takes time and effort. Keep these tips in mind while drafting essential documents:

Personal statement:

  • Highlight your academic strengths, goals and passion for the subject clearly
  • Share relevant work/research/volunteering experiences demonstrating suitability
  • Emphasize what makes you stand out from other candidates


  • Keep it to one page in European CV format highlighting qualifications, skills, awards
  • Quantify your achievements with measurable impact wherever possible

Letters of reference:

  • Ask strong referees like professors and employers who can vouch for you convincingly
  • Remind them in advance about deadlines to ensure on-time submission

Research proposal:

  • For research awards, formulate a feasible proposal outlining objectives, methodology
  • Refer latest studies to establish the importance and gaps in the area of research


  • Provide notarized copies of mark sheets duly attested by the college/university
  • Explain any discrepancies or outliers in evaluation patterns

Don’t forget to proofread thoroughly, meet formatting guidelines and submit well before deadlines. Following up respectfully also improves the chances of a positive response.

Applying for multiple scholarships increases success probability as not all candidates may get shortlisted or accept offers. Follow application guidelines religiously.

Guidance For Visa And Other Requirements

Some scholarships may include UK visa costs while others require recipients to independently apply for appropriate student visas. Ensure you fulfil documentary criteria:

  • Valid passport with at least 6 months validity from visa application date
  • Admission letters from UK universities both original and certified copies
  • Proof of maintenance funds (tuition, living expenses, return airfare)
  • English language test results meeting university standards
  • Academic documents and transcripts duly certified/notarized
  • Certificates of vaccinations and medical/travel insurance

It’s advisable to apply for visas 4-6 months in advance to avoid last-minute delays. Gather supporting documents as per the latest Home Office guidance and avoid mistakes to ensure smooth entry.

Some funding bodies offer visa and pre-departure orientation support. Make utilization of such services part of your study abroad preparedness. Also, allow adequate time for visa processing while finalizing start dates with universities.

Post-Award Responsibilities And Benefits

If selected, utilize the award judiciously and keep funding agencies informed about academic progress. Fulfil conditions like:

  • Timely submission of reports and receipts accounting sponsorship expenses
  • Sharing key research outputs or event participation with the awarding body
  • Notifying changes of program, institution or deferral requests well in advance
  • Acknowledging the grant in published work or conference presentations
  • Participating in networking or mentoring initiatives of the sponsor

Most importantly, make the most of this prestigious opportunity by involving in the rich international student experience through clubs, internships and cultural events. Staying engaged with the funding organization also nurtures lifelong professional and learning relationships.

Many scholarship holders pursue impactful careers in their specializations or take on leadership roles inspired by this rewarding international exposure. Nurture a global outlook and give back to the community through your work upon returning home.

Last Words

We hope this comprehensive guide assists in your targeted search and strong application for scholarships that can help achieve your study abroad dreams in the UK. Always feel free to reach out for any additional information or support on pursuing higher education through prestigious awards and fellowships. To know more about it, connect with the experts at Cliftons Study Abroad and get all the support.

Best of luck with your academic endeavours and future career!


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Cliftons Study Abroad
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Metro Pillar No 528, Palarivattom
Kochi, Kerala - 682025
UKLondon Office
71-75 Shelton Street,
Covent Garden,
London, United Kingdom,
OUR LOCATIONSWhere to find us
GET IN TOUCH Social Links
Like and follow us on our Social links to know us better

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