UK Postgraduate Scholarships for Indian Students

Funding is one of the main problems that Indian students face while going to study abroad (the UK, in case of this article). Overseas traveling, accommodation and College fees add up to form a huge amount. Students hailing from middle class and lower class categories face problems, when it comes to funding and expenses surrounding overseas education. This is the main reason why many Indian students abandon their dream of studying abroad and settle for Indian professional educational institutes. In this article, you will be reading about scholarships and funding sources, which will be of help to Indian postgraduate students who want to study in the UK. Meritorious and bright graduates may make use of suitable scholarships and ease the financial burden associated with overseas education!



Very useful list of scholarships. Useful to Indian Postgraduate students who want to pursue Higher Education in the UK-


When it comes to the United Kingdom, International students (from outside EU) have access to a large number of funding sources and opportunities in the form of scholarships, fellowships and assistantships.


Assistantships are offered to International students who want to pursue postgraduate level courses in the UK. Note that only academically brilliant and capable students are awarded the opportunity of Assistantship. Under this arrangement, selected PG students may work with the teaching staff of the institute and earn a stipend for the same! Please note that the work hours are limited and are set by the institute’s authorities.


Fellowship is another form of University funding. Fellowships usually include a stipend and a tuition fee waiver. Note that only academically brilliant and capable International students are awarded Fellowships by UK Universities.


The most well known funding source that we all know is- a scholarship. For more details about scholarships read the next section of this article.


Different types of Postgraduate scholarships available

Let us check out the different types of scholarships available in front of Indian graduates who want to pursue PG education in the UK-

  • Offered by UK institutes- Such scholarships are offered by individual institutes through trusts established to serve this purpose. More details about such scholarships will be available at the official sites of respective institutes.
  • Offered by foundations and trusts in India- There exists many charity foundations and trusts in India, which provides financial assistance and funds to brilliant graduates, who want to pursue PG education in the UK.
  • Offered and managed by the British Council- examples of such scholarships are- Chevening, Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan, Scottish International Scholarships and Charles Wallace Scheme.
  • Offered by Foundations and trusts in the UK- Like in case of India, there also exists foundations and trusts in the UK, which provides scholarships to deserving Indian graduates.


List of Postgraduate scholarships for studying in the UK


1 British Chevening Scholarships

Chevening Gurukul Scholarhip is a fully funded leadership program for working professionals. The training provided focuses on leadership skills. Only 12 candidates are selected to undergo this training. Leadership training is provided at the London School of Economics. Working professionals, who are experts in their professions, are eligible to make use of this scholarship. Thus, the Chevening Gurukul Scholarship can be said to be meant for PG folks.


If you think you are eligible to apply for this scholarship, you may register yourself at British Council, British Embassy or High Commission in India.


2 Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Programme (CSFP)

As the name suggests, this scholarship is meant for students from Commonwealth countries. India falls in this category. Thus, Indian graduates are eligible to make use of this scholarship. Indian graduates who get qualified for PG studies in the UK may make use of this scholarship. For applying, you may get details from the Ministry of Education or the Association of Commonwealth Universities.


3 DFID Shared Scholarship Scheme

This scholarship is meant for graduates from developing Commonwealth countries. India also comes under this category. This means that Indian graduates are eligible to make use of this scheme. But not all PG course aspirants can apply for this scholarship. Only graduates who have been selected to study PG courses, related to the uplifting, economic and social development of India are eligible.


Only select few Master’s Courses comes under the reach of this scholarship. These Master’s Degrees are related to economic and social development.


4 Overseas Research Student Awards Scheme

This is a unique scholarship scheme. It is also known as the ORS Award. This scheme has been created for overseas students who want to pursue Postgraduate Research Degree in the UK. This scheme ensures that the difference between the home fees and overseas fees (for the PG course) is covered under it!


Note that only meritorious students who have good research aptitude and potential are eligible to make use of this scholarship. To be considered eligible to apply for the ORS Award, candidate must possess offer letter from the University to study PhD/M Phil.


5 Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Awards

This scheme is of help to overseas students who want to pursue Postgraduate Research Degree in the UK. Under this scheme, an eligible student will be provided with the full fees of the PG research program as well as an additional stipend. The funding aspects of this scheme is taken care by UK Research Councils.


Candidates from disciplines such as- science, engineering, medicine, social sciences and technology may make use of this scheme.


6 British Overseas Industrial Placement Scheme

This scheme is also known by the short name- BOND. This scheme was introduced in 1998. It has been done as a part of UK Trade and Investment initiative. The whole scheme is managed by the British Council.


As part of this scheme, highly skilled overseas professionals are placed in UK companies and factories. Skilled Indian professionals may make use of this opportunity to enhance their skills. This is done with the aim of providing international exposure and professional development to the candidate. Eligible candidates may obtain more information and apply for this scheme through British Council Office in India.


7 Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme

This scheme is of use to international students pursuing science or engineering education from an institute located in the UK. Under this scheme, selected international students will be allowed to work in the UK for a period of 12 months after they graduate from the UK institute.


Students who make use of this scheme may take up a job in the UK without work permit or any other kind of employment restriction. Note that the ‘validity’ of this scheme is of 1 year. After graduating, selected students may switch to this status from their previous student status. They may go to India and return within an year and switch to this status again.


8 Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships

This trust and its scholarships has been named after Charles Wallace. It is also known as CWIT Scholarships. In 1981, after an agreement between the then Indian and British Governments, CWIT has been established as an English charity. Since then, CWIT has been making regular grants.


CWIT helps Indian professionals to spend time in the UK for short term training courses, fellowships and research visits, so that they may develop their skills and obtain international exposure. Some popular awards and scholarships offered by CWIT are- Long term Awards, Visiting fellowship opportunities (duration about 2-3 months), Research visit Grants, Professional visit Grants and Grant to attend Universities in the UK. To make use of grants and awards offered by the CWIT, eligible candidates may approach the British Council India and proceed as per their instructions.


9 University of Warwick Awards for International Students

University of Warwick is well known for the attention that it gives to meritorious students from other countries. Indian graduates, who are academically bright, may make use of the awards offered by the University of Warwick to sponsor their PG education. This University is also known for its jointly funded scholarship schemes.


10 Royal Society Fellowships

Royal Society is popular for the way it nourishes and develops researchers. It offers attractive Fellowships for researchers from the USA and Asian countries. Indian Postdoctoral Scientists are eligible to make use of such fellowships.


As part of this fellowship, Indian Postdoctoral Scientists will have to undertake and perform research work at a UK laboratory. In case of Indian candidates, the duration of this fellowship is 1 year. The research shall be done on the topic of natural sciences.


11 Scottish International Scholarship Programme

This is a fully funded scholarship. It is funded by the Scottish Executive in Scotland. Under this scholarship, eligible Indian graduates may pursue Master’s courses at any Scottish Institution/University. The Master’s course must be related to the following disciplines- science & technology and creative Industries.


12 International Young Music Entrepreneur of the Year

This award is meant for entrepreneurs working in the field of music. Yes, this entry is different from most of the other scholarships, awards and fellowships mentioned in this article. This award has been established by the British Council.


Candidates who want to make use of this award must be between 25 and 35 years of age. He/she should already have worked in the music industry and must be creative!


13 UKIERI PhD Scholarships

UKIERI stands for UK-India Education and Research Initiative. There are 10 scholarships set up under this initiative, which eligible Indian candidates may make use of. As part of this scholarship, eligible Indian candidates have to undertake Doctoral research in UK institutes/Universities. This research program will lead to a PhD!


14 HSBC Scholarships Programme

This scholarship program has been established and funded by HSBC India. It provides opportunity for selected students to pursue Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses at Oxford and Cambridge Universities or London University. Maximum duration of the program is 3 years.


15 Ford Foundation Visiting Fellowship Program

As the name suggests, this is a visiting fellowship program. This fellowship program has been established and funded by the Ford Foundation. This program has been crafted to cater to eligible candidates hailing from poor socioeconomic background. Also, it caters to female candidates, candidates from SC and ST categories and Physically Disabled candidates.


The main aim of this program is to develop the skills of brilliant candidates so that they may then work towards the improvement of India.


16 The Skoll Foundation Scholarship

Established and funded by the Skoll Foundation, this scholarship focuses on MBA education. This foundation offers 5 fully funded MBA scholarships to eligible candidates, each year.


17 Oxford and Cambridge Society of India Scholarship

This is a part funded scholarship scheme. It is tenable at the Oxford or Cambridge Universities each year. This Society offers up to 4 scholarships a year.


18 Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarships and Bursaries

Scholarships and awards from Cambridge Commonwealth Trust are aimed at brilliant Indian students, who want to pursue Master’s Degree or PhDs at the University of Cambridge. Such scholarships and awards could be covering full costs or covering part costs. Both types are being offered by the Trust. Nehru Trust for Cambridge University also collaborates with the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, when it comes to funding.


19 Felix Scholarship Trust

This trust offers 6 scholarships per year. Meritorious Indian graduates are eligible to make use of scholarships offered by the FST. After getting the scholarship, Indian graduates may go for further studies at- University of Oxford, University of Reading or the School of Oriental and African Studies.


20 The Erasmus Mundus Programme

This program is aimed at promoting European Master’s courses and programs in developing Nations. The main aim of this program is to give meritorious students from developing countries a chance to pursue Master’s Degree courses in good European institutes. Many institutes in UK take part in this program. Indian students are also eligible to make use of this scheme. European Union funding and scholarships will be provided to eligible graduates from developing countries.


21 The Arts and Humanities Research Council funds

Also known as the AHRC, it funds research and postgraduate studies in the UK’s higher education institutes. The research undertaken covers many disciplines. Some of them are- history, English Literature, creative arts, performing arts etc. It can be observed that the AHRC research (and funding for it) focuses more on Humanities subjects. Graduates from India, who are interested in these humanities subjects may apply for AHRC’s funds and do PG course/research work in the UK!


22 Inlaks Scholarships

It is funded by the Inlaks Foundation. This Foundation offers 10 scholarships per year. The subjects and disciplines covered are- architecture, communication, special Education, fine arts, applied arts and conservation, design and fashion design, theatre & dance, music and law.


Before applying for this scholarship, candidate must have the admission offer from the University. Under this scheme, Indian students may get admission in Universities in the UK, the USA and other European Nations.


23 Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation

This Foundation offers research travel grants to registered PhD students of humanities and social sciences of Indian Universities to undertake short term visits to overseas Universities. Eligible PhD students may thus make use of this grant and undertake short term visits to Universities in the UK.


24 The Rhodes Scholarships

A very useful scholarship for Indian students who want to pursue PG education in disciplines such as- pure and applied sciences, humanities, law or medicine. As part of this scheme, up to 5 fully covered scholarships are offered at Oxford University.


The scholarship covers College Fees and living expenses. It also covers economy class airfare to travel from India to the UK (at start of the course) and back from the UK to India (on completing the course).


25 One World Broadcast Fellowships

This fellowship program was established by the One World Broadcasting Trust. These fellowships are aimed at broadcasters from developing countries. Indian candidates are eligible to make use of these fellowships.


26 Hansard Research Scholars Programme

Graduates and professionals from India may make use of this program. As part of this program, graduates and professionals have to pursue Political academic studies while also participating in an internship within British Politics


27 The Gates Cambridge Trust Scholarships

The Gates Cambridge Trust offers full cost covering awards to meritorious graduates from India and other overseas countries. Eligible candidates may make use of these awards and scholarships to pursue research course or PG course at the University of Cambridge. The research program will lead to a PhD. The PG course is 1 year long.


28 Nottingham Developing Solutions Joint Chevening Scholarships

Under this scheme, 12 scholarships are available each year. The disciplines covered are Master’s courses in- environment, food, health and technology. Costs covered are- full tuition fees, maintenance grant and economic airfare from India to UK and UK to India (after completing the course).


29 Shell Centenary Chevening Scholarships

It was registered as a charity in 1997. As part of these scholarships, meritorious postgraduate students from India and other developing countries are given a chance to pursue Master’s Degree education from quality institutes in the UK and Netherlands. Generous funding is provided to eligible PG students from India.


30 UNEP WCMC Chevening Scholarships in Biodiversity

As part of this program, brilliant students from different parts of the World and brought to World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge. They are supposed to work with the Centre’s staff. The programs on which they have to work include- data management about ecosystems and biodiversity, data analysis and policy analysis.


31 University of Strathclyde Joint Scholarship

This scholarship is the result of collaboration between British Gas International Group, University of Strathclyde and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It is best suited for those individuals, who will benefit from a year’s study in the UK before they begin/resume job at a key position in India.


Also read:

Part time jobs for Indian students in the UK

Schemes for International students to work in the UK after graduation

Courses to study to get a job abroad

Scholarships in India


32 De Souza Trust, Goa Scholarship

This scholarship was introduced in the year 1998. Making use of it, students of Goan origin may study or train in the UK. Disciplines covered under it are vast. So far, Goan origin students have been able to pursue courses related to the fields of management, technology, pure science, performing arts, law, computing and design!


I hope you liked the list of Postgraduate scholarships that I compiled. These scholarships will reduce financial burden associated with PG studies in the UK. Indian students may choose the scholarship that covers the discipline of Master’s course they want to pursue.

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