An overview of UK scholarships for Indian students

Gert Svaiko

Looking to come to the UK to study? Tuition fees can be expensive, especially for international students. So, you might want to see if you’re eligible for a scholarship, which could cover some or all of the cost of your course.

But what are the UK scholarships available for Indian students, and how do you apply? Read on, as we’ve put together a helpful guide covering everything you need to know.

And if you’re looking for a convenient, cost-saving way to handle your finances while in the UK, check out the Wise account.

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How to get a scholarship in the UK coming from India?

There are a number of different scholarships available for Indian students, but the first thing you’ll need to do is find them. We’ll run through some options here, but you can also research individual UK universities and colleges (or contact them) to find out about scholarship opportunities.

To get a UK scholarship, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. Each scholarship will have its own requirements. You’ll need to go through the application process and wait to see if you’ve been successful, bearing in mind that demand for scholarship places is usually very high. So, you’ll need to make sure your application is the best it can be.

You may also need to meet some financial requirements, such as being able to cover the cost of your student visa application and other expenses (if not included in the scholarship).

What do you need to apply for a scholarship?

To apply for a UK scholarship, you’ll usually need the following:¹

  • Proof of a strong academic background, including references from your schools and colleges where required
  • An IElTS certificate - this is the English language test for study, migration or work
  • Evidence of unconditional acceptance on a course or programme from a UK university or other institution
  • Portfolio submission (where required)
  • A Statement of Purpose, explaining what course you’d like to undertake, what you want to do in the UK and how you’ll put your qualification to use on returning to India.

You’re also likely to need essential documents such as proof of identity, and to apply for a UK student visa – the processing time of your UK student visa can be long. Here’s how to track the UK visa application process.

Remember though that the requirements can vary between scholarships. So, you’ll need to check with the scholarship provider to find out exactly what documents you’ll need.

Which scholarships in the UK are available for Indian students?

To help you get started in finding a suitable scholarship, let’s run through a few of the different options available.

Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships

Each year, the Charles Wallace India Trust (CWIT) awards two scholarships covering 10 months. They’re aimed at visual artists and heritage professionals aged 28–38 years, enabling them to improve their expertise in their chosen field through a one-year postgraduate course at a UK university

Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship includes a grant towards accommodation and living costs in the UK, and a contribution towards the cost of moving to the UK from India

To be eligible, you’ll need to be an Indian citizen living in India, with a first degree, diploma or professional qualification in your specialisation. You can find more details and apply here - applications close in January each year.¹

Chevening Scholarships

The Chevening Scholarship offers awards to study in the UK on a fully funded master’s degree course. It’s the UK Government’s international scholarships programme, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).²

To be eligible to apply, you must have an undergraduate degree and an unconditional offer for a postgraduate course at a UK university. Plus, you must have at least two years of work experience

Applications for 2024/25 open in August 2023. You can find more information here.

GREAT Scholarships

There are around 25 GREAT Scholarships available per year.⁴ These are scholarships which cover tuition fees for a one-year postgraduate course, funded by the UK government’s GREAT Britain Campaign and the British Council.

The scholarships cover numerous subjects and are available at many participating UK universities including:

  • Arts University Bournemouth
  • Edge Hill University
  • Imperial College London
  • Keele University
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • Robert Gordon University
  • Royal Northern College of Music
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University College London.

You can find out more and apply for GREAT Scholarships here.

British Council Scholarships for women in STEM

If you’re a woman with a degree in a STEM subject, you may be eligible to apply for a British Council scholarship to study a master’s degree in the UK. The scholarship programme works in partnership with 21 UK universities, with the aim of increasing opportunities in STEM for women and girls worldwide.⁵

Find out more about the scholarship and how to apply here.

PhD scholarships for Indian students in the UK

If you’re looking for a scholarship for a PhD course in the UK, here are some opportunities to look into:⁶

  • Imperial College London President’s PhD. Scholarship
  • Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships
  • Gates Cambridge Scholarship
  • The Newton Bhabha Fund
  • Carnegie PhD Scholarships
  • Goa Education Trust Scholarship
  • Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Commonwealth Countries
  • Saltire Scholarship.

MBA scholarships for Indian students in the UK

Want to study a Master of Business Administration (MBA) postgraduate course in the UK? Here are some scholarships to look into further:⁷

  • IKOS Scholarships
  • Women in Leadership Scholarship
  • MBA Visionary Scholarship by the University of Strathclyde
  • The Global Study Awards
  • The Cranfield Trust Scholarships in UK
  • Inlaks Scholarship
  • Felix Scholarship

Commonwealth scholarships in the UK for Indian students

Lastly, we come to scholarship opportunities for citizens of Commonwealth countries, which of course includes India.

Each year, around 800 students are offered Commonwealth Scholarships to study postgraduate courses in the UK. The scholarships aim to attract outstanding international talent to UK universities, while supporting sustainable development in Commonwealth countries.⁸

Find out more and apply here.

How many students from India are studying in the UK?

There are believed to be over 126,000 students from India studying in the UK at the moment.⁹

So, you’ll be joining a large population of Indian students if you’re successful in your scholarship application and move to the UK for study.

After reading this, you should have a better idea of where to start on finding suitable scholarships for study in the UK.

There are lots of scholarship opportunities out there, but competition is fierce. This means you’ll have to work hard on your application to stand a chance of success.

But, once you’ve nailed a scholarship and are coming to study in the UK, consider checking out the Wise account to make managing your money easier across borders. You can send and receive money between India and the UK with transparent, low fees and convert currency at the mid-market exchange rate.

Sign up with Wise

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Sources used:

  1. Charles Wallace India Trust - Scholarships
  2. Chevening - Scholarships from India
  3. Chevening - Eligibility
  4. British Council - Scholarships
  5. British Council - Women in STEM scholarships
  6. LeapScholar - PHD Scholarships In UK: Top 8 For Indian Students
  7. Leverage Edu - Scholarships for Indian Students to Study in UK
  8. British Council - Commonwealth Scholarships
  9. Study in the UK - International Student Statistics in the UK

Sources last checked on date: 07-Mar-2023

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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