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GREAT Scholarships from the British Council – A Guide for 2021

Administered by the British Council, the GREAT Scholarship programme offers funding to international students from several countries to study a taught Masters at selected UK universities. Each scholarship is worth at least £10,000 and is intended to cover the tuition fees for a postgraduate degree.

Prospective postgraduates from the following countries can apply for a GREAT Scholarship: Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

This page will give you an overview of the GREAT Scholarship programme, explaining the eligibility criteria and application process.

What are the GREAT Scholarships?

The GREAT Scholarship programme is a joint initiative by the British Council and the UK Government, designed to attract some of the brightest postgraduates from around the world to study at UK universities.

In 2021, there are 161 GREAT Scholarships available for Masters degrees starting in the 2021-22 academic year at more than 40 British universities:

These Masters scholarships are worth a minimum of £10,000, with some worth up to £25,000. The funding must be put towards the tuition fees of a one-year postgraduate, taught degree (such as an MA or MSc). If your tuition fees are lower than the scholarship amount, you can’t use the remainder for living costs.

You can find out how many scholarships are available for your country and at which British universities by checking out the table below:


GREAT Scholarships
University Countries
Anglia Ruskin University China, Egypt, Kenya
Bangor University Malaysia, Thailand
University of Bath India, Mexico, Pakistan
Birmingham City University Malaysia, Thailand
Bishop Grosseteste University China, India
Bournemouth University Bangladesh, China, Ghana, Thailand
University of Bristol Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia
University of Cambridge India, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan
Cranfield University China, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka
University of Derby China, India
University of Dundee China, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya
University of East Anglia China, Egypt, India, Nepal
University of Edinburgh India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Edinburgh Napier University India, Pakistan
University of Essex Bangladesh, China, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand
University of Exeter China, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico
University of Glasgow Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Malaysia, Mexico
Goldsmiths, University of London China, India
University of Greenwich Indonesia
University of Hull India, Pakistan, Thailand
Imperial College London India, Indonesia
Keele University China, India
University of Kent China, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Thailand
University of Manchester China, India
Newcastle University China, India, Malaysia
University of Northampton Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka
University of Nottingham China, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan
Nottingham Trent University China, India
Oxford Brookes University China, Malaysia
University of Reading Bangladesh, China, Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Sri Lanka
Robert Gordon University India, Pakistan
Royal Academy of Music China, Indonesia
Royal Agricultural University India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico
Sheffield Hallam University India, Indonesia, Thailand
University of South Wales Pakistan
University of Stirling China, Indonesia, Thailand
Teesside University Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance China, India, Mexico
Ulster University India, Indonesia
University College London Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Kenya, Thailand
University of Warwick Egypt, Ghana, India, Pakistan
University of York Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Each university has different course criteria for the scholarship. You’ll find that scholarships at some institutions have no restrictions on what you study, while other universities will target postgraduates in particular disciplines.

Who is eligible to apply for a GREAT Scholarship?

To be eligible for apply for a British Council GREAT Scholarship in 2021, you’ll need to satisfy the following entry criteria:

  • You hold a passport from an eligible country
  • You’re planning to study a taught Masters that begins in September 2021
  • You have a suitable Bachelors degree
  • You have a background of extracurricular activities relating to your chosen subject area

Successful scholarship applicants will also need to show that they’re willing to become an ambassador for the UK higher education sector and attend a networking event for GREAT scholars.

How can I apply for a GREAT Scholarship?

You should first apply for an eligible Masters course at a university that’s taking part in the GREAT Scholarship programme.

When you’ve received an offer, you can apply for the scholarship from the university themselves (not the British Council).

Each institution has its own procedure for handling applications, but in general you’ll need to provide the following documents via an online form on the university website:

  • Details of your academic achievements and results
  • A personal statement with information on your motivations and goals
  • Relevant extracurricular experience

Deadlines vary widely according to the university, ranging from late March to early June. Be sure to check the dates carefully before beginning a funding application.

Search for a Masters

Ready to find a Masters for your GREAT Scholarship? There are plenty of eligible postgraduate courses listed on our website. Alternatively, our guide to international Masters funding in the UK has lots more scholarship inspiration for you.

Last updated - 03/11/2020

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