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Chevening Scholarships: how to study in the UK for free for a year

One of the most famous, prestigious and coveted UK scholarships are Chevening Scholarships.

Although university education in the UK is not cheap, there are plenty of funding options for international students, including financial assistance which covers programme fees, living expenses, and even return flights to the UK.

Various institutions, universities and the UK government offer different types of scholarships, including academic, merit and excellence scholarships, performance-based scholarships, and disability scholarships.

One of the most famous, prestigious and coveted UK scholarships are Chevening Scholarships. They are funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (a department of the UK government equivalent to other countries' ministries of foreign affairs) in partnership with other organisations.

Chevening covers the full cost of a one-year master’s degree at any UK university plus flights, accommodation, and living expenses. Scholarship holders also get to participate in various talks, workshops, and cultural events, which allows them to grow academically and professionally, immerse themselves in the UK culture, and find friends from all over the world.

In 2021 alone 1643 scholarships were awarded to scholars from over 140 countries. Since 1983 there have been 56,000 participants, including 19 current or former heads of state and

government officials.

What are the requirements?

Chevening Scholarships are awarded to scholars with a strong academic background, great leadership skills, and a desire to bring about positive change in their communities. Candidates are encouraged to showcase their own local initiatives, networking skills, projects and experience in leadership roles (where they organised, guided or empowered others).

A candidate needs to:

  • have a bachelor's degree and 2 years of work experience (including volunteer and part-time work)

  • be a high achiever

  • be proficient in English (for example, a minimum score of 6.5 in IELTS)

Application process

Candidates write four essays: leadership, networking, career plan and study plan essays. In these essays, they need to show why they are a good fit for the programme: give examples of how they influenced or led others, describe how they create and maintain professional connections, explain why they would like to study specific university courses and outline their plans for the future after finishing their education.

Longlisted candidates attend face-to-face interviews with local British embassies/high commissions that are conducted in English. The panels then score interviews based on the global Chevening criteria which include the following:

  • showing the potential to rise to a position of leadership and influence, to become a future leader, decision-maker and opinion former

  • demonstrating the personal, intellectual and interpersonal attributes reflecting this potential

  • returning to your country of citizenship at the end of the period of the programme

Want to know more about what it's like to study in the UK and how to get into the best universities in the country? LEO International Online School offers a diverse and intensive two–year A-Level programme designed to prepare students for university entry in the United Kingdom. Learn more about this programme and our other courses here, and don't hesitate to contact us at

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