University of Oxford Scholarships for International Students

Known for being the oldest and most prestigious university in the English-speaking world, the University of Oxford is a prominent and elite institution of higher education based in the city of Oxford in the United Kingdom. With its history dating back to the year 1096, the University has a collegiate system and is included with 39 semi-autonomous colleges apart from the numerous academic departments of study.

Currently, the university has more than 24,000 students that are studying a variety of courses at undergraduate and postgraduate study. Each of the colleges has its own governing authority and students are affiliated with these while pursuing their degrees. With its elite status as one of the top-ranking universities in the world, the university is also home to numerous scholarship opportunities. In this article, we detail some of the many scholarships at the University of Oxford offered to international students.

Helpful Posts

Related Scholarships

University of Oxford Scholarships

Undergraduate Scholarships

In the case of undergraduate students, prospective applicants can consider a variety of scholarship opportunities and bursaries that they can apply and gain access to.

There are many University of Oxford scholarships that are available to eligible undergraduate students on both a merit-based and a need-based requirement. While some of these programs are centrally administered by the university or the respective colleges, the rest of these programs are offered by external organisations such as governments and educational organizations. A few key scholarship programs are detailed as follows.


1. Reach Oxford Scholarships

This scholarship program is a centrally administered scholarship offered by the university for students specifically of low-income countries who are unable to study due to financial/political reasons or due to being unable to study in their own home countries.

Scholarship amount:
Fully funded scholarship as well as a grant for living costs and return airfare to and from the UK.

Eligibility criteria:
The university offers 2-3 awards on an annual basis. Students of a particular country are eligible to apply for this and should be accepted to study any courses offered by the university except Medicine. While financial need of the applicants is a main prerequisite for the scholarship, students should also be of the highest academic potential.

Application process:
After submitting an application to study at Oxford and securing a place, students should check the Reach Oxford page in January 2021 to find an application link and then go through the relevant selection process.


2. Bright Oceans Scholarships

Established by the Bright Oceans corporation, these centrally administered scholarships are a funding package for undergraduate students specifically from China who have applied for a course in the Mathematical, Physical & Life Sciences division and are offered on a merit-based consideration.

Scholarship amount:
Full tuition scholarship as well as a grant for living costs and other minor expenses.

Eligibility criteria:
The applicant should be an original resident of China (excluding the regions of Hong Kong or Macau) and should have received an offer from Oxford to study subjects within the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences divisions.

Application process:
After submitting an application to study at the university, students should check the Bright Oceans Scholarship page after January 2021 for application details and then undergo the selection process.


3. Palgrave Brown Scholarships

The next University of Oxford scholarships for undergraduate students is the Palgrave Brown program, which offers scholarships for undergraduate students from a selected few Eastern European countries who are in dire need of any financial assistance.

Scholarship amount:
An annual grant of approximately £12,500 which amount to living costs. This is awarded for 3 to 4 years depending on the course length.

Eligibility criteria:
One award is available for students who are residents of a specific group of countries in Eastern Europe which can be found on the scholarship website.

Application process:
After submitting an application through UCAS and securing an offer, applicants of the mentioned countries should check the scholarship website for an application link and apply accordingly.


These are three of the very many scholarship and funding opportunities offered by the University of Oxford. We encourage prospective applicants to visit Undergraduate Scholarship link for further information regarding other relevant opportunities that can be considered.


Postgraduate Scholarships

Funding for postgraduate courses of study is significantly more competitive although the university offers plenty of support for prospective postgraduates who require financial assistance. Students are encouraged to check for scholarships as soon as they apply for a position at the university.

For each academic year, the university expects to offer more than 1000 full or partial University of Oxford scholarships for international students. These do not include the numerous external scholarships that are offered by external organisations as well. Most of these are awarded on the basis merit but others are also awarded based on the financial need of students. Some of the key postgraduate scholarships are listed as follows.


1. Commonwealth Scholarships

Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Offices, the Commonwealth fellowships and scholarships is a program that awards professional, talented and determined individuals who show potential to improve and develop through a particular sector. These sectors include science & technology, strengthening health systems, promoting global prosperity, strengthening global peace & security, resilience & crisis response as well as access & inclusion.

Scholarship amount:
Fully funded scholarship covering the entire amount of tuition fees as well as other expenses including living expenses and airfare to and from the UK. Additional grants are available on specific scholarships for students who require costs for fieldwork, clothing, family visits etc.

Eligible degree:
Both Masters and PhD students

Eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants are required to be a permanent resident or citizen of a Commonwealth country.
  • An undergraduate degree with a minimum 2:1 (or related) qualification as well as a pending offer to study either a Masters or a PhD program at a British university is required.
  • Finally, students should be able to prove that they are unable to study in the UK without the scholarship.

Application procedure:
Prospective applicants should apply through the Commonwealth nominating body of their respective country. These bodies are usually organisations that operate with their own respective eligibility requirements and application deadlines.

Alternatively, the university at which the applicant intends to study should be connected and registered with the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.

Link to the Commonwealth Scholarships website


2. Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Programme in the Humanities

With the reputation for studies in the Humanities at Oxford, eligible graduate students for these relevant courses have access to applying for the Ertegun scholarship program. These are highly competitive programs that receive more than 1500 applications for around 15 awards. Ertegun Graduate Scholarship is one of the biggest scholarships at the University of Oxford.

Scholarship amount:
Full tuition course fees and an annual grant for living costs depending on the academic year (approximately £15,000 for the academic year of 2020-2021).

Eligible degree:
Both Masters and PhD students

Eligibility criteria:
Students from all countries and backgrounds can apply for the Ertegun Scholarships. These students should also be enrolled in a particular academic department which is included in the scholarship website.

Application process:
The scholarship should be applied to at the same time as submitting the university application. Further information is available in the scholarship website.


3. Saïd Foundation Oxford Scholarships

The Saïd Foundation is a long term collaborator with Oxford since 1984, as seen with the Saïd Business School. These scholarships are specifically offered to students from the Middle East who have a postgraduate status at the university.

Scholarship amount:
Full tuition/course fees are covered as well as the provision of a grant for living costs (approx. £15,000 for the year 2020-21).

Eligible degree:
Full-time Masters students

Eligibility criteria:
The students should be residents of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Israel or Palestine. Assessment is also made based on the leadership potential and capabilities to make a positive change in their communities. Students should also be willing to return to these countries upon completion of the course.

Application process:
Students are required to apply to the Saïd Foundation by the 30th of October. The application to study at the university should be submitted prior to the relevant deadline as well. Further information is available on this website.


How to Apply to the University of Oxford Scholarships

To apply for the University of Oxford scholarships, you will need to apply for admission. Check out the Undergraduate Admission Guide and Graduate Admission Guide for more information. After you apply, you will need to check out the scholarship application guide for the scholarships that you want to apply.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the UK Scholarships Page.