Scholarships for Black Students in the UK

Looking for Scholarships for Black Students in the UK? Pursuing higher education in the UK can be an extremely rewarding experience for students from all backgrounds. However, the high costs associated with studying abroad can make it difficult for many black students to access these opportunities.

Thankfully, there are numerous scholarships available specifically for black and minority ethnic (BAME) students looking to study in the UK. In this comprehensive guide, we will highlight 20 of the top scholarships for black students from the UK and abroad hoping to study in the UK.

Overview of Scholarships for Black Students in the UK

Scholarships aimed at black and minority ethnic students studying in the UK come from various sources. Many top universities in the UK offer scholarships to attract diverse and high-achieving students from underrepresented backgrounds. Charitable foundations, private trusts, corporations, and government agencies also offer funding to support black students pursuing higher education.

The eligibility criteria varies between different scholarships. While some are open to black students from any country, others may be limited to UK citizens or residents. Certain scholarships are merit-based and awarded according to academic achievements, while others focus more on financial need. Application processes also differ – some require extensive paperwork while others simply need an online application.

When researching scholarships as a black student, it’s important to understand the specific eligibility requirements and application process for each award. We summarise key details like this in the scholarship profiles below, to help you quickly determine which awards you are likely to qualify for.

20 Scholarships for Black Students in the UK

Here are 20 fantastic scholarships available for black and minority ethnic students from the UK and abroad looking to study in the UK:

1. The UNCF UK Scholarships

Provider: UNCF (United Negro College Fund)

Amount: Up to £10,000

Eligibility: High-achieving black students from low-income households in the US

Deadline: Varies

The UNCF has provided over $5 billion in scholarships and other programming initiatives for African American students since 1944. Under the UNCF UK Scholarships, selected students can pursue graduate studies in the UK with funding between $10,000 – $15,000 from UNCF, as well as matched funding from the host university.

2. The Morland Scholarship

Provider: The Morland Trust

Amount: Covers tuition fees and living costs

Eligibility: High-achieving black students from low-income households

Deadline: May

The Morland Scholarship provides comprehensive funding for 2 black students annually to pursue postgraduate studies at selected UK universities. The award covers tuition fees, living expenses, travel costs and other requirements. Applicants must have a strong academic record and demonstrate financial need.

3. HSBC UK Black Community Scholarship

Provider: HSBC Bank

Amount: £5,000

Eligibility: Black students who are UK citizens or permanent residents

Deadline: August

The HSBC Black Community Scholarship aims to improve access to higher education for black students by providing 10 awards of £5,000 annually. Applicants must be enrolled in full-time undergraduate study and demonstrate involvement in extracurricular activities that give back to the black community.

4. The Barbados Precision Scholarship

Provider: The Barbados Precision Foundation

Amount: £5,000 – £10,000

Eligibility: Students from Barbados studying at select UK universities

Deadline: April

Under this scholarship, up to 5 Barbadian students can receive a grant of £5,000 – £10,000 annually towards undergraduate or postgraduate study at approved UK universities. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and strong academic capabilities.

5. London School of Economics Marshall Scholarships

Provider: London School of Economics

Amount: Covers tuition fees

Eligibility: Black students beginning postgraduate study at LSE

Deadline: May

The LSE Marshall Scholarships provide full tuition fee support for two black students annually who display academic excellence and a commitment to advancing racial equality. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree and meet LSE admissions criteria.

6. Oxford-Pershing Square Graduate Scholarships

Provider: Pershing Square Foundation

Amount: Covers tuition fees and living costs

Eligibility: Black students pursuing postgraduate study at Oxford

Deadline: January

Under this scholarship, up to 10 black students can pursue a fully funded master’s degree annually at Oxford University. It covers all tuition and living expenses for the duration of the program. Applicants must meet Oxford admissions criteria.

7. African Excellence Scholarships, University of Nottingham

Provider: University of Nottingham

Amount: £8,000

Eligibility: Students from Africa beginning undergraduate study

Deadline: May

Nottingham University provides up to 10 scholarships annually worth £8,000 to high-achieving undergraduate applicants who are citizens of African countries. Applicants must meet academic and English language proficiency requirements.

8. Tullow Scholarship Scheme

Provider: Tullow Oil

Amount: Covers tuition fees and living costs

Eligibility: Students from Ghana and Uganda

Deadline: April

Tullow Oil funds scholarships annually for undergraduate and postgraduate students from Ghana and Uganda to study engineering and science degrees at selected UK universities. The award fully covers tuition fees and living expenses.

9. Chevron Master’s Scholarship in Energy Studies

Provider: Chevron

Amount: Fully funded

Eligibility: Students from Nigeria, Angola and South Africa

Deadline: February

This scholarship allows one student each from Nigeria, Angola and South Africa to pursue a fully-funded master’s in energy studies at a UK university. Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree in engineering, science or related field.

10. AYV/Wellcome Trust Masters Scholarship in Public Health

Provider: Wellcome Trust

Amount: Fully funded

Eligibility: Students from Malawi

Deadline: September

Malawian students can apply for this scholarship which provides full funding and stipends to pursue a Master’s in Public Health at either LSHTM, Oxford or Cambridge University. Applicants must have a relevant first degree and experience in public health.

11. Bloomberg African Business Scholarship, UCL

Provider: Bloomberg and UCL

Amount: Full tuition fees and stipend

Eligibility: African students applying for masters at UCL

Deadline: May

This scholarship allows one student annually from Africa to pursue a fully-funded Master’s in a business-related field at University College London. Applicants must meet UCL admissions criteria.

12. Hlumelo Biko Scholarships

Provider: Steve Biko Foundation

Amount: £10,000 – £15,000

Eligibility: Black South African students

Deadline: July

The Steve Biko Foundation offers 2-3 scholarships annually worth £10,000 – £15,000 for Black South African students to pursue postgraduate study related to development. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and leadership potential.

13. Stichting Scholarships for Black South Africans

Provider: Stichting Scholarship Foundation

Amount: £8,000

Eligibility: Black South African Students

Deadline: May

The Stichting Scholarship provides funding annually for black South African students to study undergraduate degrees in accounting, finance, IT and engineering at selected universities. Applicants must excel academically and demonstrate financial need.

14. Sutton Trust UK Summer Schools

Provider: The Sutton Trust

Amount: Free summer schools

Eligibility: Black students in Year 12

Deadline: February

The Sutton Trust offers free summer school programs at 12 leading UK universities like Oxford and LSE for high-achieving Year 12 (16-17yrs) students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Participants get a taste of university life and gain access to admissions support.

15. INSA Science Bursaries for Africans

Provider: Royal Society of Chemistry

Amount: £3,000

Eligibility: African students in physical sciences/math programs

Deadline: November

The RSC INSA bursaries provide a one-time payment of £3,000 for African students who excel in physical science or math programs to encourage them into postgraduate study. Applicants will ideally be in their final undergraduate or master’s year.

16. Leeds First Generation Scholars Scheme

Provider: University of Leeds

Amount: £2,000

Eligibility: First generation undergraduate students

Deadline: August

Under this unique need-based scholarship, the University of Leeds provides 30 awards of £2,000 each aimed at UK undergraduate students who are the first generation of their family to attend university.

17. Queen Mary University of London Mile End Bursaries

Provider: QMUL

Amount: £3,000

Eligibility: Low-income students local to QMUL

Deadline: June

QMUL offers these bursaries annually to around 200 new undergraduate students from households with incomes below £25,000 per annum who live near the university’s Mile End campus in East London.

18. University of Birmingham Cadbury Scholarship

Provider: University of Birmingham

Amount: £1,500 per year

Eligibility: Undergraduate students from Birmingham

Deadline: April

This scholarship provides Awards of up to £1,500 a year for local undergraduate students who graduate from a school or college in the Birmingham and Solihull area surrounding the university. Applicants must demonstrate financial hardship.

19. London Economics Symposium Scholarship

Provider: London Economics Symposium

Amount: £1,000

Eligibility: Black students studying in London

Deadline: November

Undergraduate or postgraduate students in London who self-identify as Black or Mixed-Black African can apply for this one-time scholarship worth £1,000 from the London Economics Symposium.

20. Lord’s Taverners Minority Ethnic Scholarship

Provider: Lord’s Taverners

Amount: Up to £2,200

Eligibility: Underprivileged ethnic minority students

Deadline: July

The MCC Lord’s Taverners offer 10-15 scholarships annually worth up to £2,200 to help underprivileged students from ethnic minorities complete university education through its access to education program.

Eligibility Criteria

While reviewing the scholarships above, you may have noticed some common eligibility criteria. Here are some of the typical requirements to qualify for scholarships for black students:

  • Demonstrated financial need and inability to self-fund studies
  • Strong academic capabilities
  • UK citizenship/residency or specific country citizenship
  • Studying full-time in an undergraduate/postgraduate program
  • Studying at a partner university specified by the provider
  • Meeting English language proficiency requirements
  • Ethnicity – most are aimed at Black African/Caribbean students

Some scholarships also have additional eligibility factors, like pursuing studies in certain subject areas or demonstrating extracurricular involvement and leadership skills.

It’s critical to thoroughly assess the eligibility criteria before applying to any scholarship to determine if you are likely qualified.

Application Process

The application process differs based on each scholarship provider. However, some common components include:

  • Completing an online application form
  • Submitting proof of nationality
  • Submitting transcripts and letters confirming university admission
  • Writing personal statements and essays
  • Securing recommendation letters
  • Submitting evidence of family income
  • Attending interviews

Give yourself plenty of time to complete all required application components before the scholarship deadline. Request transcripts, letters and financial information early on. Scholarships often receive hundreds of applicants, so make your application stand out by demonstrating your skills and accomplishments.

When to Apply

Application deadlines range throughout the year, most commonly between March to August for programs beginning in September/October. However, some provide earlier or later deadlines. Refer to the provider websites for confirmation of the exact deadlines for each scholarship.

Submit your applications as early as possible, even if the deadline is months away. This increases the likelihood that you complete all components accurately and on time.

Tips for Strong Applications

Follow these tips to create compelling scholarship applications as a black student:

  • Highlight academic achievements – Include details of your grades, test scores, prizes and accolades that exhibit your capabilities and potential.
  • Demonstrate extracurriculars – Share examples of your community service, sports, arts or cultural activities that showcase your well-rounded talents.
  • Outline financial need – Emphasize how the scholarship will enable you to afford studies that you couldn’t otherwise. Provide details of your family’s financial situation.
  • Share personal experiences – For essays and statements, reflect on your background, challenges overcome and goals to show your unique story.
  • Obtain strong recommendations – Ask tutors, employers or mentors who know you well to write letters validating your skills, character and potential.
  • Follow instructions carefully – Adhere to all formatting, length and component guidelines specified. Proofread thoroughly before submitting.

With meticulous applications and perseverance, black students can access the funding needed to fulfill their educational dreams in the UK.


Are there scholarships only for African students?

Yes, some providers like Tullow Oil and Bloomberg offer scholarships aimed solely at African students from certain countries like Kenya, Ghana and South Africa. Others like UNCF and Hlumelo Biko also restrict their awards to African American and black South African students respectively.

Do I need a confirmed university acceptance to apply for scholarships?

Most scholarships do require either an unconditional/conditional offer letter from a UK university before applying or by the time the scholarship is awarded. The university and program of study must usually be approved by the provider.

If I’m a black student can I apply for general scholarships too?

Yes absolutely! While minority specific awards aim to increase diversity, you should also apply to general merit-based and need-based scholarships open to all ethnic groups. Use all available resources.

Are the deadlines flexible if I’m late applying?

Unfortunately, no – scholarship deadlines are strict and providers rarely make exceptions for late applications. You must submit all components before the published deadline to be considered. If you miss a deadline, apply again the following year.

How competitive are black student scholarships for the UK?

Many of these scholarships see hundreds of applicants for just a few awards, so the competition is very high. Have a strong application highlighting both your academic merit and financial need to stand out. Applying early also helps.

What are my chances of getting a scholarship as an international black student?

Your chances depend on the scholarship, but those aimed at African/Caribbean students do offer solid opportunities. Focus on ones that provide awards for your nationality, choose programs aligned with provider preferences, and emphasize the importance of the funding in your essays.

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