Global Development Institute (GDI) Merit Awards

The Global Development Institute (GDI) Merit Awards are for academically excellent professionals studying a GDI campus-based master’s course.

Due to COVID-19, we are unable to offer GDI Merit Awards for 2020/21. We do hope to be able to offer scholarships again in future years, so please sign up for the GDI newsletter and we'll let you know as soon as they're available.

Applications are welcome from academically excellent professionals from Ghana, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Please only apply if you fully meet all of the eligibility criteria.

The scholarships typically cover tuition fees, living expenses, flights to the UK, and visas.

Person specification

Applicants are required to:

  • be a resident citizen of Ghana, Kenya, Zambia or Zimbabwe and have not previously studied outside Africa;
  • hold a bachelor’s degree with a First Class Honours (1st) classification or its international equivalent;
  • have at least three years of relevant post-graduation work experience (this does not include unpaid internships or voluntary work);
  • have a clear idea of how studying in Manchester will benefit both their career and the wider community.

Applicants are also required to hold one of the following English tests:

  • An overall score of 6.5 in IELTS, with 6.5 in writing and no other subsections below 6.0.
  • West African Education Council (WAEC) Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) with a B3 or above.
  • Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), with a B in English.
  • General Certificate of Education (issued by the Examinations Council of Zambia), with a 4 in English.

Course eligibility

Six scholarships are typically available across GDI courses.

One scholarship is allocated to each of the four subject areas below, with the remaining two scholarships decided by the selection committee.

How to apply

Applications for the scholarship should be made through the application form

It is not necessary to have an academic offer of admission to apply for the scholarship.

There is no advantage or disadvantage in having an academic offer.

If you are selected for the scholarship you will be automatically admitted for the course of your choice.

Please note that you will be asked to electronically submit the following documents at the end of the application. We recommend that you prepare these documents in advance as they cannot be added to your application after submissions:

  • two up-to-date signed references (one academic and one professional). References must be on letter headed paper. References do not need to be sent confidentially and there is no fixed format;
  • degree certificate(s) and transcript(s) showing the subjects you have taken and the grades achieved. Temporary copies or certificates of graduation will suffice for this application);
  • English language test certificate;
  • up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV);
  • a 500-word personal statement detailing how studying at the University of Manchester will benefit both your career and the wider community.