Steps to apply for a scholarship

Apply for scholarships to fund your university study in a few easy steps.

Step 1. Find out what is on offer

Get to know the full range of scholarships available to you so you don’t miss out on anything. Start by searching UC’s scholarship database.

Select the search criteria, area and level of study relevant to you to the scholarships you are eligible for. Sometimes competition for scholarships is very strong. You can increase your chances of receiving one by applying for all of the scholarships you qualify for.

Step 2. Check you qualify

Many scholarships are designed especially for people who:

  • Are a specific gender, age, or ethnicity
  • Belong to a particular indigenous, location specific or other special group
  • Have achieved academic or sporting excellence
  • Intend to study in a certain field or at a certain level

Read through the scholarship information carefully to make sure you meet the criteria. Make a list of the scholarships you are qualified to apply for. Get as much information about the scholarship as possible.

If the scholarship entails a particular project, find out the full objectives and intended methodology of the project.

If the scholarship is being funded by a private enterprise, find out as much information as you can about the company, such as its philosophy and goals.

Most UC scholarships require that you have admission into the University - find out more.

You also need to check to make sure that you meet any eligibility restrictions, like gender, age, nationality, indigenous or other special group. You should only apply if you definitely match the eligibility criteria.

International students may apply unless the regulations specifically restrict the scholarship to NZ citizens or holders of NZ residence class visas.


Step 3.Check scholarship application deadlines

Application deadlines vary broadly, particularly if you are applying for a scholarship offered by an external organisation. Check the opening and closing dates for each scholarship you intend to apply for.

When are scholarships open?

Applications for scholarships open approximately eight weeks before the closing dates.


  • Most of the undergraduate scholarships offered or administered by the University close for applications on 31 March.
  • Scholarships offered by external organisations close throughout the year.
  • Scholarship information and applications are generally open approximately two months prior to the closing date.

Doctoral Applications

These scholarships support students for study towards a research doctoral degree at the University of Canterbury. Approximately 60 scholarships are available each year. Those applying for admission to a doctoral programme are asked whether they wish to be considered for the scholarship. Students who indicate that they wish to be considered are assessed for the scholarship upon gaining admission to a doctoral programme. No further application is necessary.

Candidates for a UC Doctoral Scholarship are automatically also considered for the following other scholarships:

  • Brownlie Scholarship (all applicants)
  • Canterbury Scholarship (all applicants)
  • William and Ina Cartwright Scholarship (Education applicants)
  • Roper Scholarship (Science applicants)
  • Doctoral Graduate Women Canterbury (Inc.) Trust Board Scholarship (female applicants in Arts, Education, Health, or Human Development, every three years)
  • Canterbury Community Trust Doctoral Scholarship (every three years)

Applicants who applied for admission after 15 May 2019 will be automatically considered, there will be an online form available in late October for those who applied for admission prior to this date who wish to be considered.

Master's Applications

  • There are two rounds of University of Canterbury Master's Scholarships each year, closing on 15 May and 15 October.
  • For applications that close on 15 May, offers will be made during the last week of July, with funding able to commence from 1 August.
  • For applications that close on 15 October, offers will be made in December, with funding able to commence from 1 January.
  • All students are notified of the outcome of their applications.
  • Students who are offered a scholarship must accept in writing by the specified date.

Overseas Study

  • Major awards close for applications in August, October or November, for study commencing in the second half of the following year (northern hemisphere). Others close throughout the year.
  • Scholarship applications are generally open approximately two months prior to the closing date.

Step 4. Gather your Information

To apply for most scholarships, you will need to fill out forms and supply documents to support your application. You might also be asked to attend an interview with the selection panel. Some things you may be asked to provide with your application are:

  • Proof of citizenship or residency status (e.g. birth certificate, passport)
  • Evidence of community involvement, financial hardship or ethnic background
  • List of referees
  • Transcripts or records of learning

Your referees are very important. Make sure they know which scholarships you have listed them as a referee in. Make sure they can provide the kind of information about you that the selection committee will need to know. For example, if they need to know about your research capabilities make sure the referee you provide has supervised your research work before or has some other knowledge of your capabilities. Also be sure to provide your referee with some background on what you are applying for.

If necessary arrange any academic or language tests required.

Step 5. Complete your application

Remember that you are trying to prove you are worthy of financial support. The selection panel needs to see that you have something special to offer. Remember these tips when completing your applicaiton:

  • Make sure you have provided everything that is asked for and attach the documents requested.
  • Only provide a CV if it is specifically requested.
  • Sign and date the privacy provisions.
  • If you can, find out about the organisation that is awarding the scholarship and try to tailor your application according to their vision and goals.
  • Submit your application well before or by the closing date. The selection panel receives many applications and can often be ruthless in the elimination process. 
  • Provide accurate and current contact details – sometimes successful scholarships are lost because candidates do not respond to the offer in sufficient time because their email address is wrong or they are on holiday and the scholarship is then offered to another candidate.
  • Ensure that all the information requested is provided by the closing date. You may need to supply a birth certificate, school results, financial information and/or references.

Referees' reports

Referees' reports are a written statement about your abilities from a person(s) you select. Academic referees do not need to be from the University of Canterbury, but may be any academic individual that you feel is appropriate.

It is also beneficial to provide your referees with the regulations for the scholarship for which you are applying.

It's your responsibility to ensure that referees' reports are in by the due date. The Scholarships Office will not follow up referees' reports that are incomplete or absent.

Step 6. Selection process

Most scholarships are selected on the basis of your written application and referees' reports. Some however, will require interviews. If an interview is required the Scholarships Office will notify you.

Selection Committees vary according to the scholarship. The selection process typically takes six to eight weeks but may take longer. You will receive notification of the outcome in writing once the selection is final.

More information

Scholarships Office
Phone  +64 3 369 4900

Level 2, Matariki

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