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Apply for a UC Scholarship

04 March 2024

Preparation is key when applying for scholarships. From research and eligibility to application dates and support documentation, find out how to apply for a University of Canterbury Scholarship.


Search what is available

Get to know our full range of scholarships available to you so you don’t miss out on anything. Start by checking the summary lists on the appropriate study level (found on the left hand menu) and also use the UC’s scholarship database and select the criteria that apply to you. 

By selecting the relevant criteria, such as level of study, Faculty, and International/Domestic status, our search engine will present to you every possible scholarship you may be eligible for.

Sometimes competition for scholarships is very strong - to increase your chances of gaining one, make sure you apply for all the scholarships you are eligible for!


Check if you're eligible

Make sure that you meet any eligibility restrictions for scholarships you are interested in by checking the Scholarship's Regulations. Many scholarships are designed especially for students 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

It is very important to read through scholarship regulations carefully to make sure you meet each of the criteria. Each scholarship has regulations that outline the rules relating to eligibility and tenability and also outline the finer details of the scholarship such as the value, number of awards available and application dates.

To prepare well, make a list of all the scholarships you think you are eligible to apply for and get as much information about the scholarships as possible by reading the regulations.

International students can apply for any scholarships unless the regulations specifically restrict the scholarship to NZ citizens or holders of NZ residence class visas.

Most scholarships also require that you have admission to the University so check that you meet the criteria for admission.


Check application deadlines

Applications for all scholarships open approximately eight weeks before the closing dates. Late applications are not accepted so it is essential that you submit your application before the closing date and time.  Application deadlines vary broadly, particularly if you are applying for a scholarship offered by an external organisation. Scholarships that focus on certain levels of study are generally all open at the same time. See below for the approximate timeframes for each level of study.


Incoming First-year Students

  • Incoming first-year undergraduate scholarships (for example, for school leavers - year 12, 13 or immediate gappers) normally open at the start of June, with all of the scholarships closing 11.59pm (NZT) 15 August.
  • Certain first-year international scholarships have several application rounds and therefore have several closing dates. Please refer to our Incoming First-Year Scholarships webpages for more detailed information regarding these dates.



  • Most of the undergraduate scholarships for current UC students close for applications on 31 March.
  • Scholarships offered by external organisations close at different times throughout the year. 
  • Scholarship information and applications are generally open approximately 8 weeks prior to the closing date (i.e. the beginning of February).



  • There are a variety of Master's scholarships offered at different times of the year. Each scholarship is reviewed and confirmed each year - check our our scholarships database for all scholarships currently available. 
  • Scholarship applications are generally open approximately 8 weeks prior to the closing date.
  • Subject to funding, there are two rounds of University of Canterbury Master's Scholarships each year, closing on 15 May and 15 October. (NB: please note these are currently under review in 2024. Check our scholarships database for all scholarships currently available.)



These scholarships support students for study towards a research doctoral degree at the University of Canterbury. There are a variety of doctoral scholarships offered including the centrally-funded UC Doctoral Scholarships. The number of scholarships available are confirmed each year - check our our scholarships database for all scholarships currently available.  Those applying for admission to a doctoral programme are asked whether they wish to be considered for a UC Doctoral 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)
  • Ngata Centenary Doctoral Scholarship (applicants with whakapapa Māori)
  • Rātā Foundation Scholarship (applicants with a permanent address in one of the four funding regions of the Rātā Foundation, every three years)


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 8 weeks prior to the closing date.

Gather your information

Make sure you 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, gather as much information as you can about the company, its philosophy and its goals.

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 including Scholero reports if your previous learning was at an overseas institution
  • Financial information 
  • If necessary, you may need to arrange a required academic or language test



Referees' reports are a written statement about your abilities from a person(s) that you select. Not all applications require a reference but for applications that require Referees - these are very important.

In chosing your referee, 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. Academic referees do not need to be from the University of Canterbury, but may be any academic individual that you feel is appropriate.

Make sure you inform the person you have nominated them as Referee and give them details about which scholarships you are applying for. It may be beneficial to provide your referees with the regulations for the scholarship for which you are applying.



Login or Create a myUC account

You will need to create a myUC account and submit the first stages of an application to enrol before you can apply for any scholarship. 

Once you are in your myUC account, click the ‘Apply for a Scholarship’ link on the left hand menu.

Use the ‘Search’ function on the top left to find the scholarship you wish to apply for.

Click the ‘Apply here’ button on the scholarship. This will then bring the scholarship application into your myUC account and you should now be able to work on it within your ‘My Applications’ tab.


Complete your application

Start your application early. You can save and come back to it later if you need to do more research.

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:


  • Sell yourself! Scholarships are highly competitive, so make the most of the word limit in open ended questions. This is an opportunity to tell us why you deserve the scholarship.
  • 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. Also look at the Selection Criteria with the scholarship Regulations as this you will want to ensure your application addresses these points.
  • 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, including your references. It is 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.

Submit your Application

  • Don't leave submitting your application to the last minute! Submit your application before the closing date. This date is not flexible. The selection panel receives many applications and can often be ruthless in the elimination process. 
  • To ensure your application has been submitted correctly, check that the status in 'My Applications' has changed to ‘Submitted’ and that you received an email confirming receipt of your application. If it still says 'Pending Submission' and you did not receive an email - your application has not been submitted!
  • If your status has changed to 'Request Pending', it means your application has been submitted correctly but there is at least one Reference which is still outstanding. It is a good idea to follow up with your referee to ensure they have received the request and know the closing date for their submission.
  • Regularly check your emails (including junkmail/spam folders) and the status of your application for updates.

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. Please be patient - 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.

contact the Scholarships Office

For more information

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