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Apply for a UC scholarship

14 November 2023

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 searching UC’s scholarship database and selecting the criteria that applies to you. *(see screenshot below)

By selecting the relevant criteria such as level of study, college and subjects relevant to your enrolment, our search engine will present to you every possible scholarships you may be eligible for.

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


Check If You're Eligible

Most UC scholarships require that you have admission into the University. Before you can apply for any scholarship, you need to complete the first stages of your enrolment to the University. To start the enrolment process, please click here.

Before applying, you will need to check to make sure that you meet any eligibility restrictions. There are many scholarships that 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 the criteria. Each scholarship has regulations that outline the rules relating to eligibility and tenability and also outlines 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.

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.

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


Check Application Deadlines

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


First-year Undergraduates (School Leaver)

  • First-year undergraduate scholarships 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 Fund Brochure 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 (beginning of February).



  • 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.



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 2019 for those who applied for admission prior to this date who wish to be considered.


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

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.


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.


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.

*Scholarship database example
Scholarships Database Search

For more information contact the Scholarships Office

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