Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

On-campus postgraduate scholarships

Find out more about the process of applying for an on campus postgraduate scholarship with the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Edinburgh.

scholars learning in the classroom

Nurturing climate leaders

All Mastercard Foundation Scholars at the University of Edinburgh will participate in a Climate Leadership Programme.

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program aims to make a meaningful impact in addressing the climate crisis.

Our program is dedicated to nurturing a community of talented, entrepreneurial, and compassionate leaders from across Sub-Saharan Africa.

We empower young people with the necessary knowledge, skills, and networks to drive sustainable transitions by offering a range of exceptional sustainability-focused postgraduate opportunities through the Program at the University of Edinburgh.

Find out more about  our Climate Leadership Programme:

Climate Leadership Programme

Applying for an on-campus scholarship

We recruit exceptional young people with great academic and leadership experience who have overcome barriers to their education and are committed to pursuing their studies on-campus.

This is a one-year postgraduate on-campus scholarship for the following programmes ONLY:

Apply for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program before applying to the University

If you are only applying for the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship please apply for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program first, only once you have received a scholarship offer should you apply to any of the above programmes through the University of Edinburgh admissions process.

Only in the case of applying for other scholarships should you consider applying to the university first.

 What the on-campus scholarship provides

  • Covers full approved tuition, accommodation, travel, living cost stipend and study materials.
  • A climate leadership programme to inspire and support Scholars in making change in their communities and countries.
  • Additional support is offered to scholars with disabilities based on an assessment of needs.

Application timeline 2024/25

23 October 2023 (10am UK time) Applications open.
1 December 2023 (5pm UK time) All applicants must have completed the first stage of the application – the Eligibility Assessment. The SM Apply system will not permit new applications after 1 December at 5pm GMT.
7 December 2023 (5pm UK time) Applications close.

Early February

On-campus Interview shortlisting begins; both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified.
Early to mid-February 2024 On-campus interviews take place.
Mid-March 2024 On-campus Interview outcomes will be announced.
March – August  2024 Support is provided through admission and immigration processes.
September 2024 Academic programme starts.

How to apply

You must qualify academically for admission to the University of Edinburgh. We require that applicants apply for this scholarship before applying to the University.  

The Program will not accept applications submitted outside the online application system.

Please review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section, below, for further details.

If you have any queries regarding the Mastercard Foundation Scholarships, which are not answered in the FAQs, please contact us at:

2024/25 applications are closed. Applications for 2025/26 will open in October 2024.

Selection process

The selection process for applications is based on the following criteria:

  • Academic merit of the candidate that qualifies for admissions to the University of Edinburgh 
  • Track record as a transformative leader and service within their community.
  • Quality of application in line with the Program theme of climate justice.
  • Potential impact on the development of the applicant’s home country.
  • Applicants who have faced significant barriers to education (social, financial, personal, practical or health related).