On-Campus Learning Scholarships
If you completed your undergraduate studies at a Mastercard Foundation partner institution before January 2020, please find out more about applying for on-campus postgraduate study in Edinburgh
Find out more about applying to study as a Mastercard Scholar in Edinburgh.
The Scholars Program at the University of Edinburgh will provide postgraduate on-campus scholarships to students from Africa with great academic and leadership potential but few educational opportunities. The scholarships are available for the 2022/23 academic year, which will cover the full tuition fees and expenses for accommodation and maintenance.
In addition to financial support, Scholars will participate in activities as part of the wider Scholars Program at the University of Edinburgh including work-based placements, mentorship, and other activities during the academic year.
These scholarships will be themed around sustainability, recognising the commitment from the Mastercard Foundation to support and catalyse young people from across the African continent to contribute to this vital area of work. The academic programmes available to prospective scholars will be those making important contributions to sustainability research, therefore we are only supporting scholars on the following four programmes:
- Be a Mastercard Foundation Undergraduate Scholar in a Mastercard Foundation partner institution who completed degree programme before January 2020.
- Applications particularly welcome from women, people with disabilities, and those who are refugees or displaced.
- Applicants must qualify academically for admission to the University of Edinburgh for a relevant degree programme listed above. You will generally need to have achieved the equivalent of a UK Second Class (Upper) Bachelors (Hons) degree. You can find out more about the postgraduate entry requirements for your country or be in touch with us:
- Applicants must be resident and citizen of a Sub-Saharan African country.
- Applications from Malawi, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe are particularly welcome.
- You should demonstrate a track record of leadership and service within your community and former school/university.
- You must be able to present economic circumstances which show you lack financial means to pursue higher education in your home country or elsewhere
- Applicants must want to study one of the eligible degree programmes listed above at the University of Edinburgh
- Applicants should not have completed a postgraduate degree previously and should not be enrolled at a separate university while on scholarship
- Applicants must be in possession degree certificate and official, final transcript to upload alongside their application
If you apply for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program please apply for the scholarship first. If you are successful in the scholarship process, the team will support you to apply for admission to your chosen degree programme.
If you are applying for other scholarships in the University of Edinburgh, please apply directly to the degree programme of your choice.
More information on how to apply can be found on each individual degree programme web page in the University Degree Finder:
Feb 28 (5-6:00 PM GMT)
|Application Information Session|
|March 1 (10:00AM GMT)||Applications open|
|March 15 (5PM GMT)||
|Mid-April||Interview shortlisting begins; both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified (Please note references will be requested for applicants invited for an Interview)|
|April 25-May 2||Interviews take place|
|Mid-May||Interview Outcomes will be announced|
Support provided through admission and immigration processes
|September||Scholars Arrive in Edinburgh|
To help you in your application, we have put together some frequently asked questions on the application process including which program to apply to, English language tests, interviews, references, entry tests and receiving an offer.
Where do I apply for this on-campus scholarship?
The link will be made available here on 1 March.
When does the next round of applications open?
Applications for our on-campus Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, for postgraduate degrees only, will open from March 1 – March 15 2022.
Applications for undergraduate study at the University of Edinburgh have now finished, with the final Scholar cohort enrolled at the University in September 2019.
How do I know if I studied my undergraduate degree at a Mastercard Foundation institution?
Only scholars who completed their undergraduate degree at the following Mastercard University Institutions before January 2020 can apply for these on-campus scholarships:
- African Leadership Academy
- African Leadership University
- American University of Beirut
- Arizona State University
- Ashesi University College
- EARTH University
- Egerton University
- Gulu University
- Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)
- Makerere University
- Michigan State University
- Sciences Po
- United States International University Africa
- Universities under the CAMFED scheme
- University of Abomey-Calavi
- University of Berkeley
- University of British Columbia
- University of Cape Town
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Gondar
- University of Pretoria
- University of Toronto
- Wellesley College
What if I did not do my undergraduate degree before January 2020 at Mastercard Foundation institution?
You may wish to consider apply for another scholarship within the University of Edinburgh. You can search for these here:
Which on-campus postgraduate degrees are covered on this scholarship?
We offer scholarships for the following degree programmes only:
- MSc Sustainable Energy Systems
- MSc Food Security
- MSc Africa and International Development
- MSc Environment and Development
Can I be considered if I do not meet the criteria?
Unfortunately, this current opportunity only covers previous Mastercard Foundation Scholars. Due to the large volume of applications and for transparency purposes, we are unable to extend these kind of exemptions.
What documents do I need to apply for this Scholarship?
· Postgraduate entry: Your final official university degree certificate and final official transcript
If you do not yet have these documents you will not be able to proceed with the application.
Should I apply to the scholarship or for admission to the degree first?
· Postgraduate entry:
If the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is the only scholarship you are interested to apply for in the University of Edinburgh, please apply for the scholarship only.
If you are also applying for other scholarships at the University of Edinburgh, please apply directly for the degree programme of your choice.
More information on how to apply can be found on each individual degree programme web page, which can be found on the University degree finder:
Do I need to take an English language test?
All applicants who receive an offer will be tested by the University’s English Language Education (ELE) centre unless they already have a valid English language test.
There is no fee for this test and all testing takes place via video or web link. The ELE English test assesses applicants on reading, writing, speaking and listening.
We aim to have a number of appointments available to you.
Please note this only applies to this specific program at this University. For other scholarships at the University of Edinburgh, or for other Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programs at other Universities, it is possible you will need an English language qualification prior to receiving an offer of admission.
What happens during the review of applications period?
Each submitted application is read and assessed by representatives from across the University of Edinburgh. This includes a further assessment undertaken by Admissions staff to determine the academic suitability of each application for the specific degree chosen by the applicant.
I have completed and submitted the application, when will I hear back?
We will inform candidates whether they have been shortlisted for an interview by late April.
Interview & Reference Stage
How will I hear about being invited to interview?
From mid-April, applicants who have been shortlisted will be invited to interview.
You will receive an email to the address you registered with asking you to choose a convenient time slot for you. Interviews will usually be held via video connection e.g. MS Teams/ Zoom.
If undertaking your interview via a video connection is not possible, we will work with you to find a solution. We will also request a reference for all short-listed applicants at this stage.
Why do you request a reference?
We are keen to know as much as we can about each of our short-listed applicants. A reference is important to ensure we are awarding the scholarship to applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and who will benefit most from the experience at Edinburgh.
What should the reference include?
The reference request will be sent directly to your chosen referee. The referee will be provided with guidance on how to complete the reference for you. Reference requests will only be sent out for those shortlisted for an interview.
How and when should my reference be submitted?
Referees will be provided with instructions on how to submit a reference.
What will my interview be like?
All interviews should last approximately 30 minutes. We will ask you questions directly related to the scholarship and it’s our opportunity to get to know you better.
There will also be a chance for you to ask questions.
What happens if I have technology or connection issues and cannot attend the interview?
Applicants should undertake reasonable preparations to ensure the interview goes smoothly. This includes a quiet environment with a good connection for you to concentrate and for us to hear you.
We understand that sometimes unavoidable technical difficulties can affect the interview and we take this into consideration. As a last resort, we may have to reschedule your interview if we are not able to connect with you at all.
When will I hear about the result of my interview?
We aim to notify all short-listed applicants of the outcome of their interview by middle of May 2022. If you are successful, the outcome will be both an offer of scholarship as well as for admission to the University.
Please note that your offer of admission to the University is likely to be conditional at this stage. Over the next few months, the MCF team at Edinburgh will support and guide you so that your offer becomes unconditional. Common conditions linked to an offer can be the confirmation of your university qualification, and successfully demonstrating your English language proficiency.
Is my offer binding?
We expect applicants who accept their offer to take up their place on the MCF Scholars Program. Once your offer is unconditional the scholarship and admission to the University of Edinburgh is binding.
What happens during the Confirmation of Admission to the University of Edinburgh period?
By mid-May, we will notify shortlisted applicants whether they have successfully been offered the scholarship.
As much as we are confident you will also gain admission to the University of Edinburgh, for most applicants, the offer is still conditional at this stage and could still be based on the conditions mentioned above.
What do I do if I have a question which is not answered above?
Please ensure you have read all of the guidance provided to you via this website and the application form. If you are still unable to find an answer to your query, please contact the team: