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Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Program at the University of Edinburgh is now open(Fully-funded Online Masters and Diploma)

Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Program at the University of Edinburgh is now open(Fully-funded Online Masters and Diploma)


As the world rapidly advances into the digital age, opportunities for higher education have expanded beyond the confines of traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. The University of Edinburgh is at the forefront of this transformation, offering a range of online Master’s programs that are fully equivalent to their on-campus counterparts. These online Master’s programs provide a flexible and accessible path to higher education, allowing students to continue working while pursuing their academic ambitions from the comfort of their homes. In this article, we’ll explore the exciting opportunity provided by the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Edinburgh, which is designed to support students from Africa with exceptional academic and leadership potential but limited access to educational opportunities.

A Path to Quality Education: The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Edinburgh aims to bridge the gap in access to quality education, particularly for students from Africa. This program offers postgraduate online scholarships, covering not only full tuition fees but also providing a modest study stipend to ensure students have access to high-quality internet connectivity. It’s a comprehensive package designed to support scholars throughout their educational journey.

One distinctive feature of this scholarship is that it’s tailored for part-time online study, making it even more accessible for students who need to balance their academic pursuits with other commitments. This three-year commitment to supporting online education demonstrates the program’s dedication to fostering the next generation of African leaders.

A Holistic Approach to Education

Beyond financial support, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars at the University of Edinburgh become part of a broader community of scholars. They have the opportunity to engage in a Climate Leadership Programme, which addresses the pressing issue of climate change. Climate change is a global challenge that requires innovative and informed leaders to drive sustainable solutions. This program equips scholars with the knowledge, skills, and networks to make a meaningful impact in addressing the climate crisis.

Diverse Postgraduate Opportunities

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Edinburgh offers a wide array of postgraduate opportunities, both in the form of online Master’s programs and online Postgraduate Diplomas. Let’s take a closer look at some of the programs available:

Online Master’s Programs

  1. International Development (Masters route only): This program delves into pressing global issues, including climate change and sustainability. It explores the history of international development and the strategies employed to address climate change and related challenges.
  2. Global Food Security and Nutrition (Masters or Diploma): This program focuses on food security, nutrition, and their connections to global population growth, climate change, and sustainable development.
  3. Global Challenges (Masters or Diploma): A multidisciplinary approach that addresses sustainability, climate change, inequality, social justice, health, and the impacts of natural disasters.
  4. Carbon Management (Masters route only): Designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge to tackle climate change from various perspectives, including economic, ecological, and business.
  5. One Health (Masters or Diploma): Explores the intersection of human, animal, and ecosystem health, preparing professionals to address complex health challenges.
  6. Circular Economy (Masters or Diploma): Focuses on resource efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable consumption, and other aspects crucial to sustainability.
  7. Sustainable Lands and Cities (Masters or Diploma): Addresses the interrelationships between land, human development, and sustainability, offering solutions for sustainable communities.
  8. Social Justice and Community Action (Masters or Diploma): Positions climate change as a social injustice and explores the convergence of climate justice, sustainable development, and social justice.

Online Postgraduate Diplomas

Postgraduate diplomas are aimed at those who are considering a potential change in their careers and tend to be more vocational.

Candidates with either an undergraduate or Master’s degree from a Sub-Saharan African university are equally able to apply (provided they will graduate from either degree by September 2023 and provide their degree certificates and transcripts by 7 December

The scholarship is designed to cover two years of part-time online study for the following programmes ONLY:

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Edinburgh, applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria, including:

  • Academic qualification for admission to a relevant degree program at the University of Edinburgh.
  • Having faced significant barriers to education (social, financial, personal, practical, or health-related).
  • Graduation from an undergraduate program by September 2023, with a degree certificate and official final transcript.
  • Residency in a Sub-Saharan African country.
  • A track record of leadership and community service.
  • A demonstrated commitment to making a meaningful impact on addressing the climate crisis.
  • Age of 35 or under as of September 1, 2024.
  • Not having previously completed a postgraduate degree or being enrolled in another university while on the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship.

Application Timeline

The application process for the 2023/24 intake unfolds as follows:

  • October 23, 2023: Applications open.
  • December 1, 2023: Completion of registration, eligibility assessment, and declaration.
  • December 7, 2023: Applications close.
  • Early February 2024: Online Distance Learners (ODL) Interview shortlisting begins.
  • Mid to Late February 2024: ODL interviews take place.
  • By mid-March 2024: ODL interview outcomes will be announced.
  • March – July 2024: Support provided through admissions processes.
  • September 2024: Academic program 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 Scholars 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:


Selection Process

The selection process for this scholarship is based on several criteria:

  • Academic merit qualifying for admission to the University of Edinburgh.
  • A track record of transformative leadership and community service.
  • Quality of the application, aligned with the theme of climate justice.
  • Potential impact on the development of the applicant’s home country.
  • Overcoming significant barriers to education.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The application process can be complex, and applicants may have numerous questions. Here are some common queries and their answers:

  • Should I apply for the scholarship or admission to the degree first?
    • If the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is the only scholarship you’re interested in at the University of Edinburgh, apply for the scholarship first. If you receive a scholarship offer, you can then apply for the academic program. If you’re applying for multiple scholarships, you may need to apply for the degree program as well.
  • Where do I apply for the Mastercard Foundation scholarship?
    • The application link will be available on the University of Edinburgh’s website.
  • What postgraduate degrees are covered by this scholarship?
    • The scholarship covers various online and on-campus postgraduate programs.
  • Can I apply for a degree program that differs from my bachelor’s field?
    • Yes, it’s possible to apply for programs that vary from your bachelor’s field. Ensure your application demonstrates a genuine interest in the program and how it aligns with your goals.
  • Do I need to identify as a specific group to qualify for the scholarship?
    • Applicants don’t need to identify as a specific group, but the scholarship welcomes applications from diverse backgrounds to encourage inclusivity.
  • How is disability defined?
    • Disability is defined as long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments that may hinder full and effective participation in society.
  • What happens if I don’t meet all the criteria?
    • All eligibility criteria must be met; there are no exemptions.
  • What documents are needed to apply for this scholarship?
    • For postgraduate entry, you’ll need your final official university degree certificate and final official transcript.
  • Is an English language test required?
    • An English language test is not required for the scholarship, but it may be necessary for the university’s admission process, depending on your undergraduate studies.
  • Is the support and program available in languages other than English?
    • The program and support are provided only in English.
  • What happens if I experience technical difficulties during the interview?
    • Adequate preparations are essential, but in case of technical difficulties, rescheduling may be an option.
  • When will I hear back about the result of my interview?
    • Successful candidates will receive conditional offers by the end of February for on-campus applicants and early March for online applicants.


The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Edinburgh is not just a scholarship; it’s an opportunity for transformation and growth. It empowers students from Africa to access quality education and develop the leadership skills needed to address global challenges, particularly those related to climate change. The University of Edinburgh’s online Master’s programs and postgraduate diplomas offer a diverse range of opportunities, ensuring that scholars can pursue their passions and make a meaningful impact in their home countries.

If you’re a motivated, academically strong student who has faced barriers to education, especially if you’re passionate about addressing climate change, this scholarship could be your gateway to a brighter future. Apply for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Edinburgh and embark on your journey to becoming a transformative leader. For more information and to begin your application, visit the University of Edinburgh’s official website.

For more information visit:

Disclaimer: Application deadlines, eligibility criteria, and other details may change, so it’s essential to verify information on the University of Edinburgh’s official website.