Application Guidance

Postgraduate Application Guidance for 2021 Entry 

Thank you for your interest in applying to the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at The University of Edinburgh. This document will guide you through the full application process. Please ensure you have read thoroughly and understood all of the guidance before starting your application to the Program.

You are eligible to register and start only one application per year, so do ensure you have understood the application process and you are able to answer each section correctly, and to the best of your ability.

Please note that all applicants for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Edinburgh should apply for the scholarship before applying for admission to the University. If you are successful, we will assist you in the process of applying for admission. If you are applying for other scholarships in the University of Edinburgh, please also proceed to apply for admission to the degree of your choice as soon as possible.

You are not required to have proof of English language at the time of applying. If you are successfully awarded a Mastercard Foundation Scholarship, we will support you with your English language requirements if you have not already taken a test which meets our entry requirements. If you do have a valid English Language Certificate at the time of applying, please share this with us when made a scholarship offer.

All applications must be submitted by 14:00 UK time on Friday 30 October 2020. You should start your application as early as possible as it may take up to 3 working days for your eligibility to be assessed by the MCF team before you can complete the full application. Late applications will not be accepted.

 
The Application Process - An Overview

The application is made up of two stages, each with each own tasks. 


Stage 1.     Eligibility Assessment

    Task 1.  Postgraduate Application Declaration

    Task 2. Postgraduate Eligibility Assessment 

Please note Task 2 will only appear after you have completed the Declaration above and met the eligibility criteria  - if you do not meet these eligibility criteria as specified in the Declaration form,  you will not be able to continue any further with this application. 

Please note once you click 'Mark as Complete' for a task, you will no longer be able to edit your responses.

Once you have completed in the Eligibility Assessment, you will be given the chance to Review your answers and Submit. 

Upon submitting the Eligibility Assessment, there are 3 different outcomes you may be given:

Outcome 1: Not eligible to apply for this scholarship. 

Outcome 2: The Main Application stage will become available for you (see more on this below)

Outcome 3: Eligibility Assessment pending. In this case, we will have been unable to verify your eligibility automatically and a member of the team will assess your eligibility and get back to you in the next 2-3 working days. 

Please note that you have to click on the word SUBMIT and confirm you are happy to submit in order to get one of these outcomes.

If none of these three outcomes show and you are still in the Eligibility Assessment Status after clicking SUBMIT and confirmed you are happy to submit, please email us immediately at mcfsp@ed.ac.uk, using the email you used to register to the application site.


Stage 2.  Main Application

Task 1. Main Application

Task 2. Upload Supporting Documents 

Task 3. Equal Opportunities Form

Please note once you click 'Mark as Complete' for a task, you will no longer be able to edit your responses.

Once you have completed all 3 tasks, you will be given the chance to Review your answers and Submit. 
 
 
The Application Process - In more detail

 

Stage 1 - Eligibility Assessment 

Task 1 - Applicant declaration  

The declaration will help you to decide if you are eligible to apply for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at The University of Edinburgh. It is important you answer all of the statements truthfully, as later in the application process you will be asked related questions, and to provide supporting documentation.  

- I confirm I have read and understood the minimum entry requirements to the University 
You should read and have understood our Minimum Grade Requirements for postgraduate applications. If you are unable to find the qualification you have achieved, please choose ‘Yes’ and proceed with your application. You will be asked for further detail and proof of your qualifications later in the application process for us to assess.

- I confirm I graduated from my undergraduate studies by September 2020 or in previous years

You must have graduated from your undergraduate degree before applying for this scholarship. Applicants due to graduate after September 2020 are not eligible to apply. 


- I confirm I am a citizen of a Sub-Saharan African country and normally reside there (except for periods of time I am out of the country for educational purposes or other exceptional circumstances included in the application Guidance)

You must be both a resident and a citizen of a Sub-Saharan African country. If you are currently residing in a non-Sub-Saharan African country for education purposes or you have been displaced and sought refuge, you are still eligible to apply. If you currently reside in a non Sub-Saharan African country for any other reason, you are not be eligible for this scholarship.


- I confirm I have not completed a postgraduate Master’s (or equivalent) degree previously and am not due to complete one before September 2021

The scholarship looks to support people who haven’t yet had the chance to study for a postgraduate degree. If you have already studied at this level, you may not be eligible to apply for this scholarship.

- I confirm that I would not be able to continue to postgraduate study without receiving financial support from this scholarship
The scholarship looks to support people who would benefit most and wouldn’t have the opportunity to study at university without support. If you are financially able to take up postgraduate education without financial support you may not be eligible to apply for this scholarship.

- I confirm I have a track record of leadership and service within my community 
We are looking for individuals who demonstrate a record of leadership and a sense of giving back to their community. You will be asked to write about this in your full application form.

- I confirm I understand that this is a fully funded academic and transformative leadership programme, including opportunities alongside my academic studies 
As well as completing a degree at the University of Edinburgh, you will also be required to take part in a transformative leadership programme, which includes regular catch-ups, two leadership retreats, and a required work-based placement.

I confirm I am applying to start a degree in September 2021 and will not be enrolled at another university at this time or during my studies at the University of Edinburgh
You must have completed your undergraduate studies at the time of applying and be ready to start at the University of Edinburgh in September 2021.

- I confirm that all of the above statements are true to the best of my knowledge and at the time of completing this application 
It is important for you to confirm that all of your answers are true at the time of completing the application. Any incorrect answers may jeopardise your application at a later stage.

Once you have completed the Declaration click ‘Mark as Complete'.

Please note once you click 'Mark as Complete' for a task, you will no longer be able to edit your responses.

 If you have been deemed eligible to move to the next Task, you will be asked to complete Task 2, the Postgraduate Eligibility Assessment. You will find this task under the Postgraduate Applicant Declaration task in the side menu, click on it to begin filling in the Eligibility Assessment form.


2.     Postgraduate Eligibility Assessment
The eligibility assessment provides the team at the University of Edinburgh with some additional information so we can further decide if you meet some key eligibility criteria.  

A.         Personal Details  

Date of birth 
You must enter your date of birth as DD/MM/YYY.

Alternative email address  
In case we are unable to contact you via your primary email address, we may contact you on this alternative email address. This field is optional.  

What is your nationality? 
Enter your nationality/country of citizenship. If you have more than one nationality, please also include these in the fields below.

What is your country of residence?
Enter your country of residence.

B.         Degree Qualification  


Degree title 
You should enter the full title of your undergraduate degree.

University name 
You should enter the full name of the university where you completed or are due to complete your undergraduate degree.

Have you completed your degree? 
Please indicate whether you have completed your undergraduate degree at the time of completing the application form. If you have not completed, you can enter the date you expect to do so.

Date of award
If you have clicked ‘Yes’ for the question above, you should enter the date you completed your undergraduate degree. If you have clicked ‘No’ in the question above, please enter the date you expect to finish. All dates should be entered as DD/MM/YYY.
 
Country where you achieved or are due to achieve your undergraduate qualification 
You should enter the country in which you have completed your undergraduate degree, which is the qualification you need to apply to the University of Edinburgh.

If your country of study is not included in the dropdown list, please choose 'Country not listed' and enter the country in the next field.  
 

Type of qualification 
You should enter the type of qualification you have taken. For example: Bachelors, Maitrice, Licenciado. If you cannot find your type of qualification, click other and provide us with the details.  

Grading scale 
You should enter the scale used to assess your degree qualification. For example: 4-point scale, 5-point scale, A-F, 0 – 100% etc.  

Grades achieved/predicted 
You should enter the grade you have or are predicted to achieve.


D.         Degree choice

Which taught Master's degree would you like to apply for at The University of Edinburgh?
You should choose the degree course you are most interested to study as part of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at The University of Edinburgh. All eligible courses are included in the application form. You may only apply to study one of these eligible courses:

  • MSc Africa and International Development
  • MSc Environment and Development
  • MSc Global Health Policy
  • MA Design for Change 
  • MSc Sustainable Energy Systems
  • MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • MSc Finance, Technology and Policy 
  • MSc Food Security 
  • MSc Design Informatics


Once you have completed the Postgraduate Eligibility Assessment, click ‘Mark as Complete’. 

Please note once you click 'Mark as Complete' for a task, you will no longer be able to edit your responses.

Once you have marked this form as complete, you will be given the chance to Review your answers and Submit. 

You will be asked to confirm if you want to submit. Please note you will not be able to make any edits to this form after you have submitted it.


If you have not been deemed eligible to progress to Stage 2, Main Application, it may be due to the following reasons:

  • You have not demonstrated the academic requirements which would gain you admission to the University of Edinburgh
  • You are not a resident and a citizen of a Sub-Saharan African country, or currently a resident in a non-Sub-Saharan African country for education purposes or because you have been displaced and sought refuge.


Stage 2

Task 1:    Main Application 

Postal Address
Please enter your postal address, or your current residential address.

Contact Telephone Number
Please enter a contact telephone number for you.

UUN (if you have applied to the university e.g. S1812345)
If you have already applied to the University, please let us know your UUN. Disregard this is you have not applied to the University already.

Offer Status (if you have applied to the University)
If you have already applied to the University, please let us know your Offer Status (No reply, C, U, CF, UF). Disregard this is you have not applied to the University already.

Have you been supported by one of these organisations in the past?
If you have been on a programme with one of the organisations listed, please let us know.

Are you the first one in your family to study at a university?
If you are the first in your immediate family to study at university-level, click Yes. If you are not the first in your immediate family to study at university, click No and provide more information about where and when they studied. Please provide as much information here as possible.

Please provide any additional information which supports how you meet the financial need selection criteria of this scholarship
This is an optional question, but allows you to share additional information, not included in the rest of your application, which highlights any barriers to higher education owing to the need for financial assistance.

Have you applied to any other scholarship or financial support for 2021 entry?
Please let us know of other awards or chances of funding that you have applied to and/or are being considered. This does not count against your application, but it may be that we need to ask more details at a later stage of the application process.

Do you currently or have your previously had refugee status?
As the selection criteria suggests, we are keen to award scholarships to applicants who have had their education disrupted due to forced migration i.e. being a refugee. If you have had refugee status, please choose 'yes' and include more information in the box below.

Do you consider yourself to have a disability?
As the selection criteria suggests, we are keen to award scholarships to applicants who have had their education disrupted due to disability. If you consider yourself to have a disability, please choose 'yes' and include more information in the box below.

Please provide a list of the academic documents you will be uploading along with this application in the Upload Documents Task. If unable to upload the final degree certificate and transcript, please state why and when you expect to receive these.

Please make sure you provide clear and adequate information regarding your academic documents as requested in this question. More guidance on what academic documents to upload can be found in the Upload Documents Task itself or further down in this Guidance page.

Your Referee Details
If you are shortlisted for an interview, we will ask this person to provide a reference/letter of recommendation. Your referee has to be someone who has known you for at least a year in an educational or professional capacity, for example a teacher or an employer. It cannot be a family member or a friend. You should ask for their permission before sharing their details with us.

Essay Questions 1-5

You must write a minimum of 50 and a maximum of 250 words for each of the five essay questions.

Once you have completed the Main Application, please click ‘Mark as Complete’. 

Please note once you click 'Mark as Complete' for a task, you will no longer be able to edit your responses.

Task 2.    Upload Supporting Documents


Please upload a copy of your official degree certificate and official, final transcript. 

If you do not have these, please upload any academic documents you may have received post-graduation, ie. statement of results, attestation letters, student transcript or any other.   

If the issuing of your official degree certificate and official final transcript have been delayed due to COVID-19, you should upload evidence from your university to clearly state this is the case and when you expect to receive your documents.

 If you have no academic documents at this stage, please write a letter clearly explaining why and when you expect to receive these and upload this letter in their place.

Please do not upload any other documents, like copies of passports, birth certificates, references, letters of commendation, or any other documents as these will be not included in our review process

Please click on 'Mark as complete' only after you have uploaded all the files you wish to upload.

Task 3.    Equal Opportunities form

The information that you provide on this form will not be used in assessing your application, and it will be separated from your application before your application is reviewed. It will only be accessible by Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program staff at Edinburgh and will not be disclosed to any other staff, except in anonymised format. Any reporting that is done will only be done at a level that does not compromise the anonymity of the data. Please complete the form by ticking the relevant statements. 

Once you have completed the Equal Opportunities form, please click ‘Mark as Complete’. 

Please note once you click 'Mark as Complete' for a task, you will no longer be able to edit your responses.



Once you have completed Tasks 1-3 and you are happy with your responses,  you must click ‘SUBMIT'  to complete the process. You will be asked to confirm you want to submit. Please note you will not be able to make any edits to your submission after you have submitted the application.
 
You will see the message: “Thank you, your application has been submitted and will be reviewed in the coming months.
We will get in touch to let you know if you have been successful by the end of March 2021.
More information on the next steps of the process can be found on our website at https://www.ed.ac.uk/global/mastercard-foundation.”

 
This is the end of the Application process.
 
Thank you for your submission.