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Mastercard Foundation Programme at the University of Cambridge

The prestigious Mastercard Foundation Programme at the University of Cambridge was established in 2022 as a collaboration between the University and the Mastercard Foundation. Over 500 Scholars from the African continent will be enrolled in the programme between 2023 and 2030 to undertake a wide range of Masters courses. Applications for the 2024/2025 academic year are now open!


You can only apply to the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme at the University of Cambridge if;

1. You are a citizen of an African country. You must be ordinarily resident in an African country unless you can demonstrate temporary absence for study or work, with an intention to return to your home country.

2. You are applying to pursue an eligible Master’s course. Prospective Scholars can apply across a wide range of disciplines. The Mastercard Foundation scholars programme provides scholarships for LLM, MAST, MED, MPhil, and MR'ES of up to one year in length.

*The programme does not provide scholarships for CPGS, Master of Accountancy (MACC), Business Administration (MBA), Master of Corporate Law (MCL), Master of Finance (MFIN), MSTS, PGCert, and PG Dip.

Application Process

The Application process commences with an application for admission to the University of Cambridge via the course directory, to be completed by the funding deadline of the course.

The application for funding is imbedded in the course application process.

As part of the application process, prospective scholars will be required to provide a supplementary statement that indicates their personal commitment to contributing to climate-resilient and sustainable futures for Africa.

Selection Criteria

  • Outstanding intellectual ability.

  • A desire and commitment to contribute to climate resilient and sustainable futures for Africa and the world at large.

  • Leadership potential.

Programme Benefits

The Mastercard Foundation Scholar Programme covers the following:

  • The University's composition fee at the appropriate rate

  • A maintenance allowance that takes into consideration yearly inflation

  • Visa application Fee, IHS surcharge and an economy return ticket from the student’s home country to the United Kingdom and back home at the end of their course.

In addition, Scholars will benefit from:

  • A cohort-wide induction programme before the start of the course.

  • Termly Leadership Training, which supports Scholars in thinking about sustainable leadership, and developing collaborative leadership qualities needed to build cross-sector solutions for sustainable development.

  • Support to take up 3-6-month placements in leading Africa-based organizations. This will enable scholars to develop pathways to building impactful careers in Africa.

  • Mastercard Foundation Scholars will be able to join both the Cambridge University Alumni group and the Mastercard Foundation Scholars' alumni group, where they can continue to draw on and contribute to the community of African scholars.


The deadline for submitting applications for funding is the 5th of December 2023 for courses with a 5th of December deadline and 5th of January 2024 for courses with a 5th of January deadline. When making an application, pay close attention to the funding deadline.

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme at the University of Cambridge is designed to provide talented students from under-represented communities in Africa with fully - funded opportunities to complete their Master’s training, grow in transformative leadership, and contribute to climate resilience and sustainability. For more information on this opportunity, click here.


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