University of Cape Town Mastercard Scholarship Postgraduate Applications

University of Cape Town Mastercard Scholarship Postgraduate Applications

Guidelines for postgraduate honours and masters applicants

The Mastercard Foundation has partnered with the University of Cape Town (UCT) to oversee the implementation of financial, academic, social and post-graduation support to awarded candidates under the scholarship titled The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town. The vision of the Program is to transition promising young people from beneficiaries to benefactors, preparing them with the necessary values, knowledge, skills, and leadership to fuel economic and social progress across Africa. The Program targets academically qualified undergraduate and postgraduate candidates who are economically disadvantaged young people with leadership potential from Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Program will provide scholarships to academically talented young Africans to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate studies at UCT. Students enrolled on the Program will receive mentoring, leadership development, academic and life skills support. Academic support will include tutoring, language training, writing circles and guidance counselling.

In 2018 58 opportunities (13 undergraduate, 15 Honours and 30 Masters) are available for students who intend to commence with their first year of registration for full-time undergraduate, Honours and Masters study.

To be eligible to apply for The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town, applicants must meet the stated criteria as recorded in the Terms of Reference and Conditions of Award document for postgraduate Masters applicants.

Application procedure

In order to apply for The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, applicants must first apply to the University of Cape Town for academic study and placement.

Applicants are advised to carefully read through the guidelines below prior to submitting both their academic and scholarship applications. These guidelines complement the general UCT postgraduate guidelines available for download here. Only applicants, who have applied for academic study and placement to UCT, can submit an application for a MasterCard Foundation scholarship.

Applications for postgraduate admission to UCT are open from 01 April 2017 until 30 September 2017 unless otherwise specified for certain courses. Candidates are encouraged to make contact with the relevant department that the academic application will be submitted to.


Step 1: Academic application

In preparing an academic application to UCT, it is essential that applicants refer to various resources for guidance. UCT’s postgraduate prospectus is available for download here and provides information on courses at UCT, how to apply to the University, as well as support structures available for postgraduate students at the University.

Detailed information on course offerings and academic pre-requisites is available on the UCT website in the respective 2017 faculty handbooks.

For any further enquiries on how to apply to UCT please contact the relevant faculty postgraduate / admissions office. Contact details of faculty postgraduate / Admissions Officers can be found in UCT’s postgraduate prospectus.

Step 2: Collate the necessary supporting documents to strengthen your academic application

In addition to academic transcripts, postgraduate applicants may be required to submit additional documents and information with their academic application to UCT. Such documentation must be uploaded with the online application and may vary for certain courses.

Applicants are encouraged to refer to the relevant postgraduate faculty handbook for more information and should ensure that when submitting these documents online, each document is scanned and uploaded as a single document. Documents must be legible and clear.

UCT reserves the right to cancel the application if all the necessary certified hard copies are not submitted on time. Upon arrival and registration at UCT, the successful applicant will be asked to provide original documentation of the certified copies submitted during the application phase.

Step 3: Apply online for academic study and placement

Click here to apply online for academic study and placement at UCT.

Once the application is submitted it cannot be amended by the applicant. In the event that an applicant would like to change the programme choice and biographical information and/or add documentation, only the Admissions Office can facilitate this. Applicants may monitor their application status online here. The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program Office at the University of Cape Town does not process academic applications.

Applications for student accommodation in a UCT residence are managed by UCT Student Housing Admissions and Advocacy Services. Applications for student accommodation must be received by 30 September 2017. The application is part of the online academic application process. Applicants are advised to tick the first box which reads “I apply for catering student accommodation”.

Additional information for international applicants

International applicants who receive an offer of admission to UCT are required to obtain a study visa to enter the Republic of South Africa and for purposes of registering at UCT. To apply for a study visa applicants will need the following:

  • An official passport which must be valid for at least 30 days after the end of the proposed stay in South Africa, otherwise the permit will only be granted for the period of up to 30 days before the expiry date. It should also have at least one unused page left when arriving in South Africa. Passports should not be endorsed or extended;
  • A Department of Home Affairs application form (BI-1738);
  • An official letter from UCT confirming acceptance at the institution for the duration of the course. This is a letter from the relevant faculty offering a place to study.
  • In the event of persons under the age of 21, UCT will appoint guardian’s and proof of consent in liaison with the parents of such applicants;
  • A police clearance certificate (less than 6 months old);
  • A medical and radiological reports (less than 6 months old);
  • A relevant certificate if married, widowed, divorced or separated;
  • A yellow fever vaccination certificate if travelling from or through yellow fever endemic area;
  • Proof of medical cover (which will be arranged by The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program staff members at UCT for successful applicants);
  • Proof of accommodation (which will be arranged by The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program staff members at UCT for successful scholarship applicants);
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover tuition fees, maintenance and incidental costs (this will be confirmed in the letter of award to successful scholarship applicants).

The onus is on visa applicants to check with the South African embassy or High Commission that these are the only requirements for the application as the relevant authorities have the discretion to ask for additional documents. For more information on the South African High Commission or embassy located nearest to you please visit the Department of International Relations and Cooperation website. Accepted international scholars must ensure that a study visa – valid for studies at UCT – is issued prior to departure for South Africa. International applicants will not be permitted to pre-register or register at UCT without a visa valid for studies at UCT.

Step 4: Await the outcome of your academic application

Part 2

Step 1: Access and complete the application documentation

To apply for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program you need to access the following documents:

Carefully refer to the Terms of Reference and Conditions of Award document for postgraduate Honours and Masters applicants attached to this pack, prior to completing the postgraduate scholarship application form.

If you have any problems or questions you can contact:
The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program: Recruitment and Peer Mentor Officer
tel: 0027 21 650 5923 / 3601 / 5923

Applicants are advised to work closely with The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program: Recruitment and Peer Mentor Officer whilst preparing and submitting an application for a MasterCard Foundation scholarship.

Step 2: Join the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program site on Vula 

Visit UCT’s student portal: Vula and use your unique UCT applicant number (e.g. SSSXXX002) and password to log in to the UCT Login option.

Vula Login Screenshot

  • Once logged in click on the ‘Membership’ button image to the left of the screen.
  • Click on the ‘Joinable Sites’ button image and search for ‘Apply to be a MCF Scholar’. Select ‘Join site’ to become a site participant.
    Vula Joinable sites
  • Only site participants can submit an application for a MasterCard Foundation scholarship.
PLEASE NOTE:If applicants are unable to join The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program site on Vula, please email your COMPLETE scholarship application including ALL supporting documentations to the Program Co-ordinator at no later than 31 AUGUST 2017.
Please do not send your scholarship application and attachments in separate e-mails. All your documents must be sent in one e-mail to enable the Program Unit to capture your application details.
Please title your e-mail subject line as MCF Scholarship Application 2017.

Step 3: Upload the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship application form

  • Once you have completed the application and academic referee form log in to the Vula online scholarship application platform, a folder with the applicant’s student number will appear below ‘Dropbox’ on the left-hand-side of your screen.
    Vula Dropbox screenshot
  • Click ‘Upload Files’ and upload the complete scholarship application and supporting documentation to the ‘Dropbox’ section.
  • Once the scholarship application is uploaded it can be amended by the applicant prior to the official scholarship closing date.
  • Only applications for a MasterCard Foundation scholarship uploaded onto Vula will be considered.

Please ensure that all application forms and supporting documentation are clearly legible. Fill out as much detail as possible and provide supporting documents as requested in the scholarship application form to substantiate your application. Do not hesitate to contact the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program: Recruitment and Peer Mentor Officer or the Program Co-ordinator should you have queries or require any assistance to complete the scholarship application form at (telephone number +27 (0)21 650 5923 / 3601 / 5095).

The scholarship application should reach us no later than 31 AUGUST 2017.

The University of Cape Town and The MasterCard Foundation reserve the right to cancel incomplete and/or late applications, to effect changes to the conditions of the scholarships or to make no awards at all.

We would like to wish all applicants success with their application. Let the leadership opportunity begin!