School of Social and Political Science

The Catto Combined MSc and PhD Scholarships, Centre of African Studies


Applications close at 12: Noon GMT, March 30th, 2021.

The Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh is pleased to announce the availability of a maximum of 2 full scholarships for suitable applicants to study for an MSc in Africa and International Development and subsequent PhD in African Studies. Successful applicants will start their studies in September 2021.

These Scholarships were made possible through generous funding from the Stephen Gordon Catto Charitable Trust. The funds will cover full tuition fees as well as a monthly maintenance stipend throughout the one-year MSc and subsequent three years of PhD study.

The MSc stipend is £12,279 (pro-rata for part-time study) and the annual PhD stipend is at the UKRI rate of £15,500 (pro-rata for part-time study).

These scholarships have been designed as a combined package in order to enable those who may not feel they have sufficient research experience to embark on a PhD to get that grounding with an MSc. The MSc year helps build a bridge between undergraduate studies and the PhD. We hope the combined package of support encourages some who may not have thought a PhD was in reach to re-consider. A key goal of the scholarships is to diversify the scholars from the African continent who contribute original and important research to African Studies.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  1. have received an excellent undergraduate degree (minimum of a high 2.1) in the social sciences from an accredited university in Africa (a Masters degree achieved with distinction will be an advantage).
  2. not have previously received a degree from a university outside Africa
  3. demonstrate commitment to studying for a PhD in African Studies
  4. demonstrate leadership potential and intention to maximize the impact of their research.
  5. have received an offer to study for the MSc in Africa and International Development and/or the PhD in African Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

As a key goal of the scholarship is to diversify the scholars from the African continent who contribute original and important research to African Studies, this scholarship is only open to to scholars normally domiciled  in African countries.

Preference will be given to those studying conflict resolution, elections, technology, peace building and/or governance in African contexts, although the selection panel may consider other areas in the field of politics and international development.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that they can meet the English Language requirements of the University of Edinburgh: English Language Requirements.

How to Apply

If you are interested and meet all of the above, please send:

  1. A summary of your research proposal (maximum 2 pages)
  2. A cover letter indicating your motivations, leadership experience and future plans (maximum 1 page)
  3. An academic CV, clearly showing class of degree and previous educational achievements (maximum 2 pages)
  4. 1 letter of reference

Applications must be submitted in a single pdf document on or before 12: Noon GMT on March 30th, 2021 to

All applications must use the subject line CATTO SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION

Selection process

All applications will be assessed after the closing date and shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an online interview.

Student category