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Mastering the Masters Scholarship Application

Mastering your Masters Scholarship ApplicationIt’s that time of year when you have finished your final exams, it was the last year of your degree and you are wondering what to do next.  Someone whispers in your ear
“what about postgraduate study?” and you are thinking “mmm maybe a masters is for me but how can I support further study?”.  Well, a scholarship might be an option.  What follows is a 101 for applying for an Otago University Master’s scholarship.

Step one:  How do I apply?

First visit the Scholarship Applynow webpage.  This page lists the University of Otago scholarships you can apply for at Masters level, the regulations and most importantly the application form.

So go ahead and have a read, use categorised list of Otago Master’s degrees to work out what scholarship you can apply for. I will wait…… Sorted? Brilliant.

An important thing to note is that at the moment you cannot apply for scholarship funding via eVision.  There is no super cool tick box scenario here (but it is coming in 2015).

Either save an electronic copy of the application and enter your details or go old school and print off the application and complete it by hand, then scan it as a PDF.

If you do choose the second option, please use your best handwriting as we have to load your application into our database and life is so much easier if we don’t have to guess what you are writing! (Academy award winning writer and producer Aaron Sorkin wants to do an MSc in Pottery??? Oh no, some random dude called Darren Walken wants to do an MSc in Botany!)

Step two:  When do I apply?

A brilliant question and one we get often.  You can apply any time.  The Graduate Research School is all about flexibility; we don’t have a closing date which means if you want to have leisurely summer by the beach before you start your masterpiece, you can.

When you are ready to apply, submit your scholarship application as part of your admission application (yes this bit is via eVision).  There is no section which says “load your scholarship here,”  you simply load it as an additional document.

What happens if I have already applied for admission and I did not submit my scholarship application I hear you cry (sob sob)? Dry those tears my dear and don’t panic.  You can still apply.

If you are a coursework masters scholarship applicant as long as you have not started your course you can still apply (if you have started, unfortunately you are out of luck but check out BreakOut for options for external funding).  Research Masters students can apply after they have started their masters (we only offer funding for the first 12 months of your degree, so it’s no go if you are in month 13 of your study).  To apply after admission, complete your application and forward it on to your department and they will do the rest.

Step three:  When do I know if I have a scholarship or not?

We will process scholarship as soon as we receive and put it forward to a monthly meeting where it will be assessed.  We will notify you once the meeting has been held as quickly as we can and we will most likely notify you by email.

Sooo… if we get your application by the end of November we will assess your application before Christmas, applications received before Christmas will be assessed early Jan and you could be rolling in cash by February.

Step four:  Is there anything else I should know?


  • Our current round of scholarships can start from 1 Jan 2015 (or there after).
  • Aim to start at the beginning of a month.  We make our payments month by month and it doesn’t matter what date you start within in the month you will use a month’s funding (try saying that one in a hurry).
  • Scholarship offers are valid for at least six months from when the offer is made.  So if you want to know before you go on your beach holiday if you have a scholarship, you can.
  • We offer 60 Research Masters Scholarships and around 20 Coursework Scholarships which means that these scholarships are super competitive i.e. we need to see good grades (like A grades).

Hopefully this helps in your quest to finding funding to help support yourself as you begin your postgrad life.  Don’t forget BreakOut  is another place to hunt out scholarship funding.  Any more questions just drop us an email (

Mel Adams, Graduate Research School

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