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Masters Funding

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Masters Programme Funding Opportunities

The master's degree at UJ focuses on equipping students with a broader understanding of their field of study at an advanced level. The heightened learning environment of UJ helps master's students explore their topic of interest within groupings of like-minded individuals and provides for an intellectually rewarding experience. UJ master's graduates are able to handle complex issues, make critical decisions based on logical data and communicate effectively to diverse audiences.

The Postgraduate School (PGS) provides support to the University of Johannesburg's master's students. This is done through the Postgraduate Funding Management (PFM) area. PFM is responsible for communicating the various postgraduate funding options made available at UJ for master's level of study.

Master's students are funded from internal and external funds in order for them to successfully complete their qualifications. Scholarships that are offered under internal funding are categorized as Global Excellence Stature with the research focus on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), and URC funds. URC funds have various sub-categories and are listed as URC International, Supervisor-Linked (SLB) bursaries and Special URC. SLB bursaries are available for both the part-time and full-time students. 

PFM has embarked on reaching our success plan by increasing number of postgraduate students. Funding for master's students are crucial to the university's goals, hence external funders are assisting the university in reaching these goals. External funders are National Research Foundation (NRF), Department of Science and Innovation and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (DSI-CSIR), Duke CE, Mandela Rhodes Foundation, Nedbank, Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth and various Sector of Education and Training Authority (SETA) organisations. Students can only apply when the call for these scholarships is out.

Click here to view the Postgraduate Funding Opportunities PDF document



Closing Date: 23 February 2021

The Food and Beverage Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority (FoodBev SETA) invites recognised public universities of South Africa to apply for Postgraduate Research and Innovation Bursary Programme for students studying towards their Doctorate (PhD) and Master’s degrees for the 2021 academic year. 


The FoodBev SETA has developed the Research Bursary Programme in response to the research and development needs of the food and beverages manufacturing sector. Research and development contribute to the body of knowledge and adds on the sectoral research innovation capacity. In addition, the programme also contributes towards the skills needed (i.e. researchers) to produce research that is relevant and has a positive impact on the sector, whilst at the same time advancing the FoodBev SETA research agenda. Therefore, students with approved research proposals (PhD) and with research topics relevant and responsive to the food and beverages Manufacturing value chain are encouraged to apply for this research grant.

Click here to view the advert

Click here to view the application form

Please send applications forms directly to Dudu Mbatha 


Opportunity for 2022 bursaries and post-doctoral fellowships

Closing date: Friday 26 February 2021

Each year the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development awards bursaries to high-performing Master's and Doctoral students and Post-doctoral fellows who wish to do research that falls into one of the CoE's four thematic or cross-cutting areas:

  • Master's students are funded for two years at R70 000 a year
  • Doctoral students are funded for three years at R100 000 a year
  • Post-Doctoral Fellows are funded for three years at R200 000 a year

Applications may be made by students directly or by supervisors on behalf of students. The grant and bursary rules can be found here.

Download the form HERE and submit with the required documentation to by no later than Friday 26 February 2021.



Life-course development, which covers the development of individuals from conception to death. Under this category are included multi-disciplinary studies of child, adolescent and adult development.

Inter-generational development, which covers the life cycle from one generation to another. Studies of families and inter-generational influences are included in this category.

Socioeconomic development, which covers the attainment of improved living conditions, both material and non-material through, amongst others, health, education, social security, food security and decent employment.

Transformational development, which covers aspirations and values that influence and are influenced by, amongst others, individual and group identity.

Successful applicants and their supervisors sign performance agreements with the CoE, with the following obligations:

  • That Master's students must fulfil the requirements for their degree within two years and have at least one co-authored paper in a peer-reviewed journal accepted for publication;
  • That Doctoral students must fulfil the requirements for their degrees within three years and have at least two first-authored papers accepted for publication or published;
  • That Post-Doctoral Fellows must have at least two first- or co-authored papers accepted for publication, in press or published in each year of the three-year fellowship.


Education for Sustainable Energy Development (ESED) scholarships 

Closing date: 8 March 2021

These scholarships are awarded to full-time master's students from developing countries studying in fields of zero-carbon energy, smart grids, electric transportation, energy storage, advanced electricity technologies, public policy, economics, law, political science, or other relevant fields. The award of up to $21,000 US per year (for up to two years) is tenable at any university in the world. The deadline to submit an application is March 8, 2021. 

Since last year, GSEP is allocating a share of its scholarships to students pursuing master's studies in universities based in developing countries with the aim of supporting developing countries in building local expertise.

Detailed instructions on how to apply are available on their website: 

The Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) is a unique CEO-led alliance of leading global electricity companies promoting electrification and sustainable energy development. It has awarded 135 scholarships to students from 37 countries since the inception of the program in 2001.


FirstRand international postgraduate scholarships

Opening 16 December 2020 - Closing 4 March 2021

FirstRand is inviting UJ students to apply for international postgraduate scholarships. The call for applications will open on the 16th of December 2020 and will close on the 4th of March 2021. Please refer to the 2021 FirstRand scholarships alumni brochure for more details.

In summary: 

FirstRand international postgraduate scholarships

There are five scholarships available to South African citizens, all of which are for international postgraduate study. These are:

  1. FirstRand Laurie Dippenaar scholarship;
  2. FirstRand Foundation scholarship;
  3. FirstRand Oxford African Studies scholarship to the University of Oxford;
  4. FirstRand FNB Fund Oxford education scholarship; and
  5. FirstRand FNB Fund scholarship for international postgraduate study in education.

Applications, including all attachments and reference letters, must be completed online and applicants must have applied directly to the university of their choice by the time the application is submitted. The decisions of the adjudication panels are final and correspondence regarding their decision will not be entered into. The panels reserve the right not to make an award.


The successful candidates will have excelled academically in their chosen field and will have been able to demonstrate:

  • leadership qualities;
  • strength of character;
  • community involvement; and
  • the potential to be a destiny changer in his or her chosen field.

Candidates who are currently, or have been studying overseas, will not be considered for this scholarship.

Successful candidates are required to return to South Africa for at least five years after completing their studies.


  • Confirmation of each received application will be emailed to the applicant upon receipt of his or her application. 
  • All applications are evaluated by at least three preliminary evaluators from FirstRand, FNB, RMB, TSI, and previous winners of the scholarship. A long list of around 40 applicants is then drawn up and interviewed in person, Covid-19 allowing, in Cape Town or Sandton or electronically on Microsoft Teams.
  • Four shortlisted candidates are selected for the two education scholarships and should be available for final interviews held in Sandton on 14 May 2021. 
  • Ten shortlisted candidates are selected for the FirstRand Laurie Dippenaar and FirstRand Foundation international postgraduate scholarships and the FirstRand Oxford African Studies scholarship and should be available for final interviews held in Sandton on Tuesday 18 May 2021.
  • A final announcement will be made before the end of May 2021.

There is a series of informative videos avalable on youtube regarding these scholarships. Please see the link below


Email queries can be sent for attention Beth van Heerden at


DAAD In-Country/In-Region Scholarship Programme – information sessions

The DAAD awards funding to Sub-Saharan African students for full-time Master or PhD degrees in their home country or in another Sub-Saharan African country as part of its In-Country/In-Region Scholarship Programme. The programme promotes the mobility of researchers between Sub-Saharan African countries and capacity building at Sub-Saharan African universities.

Master and PhD scholarships in this programme are awarded for preselected degree programmes in development-related and SDG-oriented fields at preselected Sub-Saharan African institutions. Scholarships are awarded to Sub-Saharan African students for study and research in their home country (In-Country) or in another Sub-Saharan African country (In-Region).

DAAD is hosting information sessions about these Scholarships

Click here for more details

Click here to visit the registration page