How To Write A Cover Letter For A Graduate Studies Scholarship Application

Motivation letters are the key that opens the way to your dream university abroad. A well written and persuasive motivation letter, also known as a statement of purpose can perfectly represent who you are, present you as an ambitious individual and even tip the scales in your favour when you don’t perfectly meet the exact application requirements for your chosen Master’s course. Here are some great tips on how to write a great motivation letter for your Master’s degree and an equally interesting look at how to craft the perfect statement of purpose.

To help you in your creative process, read the following motivation letter from a student in Australia applying for a Master in International Information Systems offered by a university in Germany.

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Motivation letter for Master in International Information Systems

Dear Madam or Sir,

With this letter, I am applying for a position in the Masters of International Information Systems programme, offered at [university name]. With my current experience as a Pharmaceutical Market Research professional, I wish to expand my technical knowledge of information systems and turn my focus towards their wide-scale applications in hospitals and pharmacies as a Clinical Workflow Consultant. By reading the course curriculum available online, I have found that the subject material covered will best suit my career goals. Lastly, the prospect of participating in a mandatory exchange program is an excellent way to observe divergent information systems, as well as build upon my cultural cognisance.

By trade, I specialise in Pharmaceutical Market Research and provide decision support solutions to large pharmaceutical companies. As part of my role I liaise with clients regarding their marketing and management objectives, create and update surveys to capture consumer behaviour, assist with technical data quality management, code complex responses and in turn, produce insightful reports. Additionally, as it is a small company, my role often demands that I gather primary data from academic papers, adapting content and converting them into real market practices. During this role, I undertook and completed a Graduate Diploma in Applied Statistics. The purpose of which was to better my understanding of clinical trials, improve in survey design, and to learn how to program and store statistical data sets. My responsibility, diligence and management aptitude were integral to the role, however, it was clear that my progress was decelerated by my lack of technical, information systems-related, training.

The customised introduction to International Information systems addresses the next step in my professional development. The Australian health care system is changing from a paper-based recording system to a digital enterprise/network. This remodelling of a national health system implies the need for large investments in hardware and software infrastructure and in people with the right skillset to meet this demand. The combination of subjects such as ‘Advanced Service Management’ and ‘Fundamentals of Enterprise-wide IT Architectures management’ in the Management stream and ‘Data Warehousing’, ‘Knowledge Discover in Databases’ and ‘Process-oriented Information Systems’ in the Informatics path would contribute to my professional ambitions.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from [university name] in Australia. During my degree, I was very active in many facets of university life. I completed a number of internships around my university campus, working for small business owners. This gave me an outlet to apply theoretical knowledge in a practical setting and also sparked my interest in Market Research and Business Consulting. Further to this I remained engaged in university affairs by volunteering for the Student Ambassador program. In this program my duties varied from taking prospective students on tours, introducing and guiding guests of honour, and speaking to schools around Australia regarding scholarship programs. Furthermore, I was highly committed to the development of a hitherto non-existent University Tennis Club. Taking over the tennis committee in my first semester I had plans on developing the club to be a self-sustaining, award-winning, and socially interactive club. Forming a committee of tennis enthusiasts, our club achieved all of the aforementioned goals within the duration of my degree and were awarded numerous accolades, listed in my up-to-date resume. Lastly, with all of the responsibilities at hand, I remained vigilant with my academic performance. I was hence awarded a Deans Honour for high academic merit and, in Industry Management, received the highest grade amongst my peers.

Before moving to Australia I had spent much of my earlier childhood living in the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Having exposure to these experiences at an early age sparked my interest in cultural interactions and how information is shared by means of globalisation. With this upbringing, I became interested in languages and henceforth learnt Spanish in both schools and in my free time. Learning intensively in Spain for a month, I reached an A2 proficiency. Learning about this program some time ago I set aside Spanish and began learning German. As I write this I have reached a B2 level and am capable of communicating effectively. Given the opportunity, however, I would use the mandatory language program to improve on my Spanish and look at potentially studying abroad in Spain or Spanish-speaking Latin American countries.

My ambition to study in Germany stems from a dearth of equivalent professional programs offered in Australia. As mentioned earlier, the future of healthcare in Australia will demand a workforce with a specialised skillset. With this degree I would like to meet this demand and, in the future, be a pioneer in the architecture, management and protection of information systems. Furthermore, Germany’s geographic location and current economic strength attract industry experts from around the world. With the notion of idea-sharing in mind, this would be a perfect ground to establish the next step of my professional career.

With all of my experience listed, I am in search of bringing my career to the next level. The subjects offered in this program are specifically in line with my professional goals. Additionally, the mandatory study abroad semester provides a great grounding in which to further experience divergent cultures and exchange knowledge. I am certain that the knowledge and skills learnt from my professional experience, university, and extracurricular activities would make me a valuable addition to the Masters of International Information Systems program offered at [university name].

Thank you in advance for considering my application,

Regards

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It is very common nowadays that European universities that offer different international Master’s degree programmes ask applicants to send a number of important documents like: CV, transcript of records, Bachelor's degree diploma, language certificate, etc.

Still, one of the key documents required, that might make the difference and assure you a place in your desired Master’s programme, is the motivation letter.

The motivation letter (or cover letter) is probably the most personalised document of your application, considering that you actually get the chance to write a presentation about yourself.

By requiring a motivation letter, the Master's recruiting committee offers you the chance to prove yourself in a short document shaped as a letter in which you are supposed to give some relevant and interesting insights about yourself, and prove that you are the right and most motivated person to be chosen for the programme.

Writing such a letter can prove to be sometimes tricky and challenging for some applicants, who often find themselves wondering how the letter should look like, what it should contain, and how to convince coordinators that they are the right ones to be chosen for the programme.

The internet is packed with different websites that offer tips and tricks on such letters. By simply typing ‘motivation letter’ on any of the consecrated search engines, you will find a vast number of examples of different motivation letters with structural and content details.

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This article will focus on a few key points drawn from personal experiences, that proved effective in my case, and will hopefully be useful in helping you write a good cover letter:

Do your homework!

Before starting on your motivation letter, it is best you find out as much as possible about the university that is offering the Master’s programme and about the programme itself. Usually, the universities' website is pretty clear and informative about its requirements, expectations and about what qualifications and qualities they hope their candidates have.

Knowing a little bit about their requirements, about their main projects, activities, personal philosophy and interests will help you get an idea of what your letter should contain. Relating to the main activities and interests of the university will definitely help start a positive cooperation.

To get the perfect motivation letter, you will also need to have great English writing skills. If you need to improve your English speaking, why not try taking a good English language course abroad?

Ideas and main points

Start with writing down some of the main ideas, important points you would like to approach in your letter and later build around them, then enrich their content. An example would be:

  • Make your goal clear: provide a short preview of the rest of the letter;
  • Why do you think that the university and the Master's programme are interesting and suitable for you?
  • Focus on some of your strongest qualifications, past experiences (international experiences are always relevant) and qualities; organise the middle paragraphs in terms of the qualifications most relevant to the programme to the least, and you can also refer to your CV for more details;
  • Conclude by restating your interest and show appreciation for the chance to prove yourself in the letter (in some cases, you can ask for a personal interview).
  • Try our free study interest test!

    Personal & original

    Give your readers some insight about you, as an individual. Remember this is a very personal document in which you are expected to prove that you are different from the rest of the applicants and that your qualities, skills and qualifications make you suitable for participating in the programme.

    Although it might be sometimes helpful to have other examples, do not copy other letters you have seen and try to be original, as it will help a lot! Also, avoid bragging too much about yourself. You are not expected to present yourself as a superhero, but to be objective and realistic.

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    First impression

    Whether it is the way your letter looks, the way it is organised and structured in paragraphs, the font size, the length of the letter, or even the first paragraph, the first impression always counts!

    Be professional and consistent

    Present your letter in a professional format, style, and grammar. Have it checked for spelling mistakes and be consistent (e.g. use the same font, the same abbreviations throughout the letter, etc.).

    Other opinions and advice

    It is always a good idea to ask your friends, a teacher or someone who has already done such an application for advice. Usually, you can get in touch with students who are already studying the Master's programme you are applying for and they can give good advice.

    However, as we mentioned before, always remember to be original and avoid copying other letters!

    All these key points can prove effective in helping you write a successful motivation letter, but, in the end, your personal touch and knowledge is what matters and makes the difference.

    A good motivation letter will always be successful if the applicant is really interested and willing to get the desired place in the Master's programme of his/her choice. What you really need is to trust yourself and try it. And, if you are not successful the first time, keep on trying, because you will make it!

    So, good luck with your applications!

    Here are a few examples of successful motivation letters:
  • Motivation letter for a Biomedical Engineering degree;
  • Motivation letter for a Tourism and Entrepreneurship degree;
  • Motivation letter for a Computer Science degree;
  • Motivation letter for an Information Systems degree;
  • Motivation letter for an Advanced Optical Technology degree;
  • Motivation letter for an International MBA;
  • Motivation letter for a Food Safety degree;
  • Motivation letter for a History and Oriental Studies degree;
  • Motivation letter for a Political Science degree.
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