Applications are now closed. 

They will reopen in Spring 2025.

What is the OCA vision for LEAP?

MSF OCA wants to develop talented and well-rounded future leaders. When selecting for the LEAP, OCA will consider a person’s capacity for strategic vision, innovation and critical reflection. We want to know your own leadership vision and how LEAP would contribute to your career aspirations. We look to complement operational humanitarian experience with academic expertise in both medical and non-medical subject areas.  

We want to empower MSF OCA staff to learn, innovate, share, and stay curious, as it is crucial to fulfill our mission and to best serve the people and communities we work with. We want to ensure that there is equitable, needs-based access to development opportunities for all our staff with leadership and management potential, with a strong focus on those who have benefited least historically.

Who is it for?

Almost all staff who have worked for a minimum of 24 months with MSF are eligible:

Note: If you do not have an undergraduate degree but have developed your skills through your professional experience in the humanitarian sector, you will also be considered.  (However, please note, admission without an undergraduate degree is ultimately at the university's discretion.) 

We particularly encourage applications from staff with some management experience within their role, and/or those who are technical specialists. This includes - but is not limited to: 

The final selection will be representative of MSF’s global workforce and will ensure that there are, as a minimum, equal places for locally recruited and international staff.

We also particularly encourage female applicants to apply.

Candidates will have to prove a minimum level of C1 English. Please read the English language requirements document carefully for further information.

The LEAP Programme represents a significant investment on the part of MSF into its staff and is intended to help staff develop into strong humanitarian leaders. This programme is offered in good faith that the graduates will remain with MSF for some time after graduation. As such, please refrain from applying if you are aware that your contract with MSF is coming to an end and you are unlikely to return to MSF employment in the near future.

Course delivery and study pathway 

Since 2022, LEAP has returned to delivering courses in a blended format which means a combination of face-to-face and online teaching (including intensive courses taught over 1-2 weeks). 

Please note, that this remains subject to change depending on the e.g. the COVID-19 pandemic situation (including travel and local restrictions in the UK) at the time of teaching. 

Please visit the LEAP Website for more information  on the course content.

OCA applicants are eligible to apply for the Postgraduate Certificate programme only. Once you’ve almost finalised your PG Cert, you’ll be able to apply for a continuation on the Masters programme. 

If you are interested in short standalone modules, please visit the dedicated webpage for further information on how to apply.

Information for those managing LEAP students:

If you are an HRCo or line manager responsible for the management of LEAP students, please see the HR Information page for further information on the expected study time/commitment for LEAP students and what resources the mission/ HQ will need to provide.


Important: If the applicant is successful, the mission and LEAP student will need to adhere to the OCA Conditions and Student Commitment Guidance Document. This form is an agreement between the student, mission, and their OC on the study conditions, and responsibilities of managers and students.


If you have further questions, please contact the OCA L&D department: LEAP-OCA@amsterdam.msf.org

How will we prioritise applicants?

Applications will be assessed by a selection committee of MSF representatives. Candidates will be selected based on their potential, motivation, and relevant experience, as reflected in their application. 

Please be aware that the LEAP programme has become a competitive programme over the years, and we only have 8 seats across both intakes (September and January).

English Language Information

It is essential that your English language level is at a C1 minimum to take the LEAP.

You can take an online E F SET test, free-of-charge, to give you an idea of your level. 

The results of this test will be required for your application.

For a full guide on the English language test equivalents, please see this document.

How can you apply?

There are three parts to the application process.

Part 1: Carefully read the Application Instructions document here: [LINK] 

Part 2: Fill out the online application form: [LINK] 

Part 3: Email your supporting documents (mini essay, motivation voice note audio recording, CV, EF SET English test) to leap-oca@amsterdam.msf.org 

If you are accepted by MSF, you will then have to apply directly to the University of Manchester, who will make the final decision on your application. Successful applicants will be instructed on how to apply to the University of Manchester. You will be informed on the outcome of your application to OCA by mid/end May 2024.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

Please, kindly also read the OCA Conditions and Student Commitment Guidance Document attached, to be aware of the commitment required. This form will have to be signed if your application is validated.


OCA HQ will cover all *attendance costs for LEAP students. 

*Attendance costs we will cover: flights, accommodation in the UK, per diems, visa fees (if applicable) and English language tests (if applicable). 

Contact details

For questions about your application please email the L&D Officers: LEAP-OCA@amsterdam.msf.org

For questions about academic content, or your eligibility, please contact the University of Manchester: leapmsf@manchester.ac.uk 

Please remember that LEAP is open to all staff with leadership potential! To make sure this message reaches all our staff, please distribute this message widely amongst your team members and colleagues. We have also launched a LEAP page on our L&D portal on SharePoint where you can find more information. 


We are looking forward to receiving your application!