Applications for the January 2021 intake are now closed.

Application will reopen early 2021 for the September 2021 intake.

What is the OCB vision for LEAP?

The goal of LEAP is to ensure we develop a talented workforce and future leadership that reflects the great diversity of the organization. We want to ensure all our staff have access to world-leading universities, particularly those who otherwise would not have the means to pursue this level of education outside of MSF.

When selecting for the LEAP, OCB will consider a person’s capacity for strategic vision, innovation and critical reflection. We look to complement operational humanitarian experience with academic expertise in both medical and non-medical subject areas.

Who is it for?

LEAP is here to support MSF’s current and potential leaders, with an emphasis on ensuring the program is accessible to those who would otherwise not have the means to pursue a postgraduate level qualification.

For OCB, we have based our selection criteria on the following:

  • Majority of students must originate from countries where OCB have operations

  • All students must have at least 12 months’ prior MSF field experience

  • A diversity of candidates will be strongly endorsed

  • Staff should be in the field or in an active pool

The Universities’ standard entry requirement is an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree (2:1) or international equivalent, and a proven C1 level of English Language.

If you have developed your skills through professional experience in the humanitarian sector, you will also be considered, even if you do not have a university degree.

Your application should emphasize the relevant aspects of your professional experience and demonstrate your ability to produce written work.

We particularly encourage applications from those who have, as a minimum, some management experience within their role, and/or those who are technical specialists. This includes, but is not limited to: non-medical coordinators and deputies/assistants, supervisors, activity managers and medical profiles who have interest to become a generalist management profile (fieldco, hom ...).

How will we prioritize applicants?

Candidates will be selected based on their potential, motivation and relevant experience, as reflected in their applications. These will be assessed by a selection committee of MSF representatives mid-September 2020. There will be a limited number of places each session: 5 places are available in January 2021. There will be an emphasis on ensuring the programme is accessible to those who would otherwise not have the means to pursue a postgraduate level qualification.

Course Delivery and Study Pathway

LEAP courses are usually delivered through a blended learning programme, which combines face-to-face and online teaching (including intensive courses taught over 1-2 weeks). The course delivery for the next semesters will be revised according to UK travel guidelines. Please visit the LEAP Website for more information on the course content.

NB: Please note, due to the current pandemic situation the delivery format for the semester starting in January 2021 may be exclusively online, with content delivered through an online learning platform. The universities are closely monitoring the pandemic and will make a definitive decision on this in the coming months.

OCB candidates will be eligible to pursue either the postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma or the full Masters programme.

For candidates interested in studying specific individual modules, please visit the standalone modules webpage for further information.

How to apply?

If you wish to apply for the LEAP programme, please provide:

Please see the first page of the attached application form for more information.

We strongly recommend that you inform your DA, HRDev, HRCo and line manager about your application. If you are shortlisted, they will be informed and if you are successful in your application you will need to agree your study time and modules choices with them to ensure they are feasible for your mission. The more they are on board, the higher the likelihood is you will receive their support!

Applications are currently closed so please do not send in your application as it will not be considered.

There are two phases in the selection process: an internal MSF process and then one at the University of Manchester / Liverpool. If you are selected by MSF, you will be informed and then invited to apply directly to the University of Manchester, who will make the final decision on your application. At this point, will also need to take a certified English test if you not meet the standard English requirements for the programme. Please see further information here.

For further guidance on how to apply, you can watch a recording of the LEAP application webinar which was hosted by the LEAP team in August 2020.

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.


The course fees (university tuition) are covered by a grant from the Transformational Investment Capacity (TIC) for the first three years of the program (2019-2021). Students who start on the course during this time will continue to have their tuition fees supported. Attendance costs for staff (visas, accommodation, travel) will be fully covered by OCB, if/when travel is possible and the face-to-face sessions are started up again. More information can be found on the LEAP FAQ page.

Contact Details

If you would like more information about the OCB conditions for LEAP or about your application, please contact: leap-ocb@brussels.msf.org.

For questions related to the academic content of the LEAP courses and for queries about your specific academic background and eligibility please email: leapmsf@manchester.ac.uk.

For all general queries please email leap@london.msf.org.