Macdonald Scholarship

The Macdonald Scholarship aims to promote advancement and leadership in the Australian architecture profession by offering students an opportunity, through travel, to pursue architectural research, acquire professional experience, build professional relationships and expand their mentoring skills.

Supported by a generous philanthropic gift from the Macdonald Family, The University of Melbourne is proud to offer the Macdonald Scholarship to current Master of Architecture or Master of Architectural Engineering students. The Scholarship will financially facilitate the opportunity for students to undertake work experience outside of Melbourne.


Rod Macdonald (1922 – 2014) was an innovative architect and driving force behind many of the great post-war modern buildings in Melbourne. He graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Melbourne in 1948. The following year, a scholarship changed his outlook on architecture.

In 1949, Rod won the Haddon Architectural Travelling Scholarship, which allowed him to spend some time in London working as an architect. The impact of this scholarship and overseas stay on his entire career and legacy was significant and proved to be an important stepping stone in what was to become a most successful career. Read more about Rod Macdonald’s career here.

The Macdonald Scholarship will provide a new generation of architecture students with the life-changing and the same career-enhancing experience of working in the built environment industry overseas that Rod experienced as a budding architect.


Each student recipient will receive financial funding to contribute to their travel and work experience internship. An awarding committee will decide on the level of financial support allocated to each student recipient, using a level of $5,000 per student as a guide. The funding is not intended to (but may) cover all costs.

As part of the scholarship, the recipient will expand their mentoring and communication skills by actively engaging with their fellow peers at the Faculty, while travelling and / or upon returning. The methods of engagement could include (but are not limited to): presentations in person or via social media, blogs, video recordings, social media, journals, letters, emails, etc.


To be eligible you must:

  • Be a current student enrolled in the Master of Architecture or Master of Architectural Engineering at the University of Melbourne who has either completed an undergraduate degree or major in Architecture, or equivalent, or, if coming from a non-cognate background, have completed the first 100 points of their degree program. The funding must be used before the student graduates and preferably before they have commenced their last 50 points of study.
  • Be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident or holder of a permanent humanitarian visa.

Application process

Submit an online application. A link to the application will be made available closer to the opening date. The application will require students to:

  • Provide a short summary (up to 500 words) explaining why you would like to undertake a work placement or period of formal study outside of Melbourne, including overseas.
  • Supply a list of firms or institutes they would like to contact (or have contacted) where they might undertake their work placement or study opportunity. The list should include why they have chosen the specific firm/s or institution and what they hope to achieve from the experience.
  • Supply an expected budget of the time overseas, including: travel, housing, food and other costs.
  • Describe how they will inform their fellow peers at the Faculty of their experience or time overseas.
  • Attach a copy of their current academic transcript
  • Provide evidence of citizenship

Please ensure you have the above information  available before you commence your application.

Applications open  1 October 2022.

Applications close 28 October 2022.

Selection process

The awarding committee will take into account the location, including travel expenses and living costs, when awarding the fund. The length of the proposed placement will also be taken into consideration, with longer placements offering a significant experience being favoured.

The committee will use the summary and the selected firm to advise their awarding of the scholarship, plus the student’s ideas for engaging with peers and prospective students during and following their placement.

Successful candidates will be selected based on a combination of their academic merit, their short written task and an interview.

Applicants from disadvantaged financial backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Suggested internship opportunities

All applicants are encouraged to identify and contact their preferred firms for internship opportunities. Below are some suggested firms that have previously expressed interest in hosting University of Melbourne students.

Additional conditions

  • The Faculty reserves the right to retain payment of this scholarship until a suitable applicant is agreed upon.
  • The Faculty reserves the right to recover the scholarship funds from the recipient if they graduate before using the funds in accordance with the scholarship purpose, if 24 months have passed since the awarding of the scholarship, or if the student is unable to participate in the work placement or study opportunity.


If you have any questions or need more information please contact