Key information

  • Deadline for applications
    Sunday 30 April 2023
  • Value
    $20,000 (USD)
  • Study Level
  • Study Mode

About this opportunity

This special scholarship is named in honour of AFL-CIO President Emeritus John J. Sweeney, the son of Irish immigrants, who dedicated his life to advancing the well-being of working people, making outstanding contributions to working people both in the US and internationally which will live on for years to come.


The John J Sweeney Scholarship has a value of $20,000 and that is used towards the Scholar’s tuition fees for an MA or MSc at Ulster University.

This scholarship is generously supported by funds raised by the AFL-CIO, the American Labor community, business and civic organisations, and individuals.

*Any balance remaining may be used to purchase study materials/equipment, support course-related activities and/or in support of the Scholar’s living expenses and travel costs.

The John J Sweeney Scholarship supports US students enrolled to study full-time on the following MSc or MA at Ulster University:

  • MSc Peace and Conflict Studies
  • MSc Social Policy
  • LLM Human Rights Law and Transitional Justice
  • LLM Gender, Conflict and Human Rights
  • LLM Access to Justice
  • MSc Construction Management
  • MSc Management and Corporate Governance
  • MSc Manufacturing Management
  • MSc Business Development and Innovation

Eligibility criteria

The Scholarship will be open to all US citizens who:

  • Have been offered a full-time place on one of the above MSc or MA and have made a firm commitment to Ulster University during the admissions phase;
  • Are a US union member; or;
  • Have a familial connection to a US union member (mother, father, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent); or;
  • Can provide a reference letter from a union sponsor.

How to apply

  • Candidates must apply via the online application form
  • Applicants must ensure that all sections of the application form are completed with all additional requirements attached to the application.

These include:

  • Scanned copy of original degree certificate demonstrating achievement of GPA of 2.8 or above
  • Where applicable, reference letter from a US Union sponsor
  • 500 - 750 word personal statement
  • Two academic reference letters
  • A scanned copy of their US passport

Full details are included on the form


Applications for September 2023 will open in October 2022 and will close on 30 April 2023.

Please contact Jonny at should you have any questions.

You can also book and one-to-one meeting with Jonny here.

Student Residency

Students from the following locations are eligible to apply for the scholarship.

  • International
  • USA

Eligible Campus Locations

Students studying at the following campuses are eligible to apply for the scholarship.

  • Belfast
  • Coleraine
  • Magee

Related scholarships

Liam Kelly Scholarship in Law

Established in memory of Ulster University alumnus Liam Kelly (LLB), the Liam Kelly Scholarship in Law is available to students enrolled on both undergraduate and postgraduate Law courses at the University.

  • Study level: Undergraduate, Postgraduate
  • Type: Externally Funded
  • Campus: Belfast, Jordanstown, Coleraine, Magee