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I am applying to a Master's degree in Finland. Last year I applied to the same programme and unfortunately I was not accepted.

While I am writing my motivation letter I wonder if it would be a good idea to mention that I was not accepted last year but now I have improved as a professional during last year, so I can tell that I am a better prospect now.

  • Applying for a degree means what in this context? Are you already a student and wanted to get the degree conferred? That should be possible whenever you fulfill the requirements. Or do you want to apply for admission and/or a scholarship at one or multiple universities? (EDIT: Ok, this seems to be answered in the tags. Please update the post to clarify). – DCTLib Jan 19 '15 at 9:56
  • @DCTLib I assumed applying for admissions, because you don't really "apply" for conferral of a degree, and because of the mention of a motivation letter. – ff524 Jan 19 '15 at 9:59
  • Related question: mentioning rejected publications in SOP – ff524 Jan 19 '15 at 10:00
  • @ff524 - Actually at some combinations of department and university, you need to - this makes sense if you can take extra courses and then only use some for your actual degree. For example, you can study for bachelor and master at the same time and then need to decide for some courses for which degree they should be used. Formally, this is an "application for a degree" and it may be rejected if the numbers don't add up (or it becomes obvious that you try to trick the department by performing "double-dipping" for some courses) – DCTLib Jan 19 '15 at 10:02
  • @ff524 Good point - I didn't exclude the possibility that "motivation letter" meant "cover letter", which may make sense in some cases (e.g., after having been caught with trying to double-dip some courses). The ambiguity of the phrase "Applying for a degree" led me to some doubt about whether this question being one on admissions to a course of study is really the only possible interpretation. – DCTLib Jan 19 '15 at 10:08
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If you think you might know the reason for rejection and over the course of last year you have managed to resolve the issue then IMO it is worth mentioning. On the other hand if you added so much prestige to your profile during the time then it's worth stating that you had applied last year and also state your qualifications and skills earned since then.

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