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Academic Masters Degrees

Academic Masters build on the subject knowledge you gained at undergraduate level, specialising in advanced study of a certain topic. They usually come in in two forms: taught and research.

Taught programmes are generally more structured, while research Masters are much more independent in nature, giving you the chance to concentrate on one or more extended projects. This page features guides to the main examples of both types of Masters, such as the Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc), Master of Research (MRes) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil).

MA (Master of Arts)

The MA is a common taught Masters in Arts and Humanities subjects such as English Literature, History, Philosophy and others.

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MSc (Master of Science)

The MSc is a common taught Masters in a range of Science, Engineering and Social Science subjects.

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MRes (Masters of Research)

The MRes combines taught modules with more extensive research training, often as preparation for further work at PhD-level.

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MPhil (Master of Philosophy)

The MPhil is a pure research degree. It is similar to a PhD, but involves a less extensive project, with a more limited academic scope.

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MLitt (Master of Letters)

The MLitt is sometimes awarded by older universities in England or Scotland, for taught or research-based programmes.

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PGCert & PGDip

Postgraduate Certificates & Diplomas are shorter qualifications, usually involving fewer modules and no dissertation.

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Integrated Masters degrees

Integrated Masters combine undergraduate and postgraduate study, usually lasting for four or more years.

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Other types of Masters

Not all Masters degrees have an academic focus. Learn about professional qualification programmes, conversion courses and more.

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