Studying for a Double Masters Degree – A Guide | FindAMasters.com
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Double Masters Degrees

Want to gain a Masters-level qualification from not one, but two universities? Then a double Masters degree might be the ideal course for you.

There are a few different names for double Masters programmes: some universities will call these courses dual Masters or joint Masters, for example. But effectively they all refer to the same kind of qualification.

If you’re unsure whether a double Masters is right for you, this page will help you make your mind up. We’ve covered all the essential information, such as how a double Masters works, why you should study one and what funding is available.

You can also begin your search by browsing the double Masters courses listed on FindAMasters.com.

What is a double Masters degree?

A double Masters is a qualification that is split between two universities (usually in different countries), allowing you to gain expertise and experience in a pair of closely related subject areas. Many universities pride themselves on an international outlook, and a double Masters is an opportunity for you to work with scholars across the world.

You’ll have access to the academic resources and expertise of each university and, when you’ve finished the programme, you’ll have two Masters degrees.

How does a double Masters degree work?

Every double Masters course is unique, following a joint programme devised by the two parent universities in conjunction with one another. However, they do tend to share the same broad structure, both in terms of how you apply in the first place, and how the Masters is split between the two universities.

In some cases, applications are handled centrally at one university, so you won’t have to apply to both institutions. Instead, you’ll probably apply to whichever university hosts the first year of the Masters. However, some courses are organised so that you must apply for the second year of the double Masters part way through the first year.

The course programme will be designed so that both years of your double Masters compliment each other, culminating in a dissertation that draws on what you’ve learnt over the two years of the Masters. You’ll have a main thesis supervisor from one university, but will likely be able to count on the advice and help of academic staff from both places.

And, at the end of the double Masters, you’ll be the proud holder of postgraduate qualifications from two universities.

How long is a double Masters degree?

Most double Masters take two years to complete, but some only last 18 months. It’s rare for a double Masters to be offered on a part-time basis – the intensiveness of the course and its logistical details make this tricky – so they are not particularly suitable for those with other commitments, unfortunately.

What kinds of double Masters degree are there?

Many double Masters will award standard MA (Master of Arts) or MSc (Master of Sciences) according to the subject matter of your course.

But there are other, more interdisciplinary, double Masters degrees available too. One of the most popular types is the Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degree (EMJMD). These specially created programmes emphasise the importance of academic collaboration across the EU, giving you the chance to study at at least two top European universities. EMJMDs are offered in a wide range of subjects, and students are often supported by generous scholarships.

Another option is to take an MBA programme in conjunction with another Masters. For example, in a two-year double Masters programme, you could graduate with an MBA alongside a Juris Doctor or an MEng.

Predominantly a North American phenomenon, some European institutions also offer this kind of double Masters. These kinds of programme may allow you to complete a Masters in a chosen discipline before studying an MBA in the second year of the programme.

Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degrees

Interested in studying a multidisciplinary Masters at universities across Europe? Then an EMJMD may be the perfect course for you.

Read our guide to Erasmus Mundus scholarships and funding, or check out the Erasmus Mundus Masters programmes listed on FindAMasters.com.

How many credits is a double Masters degree worth?

A double Masters degree isn’t a standardised qualification with a set amount of credits, and the exact value varies from course to course. However, many double Masters will involve taking more credits than a standard one-year Masters programme.

This means you could study up to 240 CATS credits, rather than the 180 CATS credits normally required by a one-year Masters. Or you could end up studying the same amount as a normal Masters – consult specific course details for more information.

Will I receive two degrees?

Yes, studying a double Masters programme normally means you’ll receive a postgraduate qualification from each of the two universities that have collaborated on the course.

Study abroad

Double Masters degrees are offered by universities across the world, so you have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to picking a Masters programme.

We’ve written about many of the countries you could study in as part of a double Masters, covering essentials like funding, fees and visas. Take a look at our guides to studying abroad.

What are the benefits of a double Masters degree?

There are lots of reasons – academic, personal, careers-wise – to follow a double Masters degree programme. Here are some of the main ones:

  • Access to academic resources – You’ll have access to a combined wealth of scholarly resources through the universities you’re enrolled at.
  • Employability – Having two Masters qualifications could give you an edge over other candidates in the job market, showing that you have the skills needed for success in a challenging environment.
  • International outlook – Living and studying abroad can be an incredibly rewarding experience, opening up new avenues and perspectives that might have otherwise passed you by. And a global outlook will you stand you in good stead when you graduate and begin looking for a job, with employers valuing adaptable, ambitious postgraduates.
  • Language skills – Even if the entirety of the course is taught in English, many foreign universities will offer language classes to double Masters students, so you can boost your existing language skills or learn an entirely new one, depending on the location.
  • Richer study opportunities – As you’ll be studying two courses in two (or more) universities, you’ll gain a wider, more comprehensive view of your chosen subject. You’ll be able to explore and interrogate the connections between the programmes, hopefully using these as a basis for your dissertation.

Of course, double Masters degrees aren’t for everyone. As we’ve already mentioned, most double Masters require two years of full-time study, so they aren’t suitable for people with work or family commitments who would otherwise study part-time.

This means that double Masters can be more expensive than traditional degrees – you pay for two years of tuition fees rather than one. There are also additional costs associated with studying abroad like flights and health insurance that you’ll need to consider when deciding on your Masters.

Last updated - 18/01/2018

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