In the UK education system, a Masters degree is either one or two years (with placement) and is pursued in order to gain advanced knowledge in a subject. It is usually preceded by an undergraduate or Bachelor's degree in the same subject but can be pursued in related subjects within the discipline as well. Masters programmes in the UK can be categorized as academic or professional, and academic programmes can be further divided into taught programmes and research-oriented programmes.
Academic Masters Degree
This degree involves the advanced study of a subject in order to specialise in it. It can be pursued for gainful employment or for further academic purposes such as a PhD.
Taught Masters Degree
These involve studying modules, attending scheduled lectures and seminars, much like you would have done when pursuing an undergraduate degree. The course is still broad in scope, is very structured and is led by the instructors. Students study on their own time based on guidelines provided by the academics. Most Masters programmes are taught ones. These include Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc) and Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas.
Research Masters Degree
A research degree is not rigorously structured, and in fact may not be structured at all. Students focus on one or a few projects throughout the duration of their studies. They receive guidance and support from their supervisor from time to time but work on their own for the most part. Postgraduate Research programmes include Master of Research (MRes), Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Master of Letters (MLitt).
Professional Masters Degree
This degree involves grooming students for a professional career in a particular sector. It is a vocational programme and includes a work placement in one or more of the semesters. Examples of a professional Masters degree would be Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Social Work (MSW).
Study a Masters Degree in the UK
Students can choose their preferred Masters degree based on whether they want to gain advanced knowledge, prepare for a specific profession, do academic research or build an academic career.
There are certain pathway providers which can aid in changing your discipline, such as Kaplan and Navitas. They help students qualify to study a Masters in an unrelated field by providing one-year pre-masters or foundation courses in the field of interest
If you want to study a Taught, Research or Professional Masters degree in the UK, visit your nearest SI-UK India office. If you want to find out more about studying a Masters degree in the UK and about UK Pathway providers, you can book your free consultation with us today.