Taught Master's Programmes
The UK offers taught masters courses on the full range of academic subject areas. All UK masters courses are subject to strict regulation by the UK government and are recognised throughout the world. Typically a master course will last one year but there are a small number of 9 month and 2 year courses. The comparatively short length of the UK masters makes it excellent value for money and allows students to enter the workplace sooner. The master courses are very intensive and the academic year does not include the long holidays often included in similar courses in other countries. There are two main types of master degree a specialist or advanced master or a conversion master. The specialist master is designed for students with a relevant academic background who want to study in a specific area in more detail and at a more advanced level. The conversion master is for a student who wants to study a new subject area and these master courses tend to squeeze as much of the most important and relevant components of a 3 year undergraduate degree into a 1 year master.
Master degrees have many titles as shown by the list above. However the different masters name only reflect the broad subject area and all are of the same level and recognition. There is no real difference between a MA Marketing or MSc Marketing they both have the status. To be awarded a master degree a candidate has completed all taught components and the dissertation or project stage successfully.
Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip)
The post graduate diploma is awarded when the candidate has not completed a dissertation but has completed two semesters worth of taught coursework and exams successfully.
Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert)
The post graduate certificate is awarded when the candidate completes one semester of taught coursework and exams succesfuly.
Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
The MPhil is a research programme which often makes up the first part of a PhD. It varies in length depending on the institution and is a chance for PhD candidate to prove their research topic and proposal is ready and suitable for further study through the PhD. Many schools insist on a student passing their MPhil before progressing to the PhD and make it a condition for every student wanting to take a PhD. The MPhil will form an integral part of the PhD and will not mean the overall time studying will be longer. For instance a 3 year PhD may consist of 18 months on a Mphil + 18 months PhD.
Presessional courses are designed to give international students the academic skills, level of English competency and familiarity with the campus so that they are ready for their studies. If a student is below the required English language entry level for their course they may be asked to come early for English as a condition of their academic programme offer. Students whose offer is conditional on a presessional course will normally have to pass a test or a form of assessment given by the university. They do not usually have to retake IELTS or TOEFL.
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