The UK postgraduate study includes master’s degrees and doctorate degrees (PhDs).
A master’s degree is a postgraduate academic degree which enables students to further explore a specific field of study or area of professional practice subject to attain a mastery or higher level of proficiency.
A typical master degree in the UK takes only one year to complete, which offers significant benefits in terms of financial and time savings. It can be either taught courses or research-based study. Based on the subject of study, students are awarded a Master’s degree upon successful completion as followings:
- MA (Master of Arts),
- MSc (Master of Science),
- MEng (Master of Engineering),
- LLM (Master of Laws),
- MBA (Master of Business Administration), etc.
Most students on research-based master programme move onto a PhD/Doctorate in a later stage.
Most PhD programmes in the UK last for three years. The normal prerequisite for a UK PhD study is a 2(i) degree (Upper Second Class Honours Degree) plus an appropriate Master’s degree.
There are mainly two types of doctorates offered by UK universities, namely professional doctorates and research doctorates. Professional doctorates consist of a combination of a taught element and research, where students are required to have outstanding academic records and have to complete a master’s degree first. The research doctorates are earned by research and the submission of a thesis. British universities award doctorates in all subjects.
Although in general, an IELTS score of 6.0 to 7.0 are required for international students undertaking a postgraduate course in the UK, each institution has different entry requirements and application procedures. Students should be also aware of student visa and immigration requirements. Many universities also offer scholarships, and students are advised to apply at least one year before the course starts.
There are many postgraduate courses available at master level as well as doctorate level. How to choose the right one that meets individual student’s personal goals, research interest and career aspiration can be challenging. We advise our students to look at UK university rankings in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE rankings) for their intended subject across institutions, together with the latest UK university rankings and subject league tables. Check it out the details below, and also see how we can help.