What is a Master’s degree?
What is a master’s degree?
A master’s degree is the first level of graduate study in the UK. It's one step above Bachelors and one below a PhD.
Full-time study lasts one or two years, but part-time study can take two to four. Courses normally start in September or October, though some begin in January or February.
There are two main kinds of masters – taught and research, which are further broken down into individual qualifications, such as MSc (Master of Science) and MA (Master of Arts).
Taught masters are similar to undergraduate degrees and involve lectures, seminars and practical work. You will be assessed through essays, exams, dissertations and group projects.
Research masters involve learning through research. You'll study one topic closely with the support of a supervisor, producing a dissertation. Research masters suit students who work well independently or are planning to undertake a PhD.
What can I study?
You can study a huge range of subjects for a master’s degree, including all of those offered at undergraduate level, plus many new specialist areas that may not have been available to you before.
This is where postgraduate study becomes really exciting as you’ll have the opportunity to pursue entire degree courses focussed on your particular interests.
Even if you choose a more general masters course – as many students do in order to develop their broader subject knowledge at a higher level – you’ll still be able to specialise at the dissertation stage of your programme.
What are the entry requirements to study a master's degree?
Requirements vary depending on the university to which you’re applying. Generally speaking, however, you will be considered for entry to a master’s degree if you have taken a bachelor's degree that is recognised as equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree from a recognised university and achieved good grades
As there is no standard grading system across universities in the Philippines, grades required will vary depending on where you have studied and the programme you would like to apply for.
Some universities will also consider applicants with several years’ relevant work experience on an individual basis for some masters programmes
You will also have to meet the English-language requirements for your chosen university.
How much does it cost to study a master's degree?
The cost of studying a master’s degree can vary hugely, and fees differ between subject areas. As a rough guide, a recent HSBC study found that the average cost for international students is £13,840.
But don’t fret if this sounds like too much. Many universities offer grants and scholarship programmes to international students, including those from the Philippines, meaning some or all of the costs will be paid for you. Again, these amounts also vary radically from course to course, so check your chosen university’s website for details.
What can I do after my master's degree?
Master’s study in major study destinations like the UK, USA and Australia are very highly regarded by employers. Graduates are more likely to be employed in professional and managerial jobs immediately after graduation than first degree graduates.
Teaching and nursing are common destinations for part-time graduates, while jobs for full-time graduates are a little more diverse – the largest proportion working as business, human resources and finance professionals.
Another option is to take your research a step further and enter the world of PhD study. This can further increase your earning potential and give you more options at the end of the course.
Stephen Palmer graduated from the University of Sunderland with a degree in Film and Media. Since then he has worked as a copywriter, proofreader and web editor. In his spare time he enjoys keeping fit, reading, playing video games and improving his Norwegian.