Types of Masters Degrees

Choosing a right degree can be tough for you, whether you are just starting out or looking for your upcoming career. Let us help you find a Masters which will help you to choose in an easy manner

TCM Staff

11th August 2020

A Master’s Degree is the highest degree given by the colleges or universities to the students after the bachelor’s degree. The master's degree also gives student exposure to all the technical aspects that are required to prepare you for the job.

Why Study a Master’s Degree?

Anyone can pursue a Master’s Degree after you finish your bachelor’s degree to gain your knowledge and explore the upcoming level. Generally, to finish the degree, it takes 2 years and you can choose based upon your research area.

Students from a good university who have completed the Master’s Degree program are considered to be fascinating students in today’s competitive world.

Read More: What is a master's degree?

Types of Masters Degrees

Taught Masters courses involve studying a set schedule of lectures and presentations.

Below is the Master’s offered by every university or a college:

Masters of Arts (MA)

For this kind of taught program, you have to attend several seminars and lectures and should pass through an examination.

 Master of Arts (MA)


Subjects Offered Arts, Humanities & some Social Sciences
Duration 2
Availability Worldwide

Which Countries Award MA Degrees?

MA is awarded world-wide and there are few countries that consider MA as a special higher degree program. The countries which offer this course are the USA and Canada, UK (MA as a 7-level course), Europe (2nd level qualification) and many others include Asia, Australia.

Which Subjects Award MA Degrees?

Anyone can study MA based on their interest and will have a great opportunity to explore in-depth to gain more knowledge.

With this taught degree, you can finish a research project with your dissertation. This can be a better method to prepare yourself for more advanced postgraduate research such as a Ph.D. – or simply to research a topic that interests you.

Masters of Science (MSc)

It involves areas in sciences such as chemistry, biology, engineering, health sciences, and statistics. Related areas like economics, social science comes under both arts and science.

Master of Science (MSc)

Course Type

Class and Online 

Subjects Offered

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & some Social Sciences

Qualification Level 7
Years 2
Availability Worldwide

Who should study MSc?

If you want to take further studies, then MSc is considered the best choice. It provides a good opportunity to do specialization and finishing this course helps you to pursue a Ph.D. so that you can gain in-depth knowledge which helps during your dissertation.

Most of the recruiters concentrate on the students who have done their Master’s in Science and may even recruit MSc-level training students.

Masters of Education (MED)

If you want to be unique from everyone and succeed in the world, then choose to study MeD and become a teacher to help upcoming generations into colleges. Pursuing a degree in education makes them teach and earn a good income. The salary range varies from college to college, approximately pay will be $50,000 to $75,000 per year.

The professor's salary will be roughly around $75,000 per year, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The teaching field nowadays is the fast-growing field wherever they may teach.

One of the best parts about this field is the focus, where the students have the chance to choose their area of interest. Colleges ask for a detailed essay about why the applicant/students want to be a teacher and what they will bring to the education field.

Schools will also ask for letters of reference; it would be a good idea to get letters from teachers whom applicants have worked within the past.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

If you are an artist, designer, or musician, then you could choose to take the fine arts course. In this section, you can check out for the degree along with all the course content and admission procedures.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Course Type

Practice-based / Professional

Subjects Offered Arts
Qualification Level 7 (NQF)
How many years? 1-2
Availability Worldwide

Which Subjects Awards MFA Degrees?

The Master of Fine Arts primarily provides Creative Arts subjects. These include areas such as:

  • Art and Design

  • Creative Writing

  • Drama

  • Fashion

  • Illustration

  • Musical Performance

  • Photography

  • Textiles

Few colleges/universities also provide specialized Masters in Financial Analysis. Confusingly, these programs are sometimes called ‘MFA’. They are very different from the Master of Fine Arts!

Who Should Study an MFA?

The MFA is for the students who are having creative ideas and you will get complete training and benefit from expert lecturers with practical knowledge.

The MFA is also accepted as an entry-level qualification for college teaching in Arts subjects – particularly in the USA. But an MFA is less ideal if your interests are in more academic scholarship, or if you want a Masters with a wider range of career prospects.

Master of Laws (LLM)

Doing specialization in Laws is the LLM and it is a taught degree. If you want to practice law, then no need to pursue this course but for advanced training, you have to choose this course.

Degree Type
Course Class/Research
Subjects offered Law
Qualification Level 7 (NQF)
How many years? 1-2
Availability World-wide

What are the requirements for an LLM?

Most applicants have a law degree which could be an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) or a postgraduate Law conversion course such as a CPE or GDL.

Few courses have also been created for the students from non-Law backgrounds, looking to study aspects of the law as it relates to other fields.

Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma

Students on these courses will typically focus on their own research work rather than following a set timetable of modules.

The main kinds of research Masters degrees are

  • Master of Research (MRes)

  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Master of Research (MRes)

Students who are interested in research can pursue this degree and training also provided with the best faculty. It is an advantage to further studies in Ph.D. or enter a career in research.

Universities vary in defining their Masters as MA, MSc, or MRes programs. Some MRes programs are actually categorized as ‘taught’ Masters degrees (distinguishing them from ‘pure’ research qualifications such as the MPhil and Ph.D.)

Master of Research (MRes)

Course Type Research
Subjects Offered

All Subjects

Qualification Level 7 (NQF)
How many years? 1-2 years
Availability Worldwide

What are the entry requirements for an MRes?

The student should possess a bachelor’s degree with a relevant subject and a good grade score (2.1-grade score). You should write an essay or a personal statement about your interests and goals. Lecturers want to know how enthusiastic in research and finish this program.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Mphil is an advanced research-based postgraduate program, which offers students a chance to concentrate on a specific topic-in-depth and is mainly focused on a research-based project. This is a longer degree when compared to other master’s degrees. Generally, the duration of the course depends upon the college/university you study.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Course Type Research
Subjects Offered

All Subjects

Qualification Level 7 (NQF)
Duration 1-2 Years
Availability World

The MPhil is a specific qualification as a Ph.D. than another Master’s degree.

Special Masters's degrees are employment courses aimed to make students for a career in a specific area.

Here are some of the most popular courses:

You may read: Master's vs Bachelor's degree

Pros and cons of earning a master's degree before PhD 

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