Masters / PhD
Masters Degree & PhD/MPhil
Master's Degree can take two forms:
Taught degrees - candidates are required to attend taught classes, take written examinations and prepare a thesis for presentation to examiners. Taught masters programmes at British Universities normally take only one year.
Research Degrees - candidates undertake fewer taught classes and undertake a longer research programme. This often leads to the Master of Philosophy (MPhil), which normally requires higher entry qualifications. A research degree such as the MPhil will normally take two years.
As with bachelors degrees Master's Degrees come with different titles, including Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc), Master of Business Administration (MBA). Again, there is no difference between these titles, an MBA is not 'better' than an MSc, for example. Just different.
Admission to a Masters Degree will almost always require a first degree, with a good mark, equivalent to a British Bachelors Degree. Occasionally a University may accept a student to a Master's Degree without this equivalent Academic background, especially if relevant work experience is held to compensate.
Doctorates are normally awarded after at least three years of supervised research. The most common award is the Doctor of Philosophy, which can be called either a PhD or DPil. There is no difference between these two titles. Universities will almost always expect a student to have a good Masters degree before being allowed to start a PhD/DPhil.
All PhD students are required to present a thesis, which by definition must be publishable quality. Some students may be required to take an examination paper as well as being examined orally on their thesis.