What is an Integrated Master's?

Ben Maples  · Jan 18th 2024  · 3 min

Plenty of students look for courses that allow them to reach new heights in academia. One of these options is an Integrated Master’s.


An Integrated Master's degree has fast become one of the most popular postgraduate courses at university, with many students praising touting its convenience over more traditional postgraduate courses.

Integrated Master’s programmes that universities offer have become more and more advanced as more students begin to opt for the qualification. But why chose an Intergrated Master’s and what exactly does it entail?

Integrated Masters Degree

What is an Integrated Master's degree?

An Integrated Master's degree is a four-year programme. It is essentially an undergraduate or PhD course and a postgraduate qualification rolled into one!

Instead of having to undertake two courses at a time, you’ll complete one longer programme. Some universities may award two different qualifications, but many Integrated Master's degrees end with the more advanced degree being awarded (either a Master’s or a PhD).

Integrated Master's PhD

On an Integrated Master's PhD course, you will study a master’s year before they begin their work on a doctoral thesis. The master’s component aids candidates towards the advanced postgraduate research a thesis entails.

How is an Integrated Master's degree graded?

An Integrated Master’s degree is actually graded similarly to a Bachelor’s degree. This means you can achieve a 1st, a 2.1, a 2.2 or a 3rd, instead of the traditional Distinction, Merit and Pass grades.

However, each year may be weighted differently. With each year of a four-year Integrated Master's weighing at 0:1:2:2, respectively. Basically, this means that the third and fourth years are worth twice as much as the second. For Integrated Master’s and PhD courses, the Master’s portion is graded alone, and the PhD is then assessed based on the thesis and performance of an oral viva voce (a verbal assessment where you’ll speak about your project).

University Integrated Masters Degree

How does the Integrated Master’s compare to other qualifications?

The Integrated Master’s degree is not the only one of its kind. Other qualification types do exist, but they work in a slightly different way to the Integrated Master’s. An Integrated Master’s may be the one for you, but there are many other options you could consider.

Integrated Master's vs long-cycle Master’s

Before the standardisation of European degrees, the majority of countries offered extended degree courses that awarded a Master’s level degree following four or five years of study.

These types of programmes are being phased out in many countries but some may still use them. They are not the Integrated Master's that we know today, as it usually combines two programmes, such as the Bachelor’s and the Master’s, and doesn’t just run for four years.

Uni Integrated Masters Degree

Integrated Master's vs Master’s

You may wonder, is an Integrated Master's the same as a Master’s degree? The Integrated Master’s degree combines a Bachelor’s Degree with a postgraduate, and you’ll be awarded a Master’s at the end. Some universities may also award you a Bachelor’s degree but often institutions choose the higher award.

It is different to a generic Master’s degree which takes one to two years, as for those postgraduate qualifications you’ll already need an undergraduate degree to be enrolled onto the course in the first place.

It’s important to remember that Integrated Master's are not offered for every available subject. You should check with your chosen universities on whether they offer the courses.

Integrated Masters Degree at University

Why should I study an Integrated Master’s?

It’s a great option for students looking to work in a field that benefits from professional training as well as a qualification. You will be able to study an extended degree programme that is designed to offer the skills and competencies required for particular job roles.

Setting aside the Scottish MA, Integrated Master's degrees are generally designed for students with quite specific aims. What’s more, they require you to know what those aims are very early on in your university career.

Is there student finance for Integrated Master's?

Yes, there is funding available. You will need to apply for student finance for a Master’s programme through the government website.

Candidates can apply via the undergraduate student finance system and not the postgraduate loan, as these are for Master’s courses alone. For those on a PhD with Integrated Master's course, Research Councils that fund doctorates do not offer financial support for Master’s on their own, but some do four-year doctorates that may include a Master’s.

postgraduate Uni's

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