A Master’s qualification is a postgraduate degree course that students can do once they obtain an undergraduate degree.
It allows individuals to further their knowledge in a particular subject, or to enter a different academic path. A postgraduate qualification is awarded to individuals who can demonstrate a higher level of expertise in a particular field of study.
Most master’s courses lead to an MA (Master of Arts) or MSc (Master of Science) qualification; however, there are also subject-specific qualifications. These qualifications include MArch (Master of Architecture), MEng (Master of Engineering), MFA (Master of Fine Arts), LLM (Master of Laws), and more. Courses leading to an MPhil (Master of Philosophy) qualification are typically research-led and often designed for students who wish to progress to a PhD or a Doctorate degree and are much different to a DipHE.
What is a Masters degree?
A Masters degree is a postgraduate degree. A Masters degree can also be studied as a second-cycle degree, which builds on your undergraduate degree or any professional experience that you have, which is why a a Masters degree is so popular with mature students.
A Masters degree gives students a chance to gain higher-level skills, a vocational-equivalent teaching of the industry, much like an NVQ. A Masters degree UK takes around two years of full-time study or four years with part-time study.
A Masters degree can also be studied as a second-cycle degree, which builds on your undergraduate degree or any experience you have.
A Masters degree will end with students having to provide either with an independent project or a dissertation.
What are the grades for a Master's degree?
Taught Master's degrees require 180 credits worth of work, either through modules, projects, assignments and a final dissertation. Typically, a dissertation is worth 60 credits.
Master's degree UK grades can be listed as a pass or a fail, but most come under fail, pass, merit (or credit) and a distinction. The boundaries can depend on university but grades in Master's degree tend to be 50% for a pass, 60% for a merit and 70% for a distinction.
But, what grades can you get in a Master's degree that is research based? A Master's by research, either an MPhil (Master of Philosophy), MRes (Master of Research) or MLitt (Master of Letters) can be graded as a pass or fail. Certain institutions may offer a distinction as a degree classification.
How long is a Masters degree?
So how long is a masters degree UK? A Masters degree is a two-year degree in full-time study and a four-year degree in part-time study.
How much is a Masters degree UK?
In the UK, a Masters degree will depend on the university that you're applying to, but it will cost roughly £7,400. There are student loans for Masters degree available.
This can seem a bit strange for those who are used to UK qualifications costing a lot, but postgraduate degrees tend to cost less than undergraduate degrees, unfortunately, it just isn’t a free Masters degree and you won't find some of the cheapest Masters degree UK, either.
What is an Integrated Masters degree?
An Integrated Masters degree is a programme that combines a normal Masters degree with a different qualification at a different level of educational study.
In the UK, a Masters degree cost will depend on the university that you're applying to, but it will cost roughly £7,400.
The best way to explain this is with an example. For instance, if you wished to study an undergraduate degree and a Masters degree at the same time, then you will then be studying an Integrated Masters degree, this is sometimes known as an undergraduate Masters degree as well.
How to fund a Masters degree?
Masters degree funding will depend on a number of things. If you have been offered a scholarship, then you will likely have a lot of your university Masters degree or your online Masters degree funded for you.
If you have been offered a scholarship, then you will likely have a lot of your university Masters degree or your online Masters degree funded for you.
You will need to see if you qualify for any university grants, scholarships or bursaries and see if these will help you with your Masters degree funding UK.
How difficult is a Masters degree?
How hard is a Masters degree? Well, that all depends on you.
As you can imagine, a postgraduate degree won't be too easy, otherwise, there would be no point in anyone studying, but if you apply yourself, knuckle down and work hard, it should be a lot easier for you.
You will have the advantage of knowing that you're building on previously gained knowledge, which is a huge help to you.
A Masters degree will be more difficult than your typical university degree, but you will have the advantage of knowing that you're building on previously gained knowledge, which is a huge help to you.
What level is a Masters degree?
A Masters degree is classed as a Level 7 qualification, like most postgraduate qualifications.
What is a research Master’s Degree?
This type of degree involves learning through research, and are viewed as valuable preparation for individuals who wish to obtain a PhD afterwards, as most funding bodies who award money to PhD students prefer their students who have completed research programmes. Students who undertake a research master’s degree will receive less tutor support and be required to spend more time working independently.
Students will spend a lot of their time collecting and analysing data and hoping to have their work accepted for publication in a research journal. Assessments on research programmes will be through a professional judgment on the research work completed as well as an oral exam. At the end of the course, students can obtain a Master of Philosophy (MPhil), Master of Research (MRes), Master of Arts (MA by Research), or Master of Science (MSc by Research). This is dependent on the subject a student chooses on their Masters degree search.
A Masters degree and general Masters degree courses are different from other postgraduate degrees
A Masters degree and general Masters degree courses are different from other postgraduate degrees, such as an MRes degree.
What is a taught Master’s degree?
A taught Master’s degree are similar in format to an undergraduate degree course, as they involve a series of taught modules, lectures, seminars, practical work, coursework, examinations and independent study. When students complete their modules, they will be assessed on the knowledge and skills they have learned, through coursework or an examination. Students will also be assessed through a research project, dissertation and group work.
A full-time taught Masters degree typically takes one year to complete; however, part-time courses will be available at some universities. At the end of the degree course, students will obtain a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc), or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) qualification; this will depend on the subject that they studied.
Students will prefer a taught Master’s if they enjoy studying through lectures, coursework and assignments, and who already have an undergraduate degree.
How many credits for a Masters degree?
A Masters degree is usually worth around 180 credits on UCAS.
Why do a Masters degree?
Well, a Masters degree is a great chance for you to learn more about the world of the industry you're interested in working in.
A Masters degree studied in a university of your choosing or an online Masters degree UK, are both great ways to learn more, beef up your student CV and also become more honed in on what it is that you want to do in the world of work.
Many jobs require their workers to have a Masters degree prior to applying. Some NHS jobs may require their doctors and nurses to have a Masters degree, so if you’re looking at becoming a Nurse, then you may want to look for a Masters degree in Nursing.
Many jobs require their workers to have a Masters degree prior to applying.
It can also be a somewhat cheap way of gaining some industry contacts. Since the Masters degree is cheaper than an undergraduate degree, you will also have a chance of meeting more industry contacts, maybe even on a placement year.
Can you do a Masters without a degree?
This will depend on the university you're applying to. They may allow you to study a Masters degree without an undergraduate degree or you may be required to study an undergraduate degree beforehand.
Certain degrees like a Masters degree in Law will most likely require you to have an undergraduate degree prior to applying for a Masters degree, but it is not a requirement for all courses.
Some students often undertake a Masters degree after working in their industry for a while. This is especially true of Mature students, who often find times when their job changes and requires them to have a formal Masters degree in order to continue to work at their company.
However, students without an undergraduate degree will be required to complete a university admissions interview.
How to apply for Masters degree
Applying for a Masters degree is a lot different for applying for an undergraduate degree, you will need to apply for a Masters through the university, rather than through UCAS.
Most universities have their own online application systems, complete with forms etc. You can apply via the post if you prefer.
The deadlines and timeframes will differ from university to university and will depend on their own application processes. Anyone looking to apply for teacher training will have a different process to go through, which will have its own application deadline and its own entry requirements.
Most universities have their own online application systems, complete with forms etc. You can apply via the post if you prefer.
When applying for a Masters degree, you will need a number of things:
- Masters degree personal statement
- Transcripts of previous academic work
- Portfolio (for relevant course)
- References (you will need two)
- Research proposal
For international students looking to study in the UK, in addition to these, you will need:
- A copy of your passport
- Proof of your language proficiency.
If you have studied an IELTS exam or a TEFL exam, you will need to have proof of that as well.
How to write a research proposal for Masters degree?
To apply for a Masters or Master's degree, you will need to have a Research proposal prior to application, this is basically a way of telling the university that you are serious about studying at the university and gives an insight into your interest in the subject and your work ethic.
To apply for a Masters or Master's degree, you will need to have a Research proposal prior to application
The structure of your Masters degree research proposal should be like this:
- Title: Clear and concise, should give an indication of what you're writing about.
- Background: This should have some background on your research topic, identifying the discipline clearly and concisely, a small literature review of the topic and a summary of what you plan to cover.
- Research questions: Your questions should be relevant to the topic and open you up to detailed research answers. Don’t ask closed questions that can only be answered by “Yes” or “No”.
- Research Methodology: Provide an outline on your findings, talk people through your methods, your ideas and how you have drawn conclusions from them. What do these findings prove?
- Plan of work and your time schedule: This should be an outline of the stages of the timelines for you to develop and carry out research and how and when you plan to write up your thesis or dissertation.
- Bibliography: A list of references from outlets you have cited in your paper.
What comes after a Masters degree?
For those looking to continue in the world of education after their Masters degree has finished, you can still study one or two things when the degree is over.
The main thing students can study is a PhD. A PhD is a great way for students to learn more about their course of study, but there is also a chance to go onto a Master of Philosophy or a Doctorate as well.
All postgraduate applications will need to be made before June or July.
All three of these will give you a much higher standard of qualification, although a Masters degree itself is already very highly ranked, a PhD or Doctorate are just nice ways to top it up, also some careers will require an PhD or a Doctorate over a Masters.
When to apply for Masters degree
All postgraduate applications will need to be made before June or July, because many of the postgraduate courses will start in September or October of that year.
UCAS recommends (even though you won't apply through UCAS) that students should apply as early as possible, as there will be student finance, student accommodation, travel and a visa to sort (if you’re an international student). If you are an international student you should take a look at the Tier 4 Student Visa, F1 Visa or the J1 Visa beforehand.
How much does a Masters degree increase your salary UK?
A Master's degree or Masters degree will increase your salary as it is a postgraduate degree. This means you are able to apply for different jobs than those with lower degrees or no degrees at all.
A Master's degree or Masters degree will increase your salary as it is a postgraduate degree.
The Institute of Fiscal Studiess reported back in 2015 that postgraduates earn roughly 9% more than undergraduates. This figure is spread out over the course of a lifetime however.
What is the Masters degree classification?
Masters degree grades are spread into five different classifications, which are:
- Third (3rd)
- Second class honours, lower (2:2)
- Second class honours, upper (2:1)
- First (1st)
The boundaries for Masters degree grades UK modules are as follows:
- Fail: 40 or under
- Merit: 50-59
- Distinction: 60+
You can use a Masters degree classification calculator, if you're unsure what your overall grade is though.
What grades do you get in a Master's degree and why?
When explaining the postgraduate system for UK Master's degree grades it’s worth understanding why certain years or work is ‘weighted’ more than others.
For an integrated Master's the marks gained in the final two years are worth more than the first two. On other Master's degree this can depend on the proportion of the mark in a taught module or in a research project. Your tutor or university handbook tends to explain how your course and module is weighted.
As well as having modules and years of a certain ‘weight’, Master's degree grades classification can have different ranges. Generally, most universities have a pass starting from 50, and a merit beginning above 50, and no distinctions being awarded for 60%.
What’s the difference between, pass, merit, distinction and fail in grades for Master's degree?
What grades for a Master's degree when it comes to pass, merit and distinction? A distinction is awarded when a piece of work clearly demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of a topic or area in that subject. It’ll have a high degree of competence and an excellent range of literature, analysis, theory and methodology.
A merit is when a student does well but not to the high standard of a distinction. Usually, they’ll clearly show a sophisticated understanding of the topic, as well as competence and usage of relevant literature and theory.
For a pass, there is evidence of critical understanding of the topic with a structured argument, and proof of a degree of competence when using relevant materials throughout the work.
Each university has its own grades for a Master's degree, contact your handbook or university’s website to find out yours.
For an integrated Master's the marks gained in the final two years are worth more than the first two.
What are the grades for an integrated Master's degree?
An integrated Master's is a four-year course that can be taken as part of an undergraduate and postgraduate qualification rolled into one.
Participants will study the Bachelor’s part of the subject followed by the Master's level and are usually awarded the higher degree of the two - which in this case would be a Master's degree.
Master's degree grades of UK courses that are integrated follow the undergraduate degree classification. Students can either achieve a; first, (1st); a second class honours upper division, (2.1); a second class honours lower division, (2.2); a third, (3rd); or; a fail.
In integrated Master's degrees the later levels of study are generally more weighted than the first two.
Do Master's degree grades matter?
Similarly to an undergraduate degree, grades of Master's degree course will depend on why you are taking the course. If you need a first class honours for a particular job or further degree course then it will matter, but in general they don’t.
Career wise, a Master's will help open more doors and show employers you were able to work to a postgraduate standard.
In regards to PhDs, it’s the same story, most doctorate applications will be interested in your research proposal and if you have a strong research project in your Master's this can prove more useful than the overall grade. There are thousands of students leaving university with an undergraduate degree every year, but they won’t have a postgraduate qualification.
Grades in UK Master's degree really do depend on the individual.
What about Master's degree grades in Ireland?
For grades in Master's degree in UK - including Ireland - they are all the same. Irish universities will also offer a first, second, or third for undergraduates and either the same or a distinction, merit and pass classification for Master's.