Generally speaking, there are two main sorts of master’s degrees: course-based (taught) and research-based. Course-based master’s degrees are supported structured course modules taught through lectures, seminars, laboratory work or distance learning, while research-based master’s degrees require the scholar to hold out their own research project(s) during a specialized field of study. Research master’s degrees normally take a touch longer than taught master’s degrees to finish .

It is also possible to categorize master’s degrees in terms of material , level of specialization, sort of coursework and entry requirements, as you’ll see within the lists below…

Types of master’s degrees by subject/coursework type

The following list describes the distinct sorts of master’s degrees supported the foremost common course names utilized in university listings. As there’s no single standardized system, you’ll find variations between institutions in terms of both naming and course content.

Master of Arts (MA)

A Master of Arts (MA) is typically awarded in disciplines categorized as arts or social sciences, like communications, education, languages, linguistics, literature, geography, history and music. Candidates are taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars and assessed through an examination and/or a dissertation supported an independent scientific research .

Master of Science (MS, MSc)

A Master of Science (MS, MSc) is typically awarded in disciplines categorized because the sciences, like biology, chemistry, engineering, health and statistics. Certain fields like economics and therefore the social sciences can fall into both arts and sciences, with the individual institution choosing what to call their master’s course of study . In such subjects, it’s going to be the case that the MS features a stronger research component and may be seemed to hold more weight than an MA in some industries.

Master of Research (MRes)

A Master of Research (MRes) degree is meant to supply training in the way to become a researcher. Containing a significantly larger research element than MA or MSc programs, an MRes may give candidates a plus if they want to pursue a PhD or enter a career in research. Note that some institutions may ask MRes-style degree programs as an MSc, so it’s worth checking the course content carefully before applying.

Master by Research (MPhil)

A Master by Research (MPhil) is a complicated research-based degree which allows the candidate to specialise in a specific topic in-depth and independently, to finish one large scientific research . An MPhil is usually seen as a precursor to a PhD and is usually employed by institutions to permit students to ‘test the water’ before commencing a PhD course of study . This often takes longer to finish than other sorts of master’s degrees – though the length of your time and therefore the status awarded to an MPhil varies significantly counting on the country and institution.

Master of Studies (MSt)

Taught in just a couple of places (including the University of Oxford and therefore the University of Cambridge), a Master of Studies (MSt) degree is like the MA or MSc, requiring both classroom learning and therefore the completion of a thesis and an examination. An MSt can function a provisional enrolment for a PhD in some cases. the necessity for this category of master’s degree partly stems from the very fact that at Oxbridge universities students who have completed a Bachelor of Arts are automatically awarded an MA after an outlined time-period has passed. In contrast, those with a MSt have completed postgraduate coursework to realize the title.

Specialized and professional master’s degrees

There also are more specialized sorts of master’s degrees, often that specialize in a selected professional area. These are sometimes referred to as ‘tagged master’s degrees’, because they’re ‘tagged’ to a particular field, or professional master’s degrees, because they specialise in career development during a particular profession. Some professional master’s degrees start with the word Professional within the title, like the Professional Science Master’s Degree (PSM), a hands-on degree with an important practical component giving students the talents and knowledge needed to figure professionally in their chosen field.

As ever, classifications and course details will differ counting on the country and institution. Here are a number of the foremost common samples of specialized and professional master’s degrees:

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is meant to offer students the talents and knowledge required for career progression in business and management roles. Candidates are given broad training altogether aspects of business, allowing them to use their learning to a spread of careers. Many MBA candidates are mid-career professionals, with most programs requiring a minimum of three years’ professional experience. you’ll also prefer to combine an MBA with a specialization like accounting or finance, and tailor the degree to a selected field of interest. Related master’s degrees include the Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAcc) and Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS).

Master of humanistic discipline (MLS, MLIS, MSLS)

The Master of humanistic discipline is meant to offer students both academic and professional knowledge for entry into the workplace – during this case, libraries. Taught at an accredited library school, an MLS includes theoretical components along side a practicum (supervised practical teaching) or internship, ending with a search project or thesis. The MLS is usually a requirement for professional librarian positions within the US and Canada.

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

The Master of Public Administration may be a public policy degree almost like an MBA but that specialize in the general public sector instead of the private sector. Students can concentrate on areas like the environment, international administration and science and technology with an aim to figure for the govt , non-governmental organizations (NGOs), not-for-profit organizations and in consulting. The MPA combines academic and professional elements, with attention on policy analysis and management. Other public policy master’s degrees include Master of Public Policy (MPP), Master of Public Affairs (MPA) Master of Urban Planning (MUP) and Master of world affairs (MIA).

Master of Public Health (MPH)

The Master of Public Health has academic and professional elements, taking an interdisciplinary approach to areas associated with public health. Students are taught the way to monitor, diagnose and regulate the health concerns of communities through public policies. Many MPH degree programs are specialized in areas like epidemiology, global health, occupational health, and nutritional sciences. While some countries accept students with accredited bachelor’s degrees for the MPH, others only accept medical graduates.

Master of welfare work (MSW)

The Master of welfare work degree prepares students for careers within the sector of welfare work , that specialize in improving the standard of life for people , groups and communities. The MSW is obtainable either as a clinical degree allowing students to figure directly with clients, or as a macro-practice degree preparing students for add political advocacy and community organizing.

Master of Laws (LLM)

The Master of Laws degree is typically taken after having graduated from knowledgeable academic degree and provides candidates the prospect to mix their knowledge of the essential skills needed to become a lawyer with specialist knowledge gained through research during a particular area of law.

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MA, MALS, MLA/ALM, MLS)

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to supply rigorous teaching within the humanistic discipline . Candidates graduate with both depth and breadth of postgraduate knowledge, with MALS programs drawing from courses and instructors from across the university’s postgraduate curriculum. Typically, humanistic discipline students choose the course for a chance to intellectually challenge themselves, explore ideas and pursue knowledge, instead of to pursue a selected career path.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The Master of Fine Arts may be a creative degree granted in disciplines like the visual, performing and studio arts. this might include creative writing, graphic design, photography, filmmaking, theatre and painting. Assessment and study are both practical, culminating during a major work or performance.

Master of Music (MM/MMus)

Awarded by universities and music conservatories, the Master of Music degree combines advanced studies during a specialist applied area chosen by the scholar (such as music performance, composition or conducting) with advanced studies in musical theory. MM degrees might be preparation for teaching music or to become knowledgeable during a chosen field.

Master of Education (MEd, MSEd, MIT, MAEd, MAT)

The Master of Education degree prepares students for careers in education. Some Master of Education degrees prepare student teachers to become certified, while others are more fitted to experienced, already certified teachers to concentrate on areas like curriculum, instruction, education , counseling and administration. The MIT and MAT degrees include coursework and a student teaching internship and cause the teacher certification qualification needed to show publicly schools.

Master of Engineering (MEng)

The Master of Engineering degree are often either academic (with attention on engineering theories and practice) or professional (with attention on preparing students for add the engineering field). While some MEng programs require students to become published in an industry journal, others involve training periods in industry or laboratories, or a mixture of the 2 so as to graduate.

Master of Architecture (M.Arch)

The Master of Architecture may be a master’s degree in architecture that assesses students through practical internships, final examinations and/or a thesis or final project so as to receive a license. As M.Arch degrees vary in a similar way , you’ll find different names for various sorts of programs. Students are required to supply coursework in subjects like design, building science, structural engineering, architectural history and theory and professional practice.