Taught Masters

Masters degrees in the UK are very popular amongst international students due to the fact that it can be completed in 9-12 months, which is less than almost any other country. However, exceptions such as the MPhil, or Master of Philosophy, will often take 2 years, since research makes up a large part of the programme.

A popular element of master’s courses is that you get a choice of two degrees; a conversion degree or a specialist master’s degree. A conversion degree allows you to diversify into a different area from your undergraduate degree; a specialist master’s degree allows you to stick with your undergraduate field of study and dive deeper into the field. For example, if you studied Finance at undergraduate level but wanted to do English literature for your master’s, you would take a conversion degree. However if you wanted to stick with Finance, you would take a specialist master’s degree.

Below is a list of UK postgraduate taught courses in the UK. If you have any questions, chat online to a counsellor or visit them in person at your nearest office. To see a full list of universities in the UK, click here.

  • MA/MSc/MBA/MLitt/MEd/MEng/MMus

    The above is a list of common and specialist master’s degrees. The most common types are the MA and the MSc, standing for Master of Arts and Master of Science. Most universities will label their arts degrees as MA, however older universities will use MLitt, which stands for Master of Letters. MSc degrees are usually more quantitative than MAs or MLitts however there may sometimes be exceptions. Please ask your counsellor for further advice.

    One of the few subjects where degrees can be labelled either Master of Science or a Master of Arts is business. So you might see degrees at different universities called MSc Management, MA Management, MLitt Management. In general an MSc Management is likely to be more quantitative than a MA Management or MLitt Management but this is not always the case. Your UKEAS counsellor will be able to advise you more in this regard

  • Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip)

    The postgraduate diploma is awarded to students once they have finished the teaching element of their master’s programme, which is normally after a period of 9 months. However, different courses have exceptions. Some of the more practical courses may only be offered as a PgDip; there are also preparatory courses that are only offered as a PgDip which help you prepare for a full taught master’s. Please ask your counsellor for further advice.

  • Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert)

    Once a student passes half the modules of a Postgraduate Diploma, the student is normally eligible for a Postgraduate Certificate, or PgCert. However there are also exceptions to this .  Indeed, certain vocational courses may only be offered as PgCerts. As this can sometimes be confusing for students, we recommend that you check with your counsellor for further advice in this field.

  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

    One of the longer degrees, the MPhil will usually take 2 years to complete, and is often a stepping-stone  to obtaining a PhD. Teaching is involved in the first nine months, however a large amount of time is focussed on discussions between the student and their tutor about the topic they will research. After finishing the taught component of the course, students can continue to do their MPhil research or choose to start a PhD. The last fifteen months will be spent on research courses, however progressing onto a PhD course will depend on the student’s performance and exam results in their MPhil course.

  • Pre-sessional English Courses

    Due to the fact that a master’s degree in the UK is packed into a single year, applicants will need to have a good level of English, which will be determined by taking the IELTS. Most courses in the UK will require a score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS; however if you don’t meet that threshold universities will offer pre-sessional English courses that are tailored to improve your English ability along with preparing you for your chosen subject of study. The duration of the course will be determined by what IELTS score you receive; students who complete the program will be able to progress straight through into their chosen degree without having to retake the IELTS. However there are exceptions; some institutions may require you to retake the exam. Please ask your counsellor for more advice.

Still have questions? Please contact your local UKEAS office to get the most up-to-date professional advice. Remember, its free!


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