Master of Letters - MLitt
The Master of Letters or MLitt is a postgraduate degree that is a more specialized look into a Masters degree than the MA. The main difference between a Master of Letters and a MA is that an MA is taught and geared specially towards a specific field, while a Master of Letters is an award that is given out in place of the Master of Philosophy degree of research that carries with it a higher degree of respect. The actual hierarchy of degrees in the English setting is a Master of Arts, followed by the Master of Science, followed by the Master of Philosophy and then at the end the Master of Letters.
The Master of Letters can be applied for when a student enters postgraduate school, but commonly it is awarded to those who begin to study for a PhD, but after two years of schooling are unable to complete the last year of study, or do not want to.
At this point the student can submit a thesis statement that compiles all the research they completed up until the point when they decided to leave the doctorate study, and still be awarded a Master of Letters degree.
In Scotland however the MLitt degree is awarded in a different fashion than in other areas of the UK.
In the university system there the Master of Letters degree is still a postgraduate study, but only requires a one year investment of time, during which a student studies three to four different focuses comprehensively, and then submits a thesis. Due to this structure the MLitt does not carry as much weight in the hierarchy as it does in other locations in the UK, and is thus ranked with the same degree of significance as a MA.
Also, in the Scottish university system the MLitt is not looked at as a lesser alternative to pursuing a PhD, and the option is not there for shortening a PhD study down to a MLitt. However, despite these differences just like in the other UK locations, the Master of Letters degree is given to students who complete their research and thesis in the subject areas of Social Sciences, Fine Art, Arts, Divinity, or Humanities.
Thus, the core focus of the Master of Letters remains unchanged, despite the slight differences in power of the degree.
-- Other Masters Degrees --
-- Additional useful articles --