Master of Philosophy - MPhil
The Master of Philosophy degree is a more specialized degree for those who want to study Philosophy at the post graduate level. It is often an option for students who want a deeper look into Philosophy than is offered by the MA or the Master of Science coursework, and is ranked in the educational hierarchy between the Bachelor of Philosophy and the PhD of Philosophy.
Due to its higher level of study, the Master of Philosophy degree is often considered to be a second master's degree, which compliments an MA and is also sometimes referred to as a senior degree. Due to its strict focuses on research the MPhil is only offered to students after the completion of a full thesis, which compiles all of their findings after two to three years of research are completed. Other students receive the Masters of Philosophy after failing to obtain the PhD of Philosophy.
In the UK it is quite popular for students to sign up for an MPhil course of study and upon successful completion of a thesis, or the first or second year of study to transfer towards a line of study for the PhD of Philosophy.
Also, many universities will allow the thesis statement of an MPhil course of study to be examined for competency as a PhD statement as well, which makes it a popular choice for serious research students who are not sure how far they want to take their research, and thus use the Master of Philosophy as a stepping stone.
There is a notable difference to the way a MPhil is approached in Scotland however, as universities in Scotland often offer the MA degree in undergraduate subject areas and exclusively only offer the MPhil during postgraduate studies.
Thus, the distinction of a Master of Philosophy is not so significant in Scotland, since those studying arts and humanities may be subject to receiving a Master of Philosophy degree, without the specialized scope of study as in other regions within the UK.
However, Scotland is slowly moving towards standardizing the MPhil degree as an exclusive research degree, and awarding the MLitt in its place for those who want to take coursework in these subject areas. Thus, in the future the degree in Scotland is expected to evolve to resemble the MPhil in the rest of the UK more closely.
-- Other Masters Degrees --
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