What is meant by a master's degree?
A master's degree is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study that demonstrates mastery in a specific field of study or area of professional practice.
A master's degree usually requires a previous bachelor's level degree, either as a separate degree or as part of an integrated course. In addition, with a master's degree you can usually have more opportunities to advance your career as a valued and knowledgeable employee or pursue further education after graduation, such as a Ph.D.
The master's degree allows students to build advanced knowledge on a theoretical and applied level, to formulate a deeper understanding of the field of study, as well as to develop a variety of skills acquired during the course of study.
Admission requirements for master's studies:
Master's degree duration
Most master's degrees take an average of one year to complete when taught full-time. Master's degree programs can take a full twelve months to complete, or one academic year depending on the university.
A part-time master's degree usually takes two or more years to complete, some full-time master's courses may take two years to complete, depending on the course and several factors such as your field of study and the time you are willing to devote to your programme.
If you are currently on a career path you may find that taking one or two semesters in a semester is more manageable and therefore you may need three or more years to complete your program. If you are in a position to dedicate more of your time to being a full-time student, you can finish in a year or two.
Master's degree graduation requirements:
1. Completion of 30 to 60 study hours
2. Have a minimum cumulative GPA
3. Completion of a master's thesis or graduation project
Types of master's degrees:
There are a few different types of degrees depending on what they offer and how it is achieved, as well as on how long and what it takes students to earn a master's degree.
Obtained after you have already completed an undergraduate program, it can last anywhere from one to two years. Some master's degrees that fit into this category include: Master of Arts (MA), Master of Philosophy (MPhil), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Applied Science (MAS).
Master's degree (Integrated)
Integrated master's degrees are called by this name when they are part of an undergraduate bachelor's degree program that features an additional year of master's level classes. These degrees are offered mostly in STEM majors. These master's degrees include: Master of Chemistry (MChem), Master of Mathematics (MMath), Master of Physics (MPhys), Master of Psychology (MPsych).
Master's degree (non-master's level)
The term non-master's degrees refer to degrees awarded by legacy universities in which students did not have to pursue a master's degree program, instead these degrees were awarded to students who pursued undergraduate studies.
Types of master's degrees according to specialisation or study:
Below are the different types of master's degrees based on the subjects they offer and the courses that come with them.
1. Master of Business Administration (MBA)
2. Master of Education (MEd)
3. Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
4. Masters in Research (MRes)
5. Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
6. Master of Social Work (MSW)
7. Master of Studies (MSt)
8. Master of Technology (MTech)
9. Master of Laws (LLM)
10. Master of Library Science (MLS)
The importance of obtaining a master's degree: