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Post Graduate Program

 

Postgraduate education, or graduate education in North America, involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees, academic or professional certificates, academic or professional diplomas, or other qualifications for which a first or bachelor's degree generally is required, and it is normally considered to be part of higher education. In North America, this level is generally referred to as graduate school.


Master Degree 

 

There are two main types of taught courses: master’s degrees and postgraduate diplomas (or certificates). A taught master’s degree usually takes place over one or two years and mostly involves the completion of a dissertation or project.

You can do a Master of the Arts (MA), a Master of Science (MSc), a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Engineering (MEng) degree.

You can also study integrated master’s degrees, which form part of your undergraduate degree. Bear in mind though, that not all master’s degrees are taught courses in their entirety.

For example you can do a Master of Research degree, which is more focused around independent research. A Master of Research degree is still a taught course, but 60% of it has to focus on an individual research project.

Postgraduate diplomas or certificates are academic or vocational qualifications. A postgraduate certificate normally takes around four months, whereas diplomas usually last around nine months.

You could study a subject which is completely new to you, or you could choose a course which builds on what you learned in your bachelor’s degree.

Postgraduate certificates or diplomas can provide a route to particular careers, or they can work as a stepping stone towards studying a master’s degree. However, sometimes they are awarded to those who did not fully complete a master’s degree.


Ph.D Degree 

A huge part of postgraduate study revolves around independent research. Research degrees are often referred to as doctorates. The main types of doctorates are: PhDs, DPhils, integrated PhDs and professional doctorates.

Doctorates can be taken after a master’s degree or, in some cases, after a bachelor’s degree, during which the master’s is usually earned along the way. Doctorates are generally completed over two to four years.

The main component of a PhD is the doctoral thesis. This is a research project on a specialist topic and can be between 40,000 and (wait for it) 120,000 words. It should be worthy of publication and add something new to your field of study.

Of course, there is another reason to do a doctorate (aside from immersing yourself in a subject you love): you get to put ‘Dr’ in front of your name!

An MPhil is similar to a PhD, but lower in the academic pecking order. Instead of completing that mammoth 120,000 word research project, you’ll be conducting an individual research project of around 30,000 to 35,000 words. It is still well respected, but you won’t get to call yourself ‘The Doctor’.

If you want something a little less traditional, you could look into doing a ‘New Route PhD’ or a professional doctorate. Professional doctorates combine professional skills with academic knowledge in a PhD.

These degrees are more vocationally-minded than traditional PhDs and are often taken to further people’s professional careers. You’ll still be completing an original piece of research, but there’s also a taught or directed study element to the doctorate.