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Master's Courses in the UK 

What is a Master's Degree?

A postgraduate or master's course in the UK follows the successful completion of an undergraduate degree, generally lasting for just one year compared to two-year master's programmes found elsewhere in the world. This means international students can save time, money and begin their career much quicker with a highly regarded UK postgraduate degree.

Why Study for a Master's Degree in the UK?

The UK is home to some of the leading universities in the world, renowned for their quality of teaching and research. A UK postgraduate degree is held in high esteem by employers, and for international students studying in the UK, it is a fantastic opportunity to improve their English and immerse themselves in a multicultural and exciting community of academics and students. You will:

  • Improve your career prospects
  • Gain an internationally recognised qualification
  • Earn more throughout your career because of the weight a UK master's carries
  • Be able to shape study around your schedule

A study carried out by the Higher Education Statistics Agency showed that 86 per cent of students who completed a postgraduate master's in the UK were in full-time employment following graduation, compared to just 75 per cent of undergraduate leavers.

Types of Master's Degrees

Taught Masters

There are four main types of taught programme, Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc), Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Engineering (MEng), with each lasting 1-2 years full-time.

On a taught programme, students are expected to attend weekly seminars, tutorials and lectures, much like an undergraduate degree, and assessment can be via exam, dissertation or project.

Research Masters

A Research degree will see students take more responsibility for their work and schedule, basing their study around a thesis while being supervised by an academic. The most popular research degree is a PhD, which can take 3-4 years to complete and consists of writing a thesis between 60,000 – 100,000 words which is then presented in an oral examination.

Other types of Research degrees include the Master of Science (MSc), Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Master of Research (MRes). These degrees are similar to a PhD but not as academically demanding, with papers being much shorter.

How Much Does a Master's Cost?

The average cost of a postgraduate and master's degree in the UK for an international student is £17,000. Tuition fees at the postgraduate level vary on the type of master's you wish to study, which part of the UK you wish to live in, and what university you attend.

Postgraduate schools in the UK are far less expensive than graduate schools in the USA, and studying in the UK can be 30 to 60 per cent cheaper than American equivalents.

Popular Master’s Subjects at UK Universities 

Business and Management

A Master's in Business and Management (MBM) provides students with a comprehensive understanding of business principles and management practices. The programme covers various areas of business, including finance, marketing, human resources, operations, and strategy and combines theoretical learning with practical applications, allowing students to develop a broad range of skills such as leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Graduates of an MBM programme have diverse career opportunities in industries like finance, consulting, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

Computing

A Master's in Computing covers topics like programming languages, recent advancements in computer science, and practical skills. By completing this degree, you will have a strong foundation in computer science and be ready to start a career in areas like software development, data analysis, or artificial intelligence.

Engineering

A Master's in Engineering is a graduate degree aimed at individuals with a bachelor's degree in engineering. It offers advanced education to prepare students for more independent and complex roles in technical workplaces. Graduates find employment in various fields, such as manufacturing, production, maintenance, quality control and more.

Medicine

A Master's in Medicine (MMed) is a postgraduate degree for doctors that provides advanced training and specialisation in a specific medical field. Medical schools award it, and it typically takes three to four years to complete. The programme includes a combination of classroom instruction, clinical rotations, and examinations, and the MMed degree allows doctors to gain expertise and knowledge in a particular area of medicine, such as surgery or internal medicine. It can be pursued alongside or after completing a fellowship and is often required to become a registered specialist.

Social Science

A Master of Social Science is a postgraduate degree that focuses on studying and understanding society and human behaviour. It allows individuals to specialise in areas that interest them within the broad social science field. Graduates can pursue careers as social researchers, academics, social workers, consultants or even transition into different fields like media or business.

Entry Requirements for a UK Master’s

To apply for a master's as an international student, you need to meet specific requirements. First, you should have completed a bachelor's degree in a related field with a minimum score of 60%, and you also need to show proficiency in the English language by taking tests like IELTS (with a score of 6.5-7) or TOEFL (with a score of 90-110).

Depending on the programme, you may need to take exams like GMAT or GRE, with scores around 160 for GRE and 500-600 for GMAT. Work experience of 1-2 years is often required for professional-level courses like MBA or MIM.

Career Prospects after a UK Master’s

After completing a master's in the UK, various career prospects are available. Options include working in universities as researchers or lecturers, joining companies in roles like project managers or consultants, starting their own businesses, working in the government on policies, joining non-profit organisations, pursuing healthcare careers, entering the finance or banking sector, working in technology and IT fields, joining media or communication organisations, and exploring opportunities in the arts and creative industries.

The specific career path depends on the field of study and individual interests. Gaining work experience and networking can also help in finding job opportunities.

Study a Master's in the UK

If you wish to learn more about studying a master's, arrange your free consultation at SI-UK online or in-person today.

Postgraduate and Master’s FAQ

Yes. The Graduate visa route allows international students to work or search for work for two years after completing their master’s degree programme at a university in the UK.

The entry requirements for each UK university differ. However, the three minimum requirements are a first-class honours degree from a recognised university, proof of English language ability and a personal statement.

A postgraduate course in the UK generally lasts for just one year compared to the two-year master’s degree programmes in many countries. The one-year PG programmes save students time and money and help them start their careers much more quicker.

Yes, UK universities do accept India’s 10+2+3 education system. After the historic July 2022 agreement between the Indian and British governments, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees will now be recognised in both countries.

The British postgraduate grading system has four marks classification. A student must score at least 50% to be considered a pass.

  • Distinction: 70% or above
  • Merit: 60-69%
  • Pass: 50-59%
  • Borderline pass/Fail: 40-49%
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