A master’s degree is a second-level qualification, which is almost always completed on the basis that you have completed an undergraduate degree.
If studying for a master’s related to your undergraduate degree subject, you will be able to gain a deeper knowledge and level of understanding in that field. Some people, though, opt to go in a completely different direction and move into a field that they haven’t studied - or formally studied - before. If you are planning on studying something vastly different from your undergraduate studies, check what the requirements are on individual university websites, or speak with their admissions teams.
There are two main types of master’s degrees: taught and research.
Some common master’s degrees include:
- MA (Master of Arts) in a wide range of arts or humanities subjects.
- MSc (Master of Science).
- A range of subject-specific qualifications including MEng (Master of Engineering), MFA (Master of Fine Arts), LLM (Master of Laws), MArch (Master of Architecture), and more.
- Courses leading to an MPhil (Master of Philosophy) qualification are research-led and often designed for students to progress to a PhD.
Note that some Scottish universities offer an undergraduate degree called a Scottish Masters of Arts which is completed over three or four years. This shouldn’t be confused with a postgraduate master’s.