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Types of Postgraduate Study

Types of Postgraduate Study
cal LiveWebTutors cal 30 Dec, 2019

Complete Information That You Ever Want to Know on Postgraduate Studies

 Your education is a dress rehearsal of a life which is yours to lead”

-Nora Ephron

So, aim for higher and better education to lead a better life!

Postgraduate education involves studying and learning for professional degrees, professional or academic certificates, diplomas, etc. The basic structure and organization of postgraduate education vary from country to country. In this article, we endeavor to outline the main types of postgraduate degrees or studies.

Primarily, there are four different types of postgraduate courses. They are:

  • Taught courses
  • Research Degrees
  • Professional Qualifications
  • Conversion courses

Let us begin with Taught Courses

Taught Courses:

These courses include different types of Masters's Degrees and post-graduate diplomas that are certified courses.

  • A postgraduate certificate course lasts for about four months and a diploma course lasts for about nine months.
  • These two basic-level qualifications can provide a route to different types of careers and they can serve as a stepping stone toward studying for a Master's degree. Sometimes these degrees are awarded to those students as well who do not complete their Master's.

Taught Master's takes about one or two years and involves the completion of a project or dissertation.

  • Taught courses are popular among students and they are led by a tutor. Students pursuing taught courses are expected to attend the weekly lectures and seminars. There are different streams like Master of Arts (MA), Masters of Engineering (M.E), Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A), and Masters of Science (M.Sc.), etc. Courses can be chosen according to the interests of candidates.

Important to Remember:

Not all taught Masters's Courses are entirely taught. Candidates can do a Master of Research degree or MRe which is more like independent research work. MRe qualification comes under the category of taught course but more than 60% of this course is individual research.

Acquiring Master’s Degree (M.A, M.F.A, MBA)

This is one of the most common types of postgraduate study. Normally, it consists of just 1 or 2 years of study. Master’s programs cover a wide variety of specialties that include humanities, arts (M.A or MFA), MBA Masters of Business Administration, and MS Masters of Science and Technology.

These all Master's courses have combined structured coursework and on completing these courses, students need to submit a thesis (which is a prime requirement).

In recent years, MBA has gained immense popularity among students. This Masters's course opens a doorway to opportunities and better job prospects.

Research Degrees

Those who love to get immersed in the subject of their choice should pursue research degrees. These degrees are also known as doctorates and with the completion of this degree; candidates acquire the title of a doctor.

  • The principal kinds of doctorate programs are PhDs, DPhils, and several other integrated PhDs and professional doctorates.
  • Doctorates can be taken after the Master’s degree and sometimes after a bachelor’s degree.
  • Doctorates take 4 years to complete but sometimes it takes a longer time.
  • The main component of a Ph.D. is a doctoral thesis which runs to 120,000 words and it is a research project on any specialist topic.
  • The thesis should be able to present something new to the studies that can be utterly useful.

Important to Note:

An MPhil is similar to a PhD but easier. Instead of having to complete a tedious and time-consuming thesis, candidates pursuing M. Phil would be asked to carry out a research project comprising 30-35K words. So, M. Phil is not as challenging as Ph.D. and does not have the same reputation. However, it is also a respected academic qualification.

There are some new PhDs in the market. They are known as new route PhDs. They have been going for more than a decade and aimed and providing students with taught courses and practical experience. These are professional doctorates that combine professional skills with academics and prepare the students to acquire jobs upon completing them. These PhDs are more vocational types than the traditional PhDs and prepare the students for jobs.

What are conversion courses?

Postgraduate conversion courses are a lifeline for all those students who have not take-up an undergraduate course for the profession they want to adopt. These courses are smooth sailing if you do not have any idea about the profession you think you would adopt in the future.

  • These courses are about one-year and are kept under the category of the taught courses.
  • These courses include teaching for which the graduates need a one-year PGCE or Postgraduate Certificate of Education.

Conversion courses for architecture, social work, dentistry, medicine, law, etc.

  • Postgraduate conversion courses have a law that the students who need to take law graduation conversion courses if they have acquired a degree in some other stream and wish to become a legal practitioner. They also have to take a Bar professional training course or a legal practice course.
  • Medicine is another stream where the students need to take a 4-year graduate entry-level medical course if the first degree is in a stream other than Medicine.
  • If graduates of other subjects want to pick up dentistry, they need to pursue a 4-year course.
  • Aspiring architects also have to take a postgraduate course in addition to their Bachelor of Arts.
  • Social work is a stream where candidates need to take a 2-year postgraduate course.

For the professions like Engineering, Pharmacology, and Journalism

  • Masters are options in a certain stream like pharmacy and journalism etc. But, it is always desirable. Journalism is a non-graduate profession and it takes the entrants that have first degrees. These degrees are much sought after because they enable the students to pick up careers of their choice.
  • Pharmacology is yet another industry where a higher degree is desirable but it is optional.
  • The same holds true for Engineering. A Master of Engineering is a valuable degree for students who want to embrace Engineering as a career option.

Businesses-MSc, MBA, and MA

  • An MBA degree is one of the most sought-after post-graduate studies. It is highly desirable and over the years it has gained an immense amount of popularity.
  • Though there are different degrees in business also MBA is the most popular one. It lasts for about 2 years and it is the priciest one. It can help you change your career and move to a highly-paid job.
  • There are MScs and MAs that can help students to become academicians and are easily affordable. There are certain other studies like a Master of finance with a great track record of enabling postgraduate students to secure highly paid jobs in the financial sector.

A Few More Desirable Post-Graduate Degrees:

Juris Doctors Degree (J.D)

Those who are interested in picking up a career in law and going to law school can acquire JD or Juris Doctor Degree. It is considered a first step towards adopting a legal career. It is a three-year program with a focus on both general and legal principles. A Juris doctoral degree enables students to work on the different aspects of law and become an advocate.

It is good to know that after completing this degree, candidates can also choose to be a non-practicing attorney and can choose an entrepreneur.

Doctor of Medicine:

Yet another popular and prestigious postgraduate degree is an M.D. or Doctor of Medicine. This 4-year combining coursework with clinical practice develops the skills of students and helps them adopt a career as physicians.

Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

It is more or less like an M.D program only and it is meant for those students who want to become dentists. It is structured as a 4-year program that combines clinical practices and academic studies. The entire dental anatomy and patient care are taught in the program. Like medicine, acquiring a DDS degree ensures a high earning potential, particularly in more specialized areas like oral surgeries.

Choosing the right postgraduate course is one of the most important decisions of any student’s life. When they know what each program entails they are able to pick up the right program of their choice.

Read More: How Many Hours Should You Spend on A Dissertation?

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