The Master of
Philosophy (abbr. M.Phil. or MPhil, sometimes Ph.M.;
Latin Magister Philosophiae or Philosophiae Magister) is a
postgraduate degree. In most cases, it is an advanced research degree
with the prerequisites required for a Master of
making it the most advanced research degree before the Doctor of
Ph.D. or D.Phil.). An M.Phil. is in most cases
thesis-only, and is regarded as a senior or second Master's degree,
standing between a taught Master's and a Ph.D. An M.Phil. may be
awarded to graduate students after completing several years of
original research, but before the defence of a dissertation, and can
serve as a provisional enrollment for a Ph.D.
Belgium and Netherlands
10 United Kingdom
11 United States
12 See also
The Master of
Philosophy is offered by many universities in Australia,
and it is often the only option to undertake a master's degree in
select schools. In Australia, the Master of
Philosophy is a research
degree which mirrors a
Philosophy (PhD) in breadth of
research and structure. The candidates are assessed solely on the
basis of a thesis. A standard full-time degree often takes two years
to complete. The Australian National University, University of
Sydney, Curtin University, Griffith University and Melbourne
University are also examples of Australian universities offering
Masters of Philosophy.
Belgium and Netherlands
Belgium and the Netherlands, the M.Phil. is a special research
degree, and is only awarded by selected departments of a university
(mostly in the fields of arts, social sciences, archaeology,
philosophy and theology). Admission to these programmes is highly
selective and primarily aimed at those students aiming for an academic
career. After finishing these programmes, students normally enroll in
Ph.D. programme. The Dutch Department of Education, Culture and
Science has decided not to recognize the MPhil degree. Accordingly,
some Dutch universities have decided to continue to offer MPhil
programs, though award the legally-recognized Master of Research
degrees, as the MA(Res) or MSc(Res).
Very few Canadian universities offer M.Phil. degrees. Among their
number, however, is Memorial University of Newfoundland's
interdisciplinary two-year M.Phil. in Humanities.
Indian universities offer M.Phil degrees mostly in the streams of
arts, science and humanities. The duration is typically two years
long. Several universities offer enrolment in their integrated
M.Phil-Ph.D program and M.Phil degree holders are usually exempted
from doctoral coursework requirement.
In Finland, the regular (first)
Master's degree filosofian maisteri
translates to "Master of Philosophy". However, the term "philosophy"
is to be understood to the maximum extent, because this is the name of
the basic master's degree in all natural sciences and humanities. It
does not imply a specialization in theoretical philosophy or even
other than introductory studies. In fact, most of the students
majoring in philosophy get a degree with a different name (Master of
Sociology or Politics). These degrees are regular master's degrees,
not special "higher" degrees (cf. Licentiate and Doctor of
Philosophy). In the past, filosofian maisteri signified that the
degree was earned through actual studying, in contrast to honorary
master's degrees that could be granted by application to Bachelors.
In Malaysia, the M.Phil. degree is not common. There are only a
handful of universities in Malaysia that offer M.Phil. program, such
as the University of Malaya, Multimedia University (MMU),Wawasan Open
University, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) Monash
University Sunway Campus (MUSC) and Curtin Malaysia Campus. In most
cases, the M.Phil. is a pure research degree. On a case by case basis,
candidates must pass a viva voce examination before the degree is
awarded. For UNMC and MUSC, the Faculty of Engineering offer a
standalone M.Phil. degree which will lead to the
Ph.D. The M.Phil is
normally regarded as a more prestigious master's degree than typical
taught master's degree such as M.Sc. or M.Eng.. Specifically for the
University of Malaya, if the desired field of research does not belong
to any of the specialized faculties, it is normally categorized under
the M.Phil. supervised by the
Postgraduate Institute. In November
2012, Malaysian Qualifications Agency has issued programme standards
for postgraduate studies in which MPhil is attributed to Master
programme by research and mixed mode (coursework and research).
In Norway, the degree of M.Phil is a 'standard'
Master's degree (120
ECTS credits) at a level equivalent to an M.A. or M.Sc. However,
unlike a standard MA or MSc, which have a thesis worth 30 ECTS, the
M.Phil has a research workload of 60 ECTS. Upon completion, the
M.Phil graduate usually qualifies for acceptance to a Ph.D program.
Nevertheless, the M.Phil is most often taken as a standalone
qualification. The M.Phil is not a common degree in Norway; most
universities award an M.A. (in humanities or social sciences) or M.Sc.
(in technical and scientific subjects) degrees.
In Pakistan, the degree of MPhil is offered by Public and Private
Universities in several different fields of study. This is a two
years full-time research based program that completes 18 years of
education and leads to PhD. The degree of MPhil is also a requirement
to get admission into a Doctoral program in Pakistan.
In Spain, the M.Phil degree is equivalent to the Diploma de Estudios
Avanzados, or DEA. In order to obtain it, the student has to complete
a full year of doctoral courses, plus do original research.
In most UK universities, completion of an M.Phil. typically requires
two years of full-time or five years or more of part-time study (being
five or eight years from initially entering university) and the
submission of a thesis comprising a body of original research
undertaken by the candidate. It is common for students admitted into a
Ph.D. program at a UK university to be initially registered for the
degree of M.Phil., and then to transfer (or upgrade) to the
successful completion of the first (or sometimes the second) year of
study: this will often involve the submission of a short report or
dissertation by the student, and possibly an oral examination or
presentation. In addition, most universities allow examiners to
recommend award of an M.Phil. if a
Ph.D. candidate's thesis is deemed
not to be of the requisite length or standard for a doctorate.
However, many students register for an M.Phil. with no intention of
upgrading to a
Ph.D. Others are not able to do a
Ph.D. because their
research does not have sufficient scope for a
Ph.D. or because they
are seeking a shorter program.
At a few UK universities, an M.Phil. research degree can be awarded
after only one year of study and is viewed as being equivalent to a
taught M.A. or M.Sc. degree. However, in some institutions, such as
University College London
University College London and the University of Aberdeen, a clear set
of requirements must be met for the award of an M.Phil, under which
candidates are required to submit and defend a thesis against external
and internal examiners, a process which may in itself take up to a
year, and, as such, the award may be regarded as a mini-PhD.
[permanent dead link] For example, the degree of Master of
Philosophy of the
University of Aberdeen
University of Aberdeen requires the submission of a
thesis of up to 70,000 words plus a viva voce examination; this is a
considerably larger piece of work than is required for the same
qualification at other institutions. At the University of
Manchester, the candidate may also be required by the examiners to
undergo a written or other examination. Each candidate is examined by
two or more examiners of whom at least one shall be an external
Cambridge University offers the M.Phil. as a one-year master's degree
program. This is to distinguish it from the Cambridge M.A. degree,
to which B.A. graduates usually awarded after a certain period of time
without any further study (a procedure which has been followed at the
universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Dublin since the seventeenth
century). The Cambridge M.Phil. can be either a taught degree or a
research-based degree, depending on the course. At Oxford University,
the M.Phil. is usually a two-year master's degree, although some
programs are one-year. The M.Phil. requires a lengthy thesis and
more examinations than a one-year master's degree (such as M.Sc.,
M.St.). The ancient Scottish universities, who for historical reasons
award the Scottish M.A. degree upon completion of four-year first
degree programs in arts and humanities subjects, differ in their use
of M.Phil. or M.Litt. for postgraduate research degrees, but are
slowly standardizing to the M.Phil. as a research degree and the
M.Litt. as a taught degree.
Although most American universities do not award the M.Phil., a few
award it under certain circumstances. At those institutions (including
Yale University, Columbia University, Pardee RAND Graduate School,
George Washington University, Rutgers University, The New School for
Research and the CUNY Graduate Center), the degree is awarded
Ph.D. candidates when they complete their required coursework and
qualifying examinations prior to the completion and defense of a
doctoral dissertation. This recognizes achievement beyond the Master
of Arts and
Master of Science
Master of Science degrees conferred after 1–3 years of
graduate study and formalizes the more colloquial "All But
Dissertation" status; as such, defense of a dissertation proposal is
sometimes required for conferral.
Ph.D. candidates at these universities view the M.Phil. as a
formality and elect not to receive it in order to avoid the paperwork
and costs involved. However, some programs do not offer an en route
M.A. or M.S., so the M.Phil. is the first opportunity to receive a
degree between the bachelor's and Ph.D; others may elect not to take
the nominally lower M.A. or M.S. degree in favor of the M.Phil. or the
Ph.D itself. Some colleges and universities, such as the College of
the Atlantic, the University of Michigan, the University of
Pennsylvania and the University of Utah, offer a standalone M.Phil.
degree in various fields.
Bachelor of Philosophy
Candidate of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy
Master of Research
Master of Letters
Master of Studies (M.St.)
^ "Courses at Curtin". curtin.edu.au. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
^ "Minimum Entry Requirements". The University of Sydney Business
School. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
^ Australian National University.
^ Curtin University,
^ Griffith University,
^ Newcastle University
^ De MPhil graad wordt niet meer verleend, Leiden University. Archived
July 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
^ Veelgestelde vragen Welke titel mag ik voeren? Archived 2008-05-12
at the Wayback Machine. Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organization.
^ "404". Retrieved 20 January 2016.
^ NTNU M.Phil programme
^ studyinnorway.no Archived 2010-01-10 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Qualifications". Retrieved 20 January 2016.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-05. Retrieved
Levels of academic degree
ISCED level 5
Higher National Diploma/Diploma of Higher Education/Certificate of
ISCED level 6
ISCED level 7
ISCED level 8
Candidate of Sciences
No dominant classification