Difference Between MSc by Research and MPhil

MSc by Research vs MPhil

Those pursuing graduate course in science subjects commonly do MSc which is the most popular degree course around the world. This is a two year regular course that is designed to impart in depth knowledge about a particular science subject as against degree course at undergraduate level that is general in nature and provides knowledge about many subjects. However, these days, there is one MSc that is gaining currency and that is MSc by research. This is a master’s degree in science just like a regular MSc but as the name implies there is much greater emphasis on research than in regular MSc. There is another degree called MPhil that is popular among those who wish to do their masters in research.

Especially in UK, a Master’s degree in research or master’s degree by research is called MRes, and is offered in a number of scientific disciplines. So, a MSc by research is designed to prepare students for doctoral research which readies them to take up teaching jobs or get employment in research institutions. In comparison to regular MSc, MSc by research requires quite a lot of dissertation and has very few taught lessons. Regular class work is a chief characteristic of regular MSC, but in MSc by research, about 40,000 word research paper is a must.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is also a master’s degree designed for research students. It is a step lower in the ladder that has PhD as a later and higher degree. It is when one completes his PhD that he becomes a Doctor of Philosophy. Sometimes, in US, MPhil is awarded to students of PhD before they have finally submitted their thesis. Even in UK, students opting to do PhD are initially registered as MPhil students. It is when they successfully complete first year of study is they considered as having transferred to PhD.

In brief:

MSc by Research vs MPhil

• Both MSc by research and MPhil are research based postgraduate degrees that take a student closer to his PhD.

• However, even in MSc by research, there is some taught component whereas MPhil is purely research based in nature.

• While MSc by research is standalone, MPhil is not standalone and there is inherent expectation that the student will go on to complete his or her PhD in another two years time by submitting his thesis paper.