Masters by Coursework vs Research
In many universities, there is an option to complete master’s degree through regular course work or through research, or through a combination of course work and research. This is in sharp contrast to days when these degrees were rigid in their demand of requisite number of hours for coursework. Today both masters by coursework and research carry weightage and a student can choose to complete the degree by choosing any of the components. However, there are specific requirements depending upon different programs and it is better for a student to look into these requirements.
Masters by Coursework
As the name implies, the major component in Masters by coursework is regular attendance of lectures and tutorials. The student has to fulfill the requirements of assessments such as essays and assignments. However, even in Masters by coursework, there is a component of research though it is miniscule in terms of percentage where students work under the supervision of professors and have to submit thesis of their project as part of assessments. There are courses such as doctorate that are defined as coursework even though a major part of the degree is research.
Masters by Research
These courses are dominated by research work and attendance of lectures is not that important as in course work. Typically a master’s degree through research has research component up to 70% in comparison to regular classroom lectures. It would be better to call masters by research as a mini PhD. Here a student is not required to attend classes or write exams to complete course work. If at all, there are preliminary courses designed to give a foundation to the student about the subject and majority of the content is provided to the student through a supervisor who helps and assists in research.
Masters by coursework vs Masters by research
• Masters by coursework is different from masters by research mainly in the content of the programs.
• Coursework requires attendance of lectures more than masters by research
• Masters by research is more like a mini PhD