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Guest Mary S

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Guest Mary S

Postgraduate/graduate master's degrees (MA/M.A./A.M., MPhil/M.Phil., MSc/M.S./SM, MBA/M.B.A., LLM/LL.M., etc.) are the traditional formal form of master's degree, where the student already holds an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree on entry. Courses normally last one year in the UK and two years in the US.
Integrated master's degrees (MChem, MEng, MMath, MPharm, MPhys, MPsych, MSci, etc.) are UK degrees that combine an undergraduate bachelor's degree course with an extra year at master's level (i.e. a total of four years in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and five years in Scotland). A 2011 survey of UK Higher Education Institutes found that 64% offered integrated master's course, mostly in STEM disciplines, with the most common degrees being MEng, MSci and MChem. 82% of respondents conferred only a master's degree for the course, while 9% conferred a bachelor's degree at the end of the bachelor's-level stage and a master's degree at the end of the course and a further 9% conferred both bachelor's and master's degrees at the end of the course.
Non-master's level master's degrees The ancient universities of the UK and Ireland have traditionally awarded MAs in a different manner to that usual today. The Scottish MA is a bachelor's-level qualification offered by the ancient universities of Scotland. The Oxbridge MA is not an academic qualification; it is granted without further examination to those who have gained a BA from Oxford or Cambridge Universities in England, and the MA of Trinity College Dublin in Ireland is granted to its graduates in a similar manner.
The UK Quality Assurance Agency defines three categories of Master's degrees:

Research master's degrees are primarily research based, although may contain taught elements, particularly on research methods. Examples are the MLitt (usually, but not always a research degree), the Master's by Research, and the MPhil. The Master's by Research (MbyRes, ResM), which is a research degree, is distinct from the Master of Research (MRes), which is a taught degree concentrating on research methods.
Specialised or advanced study master's degrees are primarily taught degrees, although commonly at least a third of the course is devoted to a research project assessed by dissertation. These may be stand-alone master's courses, leading to, e.g., MSc, MA or MRes degrees, or integrated master's degrees.
Professional or practice master's degrees (see also professional degree) are designed to prepare students for a particular professional career and are primarily taught, although they may include work placements and independent study projects. Some may require professional experience for entry. Examples include MBA, MDiv, LLM and MSW as well as some integrated master's degrees. The name of the degree normally includes the subject name.
The United States Department of Education classifies master's degrees as research or professional. Research master's degrees in the US (e.g., M.A./A.M. or M.S.) require the completion of taught courses and examinations in a major and one or more minor subjects, as well as (normally) a research thesis. Professional master's degrees may be structured like research master's (e.g., M.E./M.Eng.) or may concentrate on a specific discipline (e.g., M.B.A.) and often substitute a project for the thesis.

The Australian Qualifications Framework classifies master's degrees as research, coursework or extended. Research master's degrees typically take one to two years, and two thirds of their content consists of research, research training and independent study. Coursework master's degrees typically also last one to two years, and consist mainly of structured learning with some independent research and project work or practice-related learning. Extended master's degrees typically take three to four years and contain significant practice-related learning that must be developed in collaboration with relevant professional, statutory or regulatory bodies.

In Ireland, master's degrees may be either Taught or Research. Taught master's degrees are normally one to two year courses, rated at 60 - 120 ECTS credits, while research master's degrees are normally two year courses, either rated at 120 ECTS credits or not credit rated.

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