Masters degrees in UK: Types and how to apply

Britain’s higher education system is known internationally and has a long history of academic excellence. Therefore, it is not a secret that studying master in Britain is a popular choice for students from all over the world.

Types of master courses in UK

The higher education system in Britain includes many different types of qualification at master’s degree level, ranging from academic programs to practical and professional graduate courses. Most programs require one year of full-time study (90 ECTS), although a research-based master is usually for two years.

Academic master’s degrees

Academic master’s degree certificates in the UK include advanced study of a subject the student learned at the undergraduate level. For this reason, this allows him/her to specialize in a particular subject.

In the light of this subject, the certificates can bedivided into two broad types: programs that are taught, which are generallymore structured. Besides the research masters, which require more independentresearch.

In general, the main types of postgraduate programmes are:

  • Science Master Degree (MSc).
  • Master of Research (MRes).
  • Philosophy Master Degree (MPhil).
  • Master of Arts (MLitt).

Professional master’s degree in UK

Professional master’s qualifications are a great way to prepare yourself for a particular job or sector. Hence, it’s more professional and vocational by nature than the above-mentioned academic masters. These programs often involve a work topic.

In this regard, the common types of professional postgraduate programs include:

  • Master of social work (MSW).
  • Master of Engineering (MEng).
  • Psychology Master Degree.
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA).

Additionally, MBA degree at UK universities is also popular. Being that, we noticed that many international students choose to study an MBA or a master’s degree in Management (MiM).

Apply for masters in UK

The process of applying for a Masters in Britain depends on the course and the institution. Most often, you will have to apply directly to the relevant academic department (although some universities use UCAS for post-graduate studies since it’s a centralized system).

Generally, a postgraduate application in the UK will include completing and providing the following documents:

  • Application form.
  • Academic Cover Letter.
  • Personal statement.
  • Academic / professional references.
  • Certified copies of your degree and academic transcripts.
  • Research proposal (if you are applying for a master’s degree in research such as MPhil or MRes).
  • English test results (if any).

Moreover, in some cases, you may have to attend an interview, either in person or via Skype. You may also have to complete an acceptance test for graduates, although these tests are not common in UK.

English language requirements

You will usually have to provide proof of your English proficiency when applying for a master’s study in UK (if English is not your first language). After all, you may not need this guide if you have studied your degree in an English-speaking country.

Furthermore, you can usually find out the exact score you need to get by checking the course description (if you have any doubt, ask the admissions team at the university you have chosen).

Another key point, below are four main types accepted forthe English test:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • TOEFL test.
  • Cambridge Assessment of English C1 and C2.
  • Pearson English test (PTE Academic).

Visas for master students in UK

As an international non-EU student, you will need a Level 4 visa for a master study in UK. Being that, in order to be accepted to acquire a Level 4 visa, you must have:

  • A place in a full-time or part-time postgraduate course (level Ofqual 7 or higher) at a UK university which has a level 4 sponsor status.
  • The required level of English proficiency for obtaining the master’s degree that you have chosen.
  • The adequate financial support that you will need for affording the cost of studying and living in UK during your studies.

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