Master’s Degrees

Discover best master's degrees worldwide!

Browse By Country

What’s a master’s degree?

A Master’s Degree is a degree that is awarded by a university that states that someone has become a “master” in a certain subject. This typically means that they have received a good education in the field, graduating with an advanced knowledge of their field of interest. They learn a big variety of theoretical topics and apply them practically. They also receive a high level of skills that are both soft skills, professional skills and transferable ones. These skills are gained through lectures with renowned experts in the field, independent learning and highly focused learning and research. 

How long do they take to be completed? 

Master’s degrees usually take a smaller amount of time to complete when compared to bachelor’s degrees and PhD degrees. They usually take between 1 and 3 years to be completed, depending on many factors. For example, this might vary based on whether it’s a full time or part time study program, as part time degrees take longer to be completed. It also depends on the subject being studied as some subjects typically take longer to be studied on a master’s basis. The country in which you study the Master’s degree also differs. For example, in the United Kingdom, master’s degrees take one year to be completed while in European countries like Germany, they take two years to be completed. 

What is the typical Master’s degree composition?

Typically, a master’s degree is made up of around 40 credit hours of coursework. To graduate from the course, you might need to maintain an average GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0, or a B grade. However, some course requirements aren’t as stringent and you might be able to get by with a bit of a lower grade, as long as you pass the courses. It all depends on the Master’s degree course you choose. 

Master’s level work is generally split into four different kinds of course groups, as follows: 

Foundation Courses

The first type of the four are the foundation courses, which give general knowledge about the subject. They give students a good foundation of knowledge in areas that are related to the major or connected to some main study areas.  

Core courses 

Next, your chosen master’s degree will typically have core courses that are multiple subjects that relate to your major and give you a deep knowledge of the subject of your choice. These help you to excel in the work world by giving you an intense education in the field. These courses are the ones that will truly make a difference when you graduate from your master’s program. They’ll give you a great boost that other people who haven’t studied this master’s degree don’t have!   


You’ll also sometimes have the choice to pick electives for your master’s degree. Sometimes, programs may specify the extra courses that must be taken but others might leave it up to the student as long as it’s within a certain course list. This part of the master’s degree is the personalized area where you can pick subjects you are passionate about and want to explore more deeply.  

Master’s Thesis

Finally, the last quarter of the master’s degree is the master’s Thesis course. It can also be called a capstone course, as a capstone is the final part placed at the top of a building in a construction project. In a similar fashion, this course combines the theoretical knowledge you’ve gained throughout the course of your degree and let’s you apply it in a practical fashion. Basically, it sums up all of your master’s work in a real-world application of your knowledge. Before starting work on your thesis, you’ll usually have to pick a thesis adviser or professor and create a proposal that is reviewed and approved by them.  

What are the different kinds of master’s degrees? 

There are different types of master’s degrees, with each one having a unique focus. From MA, MSc, MBA, MRes to MPA, you might be confused about what these abbreviations stand for. The Master of Arts (MA) is a master’s degree where students study courses in social sciences, art and humanities, and sometimes, business, consulting and management. MA degrees often have work in the form of research, debates, essay writing and also some practical exercises.

Alternatively, the Master of Science (MSc) master’s degrees are for students that study topics in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These are often called STEM master’s programs. Keep in mind that some social sciences, business and management programs might also be master’s of science degrees as they might be very research focused, with an emphasis on scientific theories and much reading.  

Next, the Master’s of Business Administration, often known as the MBA, is an advanced degree that is more practical and professional. It’s for business professionals, who already have at least three years of experience in the business world. They usually want to increase their professional standing, boost their salary and improve their networks. The average age of students in this Master’s degree is typically higher than in other master’s degree programs, averaging between 28 and 30. 

A Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a bit similar to an MBA as it is also professional master’s degree. However, instead of focused on business professionals or those who want to make a career shift into the business world, it’s instead aimed at community, government and non profit professionals who work in the public sector. Finally, a  Master of Research (MRes) is a full-time research Master’s degree that takes about one year to be completed. It focuses more on independent study, with some courses existing to train researchers to become experts for a specific profession or to go on to pursue a PhD degree. 

Why study a master’s degree?

Finally, you might want to know why you should even study a master’s degree. Here are some of the reasons why students choose to pursue a master’s degree: 

Interest in the subject 

Some students might have become passionate about a certain area of study, either while studying their bachelor’s degree or another course and what to become more informed in the subject of their choice. They might also want to ga8n more specialised expert knowledge in the field. They may also want to conduct deep research in the subject, become an expert in the field or go on and teach it to others. They may also want to prepare to study a PhD so they are building knowledge in the field. 

Career development 

Others may pursue a master’s degree to develop their careers or gain skills needed to pursue a certain career. This means they should check that the degree program is accredited before joining so that they don’t waste their time. For example, some professionals that require a master’s degree to work are lawyers, doctors, teachers, librarians and physicists, among other professionals. 

Stand out from the crowd

Some students might pursue a master’s degree to get an extra qualification and stand out from the rest of their colleagues. They might feel like it may help them impress employers when applying for a job, or be eligible for a better position. This is all true as a Master’s degree can help increase your professional knowledge, personal skills and improve employability. Having a master’s degree can also help you get funding for your PhD study in the future.  

Passion for academia 

Another reason you might choose to pursue a master’s degree is your passion for university and academia. Some students might want to stay in university as much as they possibly can or want to explore more about the subject before they leave university and trudge out into the working world. They may also want to work in academia and contribute to research in a certain field of study. An example of this work might be working as a teaching assistant and then as a professor after they graduate from their PhD program. 

Career shift 

Finally, one of the most common reasons many students pursue a master’s degree is because they want to have a career shift. This means they want to change subjects from the undergraduate degree that they pursued. In this case, their master’s degree can serve as a conversion course between different subjects. This allows students to explore a different study area if they wish to do so. After graduation, they can probably go on to apply to jobs in the new field and start their career there.