What is a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Degree?

Okoma V.
7 Min Read

There are typically two reasons why you would pursue an MPhil. To begin, you may want to learn new research skills in order to expand your career options.

Second, you may wish to pursue a Ph.D. and thus enroll in an MPhil program, either as a necessary component or as a freewill, to acquire research skills and doctoral training.


Because these two objectives have different outcomes, an MPhil is achievable in one of two ways. It is attainable as a stand-alone research degree or as part of a Ph.D. program.

This article will try to clarify any confusion you have concerning the MPhil and its details.

What is an MPhil?

An MPhil can be an aspect of a (or a phase toward Ph.D. enrollment), but can also be studied independently.


The MPhil (Master of Philosophy) is a graduate-level research degree. And is completely made up of your own piece of work, rather than accomplishing taught units and evaluations.

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Unlike many other Masters degrees, the MPhil is purely a research-based degree. An MRes will include some taught units, while an MPhil is based purely on the finalization of an individual thesis.

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Is an MPhil actually a “Master’s” degree?

Although its full title indicates that it is a Master’s degree, the MPhil definitely falls somewhere between other Master’s degrees and more sophisticated postgraduate research teaching.

However, the MPhil is regarded as a “Master’s-level” certification in the majority of higher education systems.


What are the Admission Requirements for an MPhil?

An MPhil, being an extensive research certification, usually has additional entry requirements.

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Some of these are academic in nature. As is customary, a Bachelor’s degree is required. However, you may also be required to have yet another Master’s degree (such as an MA or MSc).

This will be determined by your area of study, school, and the specific project you wish to work on. If your MPhil is meant to lead to a Ph.D., your school may presume you to have previously taught postgraduate experience. This is not really necessary if your project is small and self-contained.

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The majority of MPhil programs will also require you to submit a research proposal.


What’s the Difference Between an MPhil and a PhD?

It’s useful (and realistic) to assume an MPhil (Master of Philosophy) as a scaled-down Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy).

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Some Ph.D. degrees are absolutely titled ‘DPhil,’ which clarifies the correlation between the two educational levels (at least in Latin!).

In addition, these two certifications are connected in other ways. Depending on the results of your research, it is very usual to ‘transfer’ between MPhil and Ph.D. registration.

What’s the Difference Between MPhil and MSc / MA?

The primary distinction between an MPhil and an MSc / MA is how they are presented. An MSc or MA is a known educational University degree that includes lecturer-led classes, lectures, and experiments.

An MPhil, however, does not include any learning; instead, the whole certification is comprised of a research project.


An MPhil is a step up from an MSc or MA in regards to academic advancement. It is the pinnacle of Master’s certification you can obtain, requiring a more significant research task than a taught Master’s degree.

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Although the MSc / MA and MPhil programs are both incredibly beneficial for a Ph.D. An MPhil, on the other hand, is pretty close to a Ph.D. than a classic MSc or MA degree.

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How long is an MPhil Program?

When pursued as a full-time degree, a standalone MPhil typically lasts two years. Conversely, you can pursue a part-time program for four to five years.

MPhil enrollment in a Doctoral program typically lasts one year. Upon passing an upgrade exam, you will be promoted to full Ph.D. enrollment.


How many credits is an MPhil worth?

Many MPhil degrees, like PhDs, have no credit value. This seems to be due to the fact that they are not composed of independently assessed blocks or units.

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It is indeed plausible that your MPhil will include some preliminary research techniques training, which will be awarded a nominal credit value. This, however, will not add to the total credit value of your degree.

Regardless of the lack of a credit value, the MPhil is known worldwide as a Masters-level degree.

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Which Subjects Award MPhil Degrees?

The MPhil degree can be acquired in any subject. This is really a standard occurrence of postgraduate research programs, which do not usually have degree titles that reflect areas of study.


Versions of the MPhil are occasionally available in Arts and Humanities subjects. This occurs when a school offers a far more specialized research program, such as an MPhil. It also happens when the MPhil name is used to differentiate a postgraduate Master’s degree from inevitably imparted or assimilated MA courses.

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The MPhil, on the other hand, is a ‘cliched’ degree accessible in any academic field that can endorse a sufficient in-depth research project in the majority of cases.

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The majority of MPhil programs are financially supported. This implies you’ll get a financial aid like a Doctoral candidate. This stipend encompasses everything (fees, lodging, and other expenses). So do you think it is worth it?



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