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Studying a Master's Degree - What to Expect

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Last Updated:

14th July 2014

First Published:

23rd May 2013

Master's student

If you’re hoping to go on and study a Master’s Degree after you complete your undergrad, you may be wondering exactly how different the style of teaching and the course itself will be. Although Master’s courses are often structured in a fairly similar way to Bachelor’s degree, there are still noticeable differences between the two. We’ve put together a quick guide to give you an idea of what to expect…


Will there be more work?

The short answer is yes, there probably will be. A Master’s degree is a level up from your Bachelor’s, so you should also expect a rise in the depth and complexity of the work you’ll be doing. What this means is that while you might not see a substantial increase in things like the word count of essays, your lecturers will be expecting an improvement in the quality of the work you complete. And you know what that means? More hours spent in the library…


How will your Master’s degree be structured?

The chances are your Master’s degree will be structured in a similar way to your undergraduate degree; you’ll probably follow the same term structure as undergraduate students, and your course will most likely be broken up into modules. But there will be differences. Most Master’s courses are a full year in length, for instance, meaning you’ll be working over the summer to complete your dissertation (after most undergraduate students have finished for the year). You may also find that you have less modules than you did at undergrad level, but that the modules you do have require a lot more time and focus.


How much contact time will you get?

Contact time at Master’s level should be similar to the contact time you received during your undergrad, but with smaller class sizes. You’ll also be encouraged to spend more one-on-one time with your personal tutor, who will be there to assist you with any issues you have during your course. Ultimately, though, you’ll be expected to spend more time carrying out research on your own. A Master’s degree is often seen as a stepping stone between an undergraduate degree and a PhD, meaning there is a greater emphasis placed on independent research.


Feeling more prepared? Start searching for Master’s degree courses now


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