Master degrees follow on after a bachelor degree. In some rare cases you can be accepted to a master degree if you do not have a bachelor degree but if you instead have extensive work experience in a related area and are an expert in your field. It is most common to enter a master degree after a bachelor degree. Master degree programs usually prefer a related or relevant bachelor degree as well as some sort of work experience related to your subject of study.
Two main categories of master degree are MA (master of arts) and MS (master of science). Similar to the bachelor degree, the MA is a more general group of subjects related to the main subject of the degree and many people consider this easier than a MS degree. The MS degree is more focused on the main subject and usually has more classes in maths and science and is therefore more difficult for many people. You do not need to have taken a BS in order to study a MS although it may make you a more attractive applicant and increase your chances-in other words, you can have a BA degree and apply to study a MS degree.
MA = Master of Arts
MS = Master of Science
M = Master
MBA = Master of Business Administration
MENG = Master of Engineering
MED = Master of Education
MM = Master of Management
MPA = Master of Public Administration
MFA = Master of Fine Arts
MPS = Master of Professional Studies
MPH = Master of Philosophy
PGD = Postgraduate Diploma
MSS = Master of Social Science
ML = Master of Law
Master degree work is usually divided into two main components: classwork and research. A master student will be expected to have received high marks from their bachelor degree and will be expected to work independently. Students may be assessed in various ways such as:
- tutorial participation
- work experience or training
- research/thesis writing
- project work
- oral and written presentations
- essays, reports and case study analyses
- short written assignments
Master degrees take from one to three years depending on the country where you study. In some cases, you can study part time but then the degree takes twice as long to complete. Note: scholarships do not usually cover part time study. It may take additional time to conduct your own research or to write your thesis in addition to time required for classes.
Generally, you will need to have completed a bachelor degree with good grades to be eligible. You may need to prove you can speak the language of instruction (usually English language for international programs), and be able to get funding/scholarships to pay for your studies, accommodation, food and other costs. You must be able to get a passport and visa if the study is in another country. To get the visa you will need to prove you have adequate funding for university and living fees.
For Myanmar students, you can generally get accepted with a Bachelor degree, although some universities may require additional study such as foundation courses to make sure you have subject knowledge.
You may choose to take an English language exam such as TOEFL or IELTS or a high school equivalence exam such as the GED, SAT, or IGCSE. Read through the qualifying exams section to find specific information about available exams and how to study for them. Most master programs require a TOEFL or IELTS.
One way to make your application more attractive to universities and for scholarships is to have a work history related to your subject of study. For example, if you want to study education, you could increase your chances of acceptance to university and getting a scholarship by working as a teacher. This would make you more experienced and knowledgeable and seem more certain that this is the subject that you are really interested to study.
Master degrees are more expensive than bachelor degrees. MS degrees are often more expensive than MA degrees. Also one should consider the costs of research and travel if it is part of the degree as it will be in addition to tuition fees. Universities in Asia are much less expensive than in the West and represent great value since a large part of your master degree will be based on your research. Because of the higher costs of master degrees, admission and scholarships are more competitive. In the West, costs are higher as well which means you are not likely to get a full scholarship if you are granted one at all.
After completion of a master degree, most students join the workforce. The next level of education is PhD.