MPhil (Master of Philosophy)
The title ‘Master of Philosophy’ is usually given to all successful candidates who undertake an original research project usually lasting two or more years in any academic discipline.
Students do not usually take examinations for this qualification, but submit a thesis, containing details of their research work, and the conclusions they have drawn from it.
PhD or DPhil (Doctor of Philosophy)
A doctorate usually takes three years’ study to complete, although it can take much longer or, very rarely, shorter.
A candidate would normally complete both a Bachelor’s and a taught Master’s degree with high marks in each before considering research work leading to a doctorate.
Researchers often work part time, teaching students on Bachelor’s or taught Master’s degree programmes, or acting as tutors.
Almost all students in any discipline who successfully complete a doctoral research programme graduate as ‘Doctor of Philosophy’ (PhD). A few disciplines use slightly different titles, such as DMus for music or DBA for business administration.