What Is an MPhil?

Published 16 October, 2023

MPhil is abbreviatiated from the Latin phrase “Magister Philosophiae” which means Master of Philosophy.

It is a research based degree program that is pursued by students who want to specialize in a particular field of study.MPhil programs are offered by universities all over the world and usually last for two years. In some cases, students may also be required to complete a thesis as part of their degree.

An MPhil is typically seen as a stepping stone towards a PhD, as it allows students to gain the necessary research and writing skills required for doctoral study. However, an MPhil can also be pursued as a standalone degree program.MPhil programs are available in a wide range of disciplines, such as the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

The Master of Philosophy is often taken by those who wish to learn new research skills and open up career opportunities. Some people take this step as preparation for studying at the PhD level, while others complete it under their own free choice in order to gain some experience before committing themselves fully to academia or another field where higher levels are required (such as law).

It is important to understand the difference between these two decisions if you are pursuing an MPhil. An integrated PhD/MPhil can be carried out in either a single or multiple degree years, while separate research degrees take longer due largely because they’re not able offer any assistantships nor do most institutions promote them as highly (if at all).

What Does an MPhil Involve?

MPhil candidates are expected to undertake a significant amount of original research, which is then presented in the form of a thesis. In order to be awarded an MPhil, candidates must demonstrate that they have made a unique contribution to their field of study.

The length of an Mphil thesis can vary depending on the discipline and university, but is typically around 50,000 words. Mphil programs also involve taking coursework, which is designed to support students in their research. Coursework can include topics such as research methods, data analysis, and academic writing.

Like a PhD, MPhil holders must defend their work in an oral examination. This is known as the viva voce and involves interviewing panel members who ask questions on behalf of fellow candidates until they have secured enough points to earn pass marks which range from 7-15 out 15

The disadvantage with not having any classes or coursework for this degree type comes when it’s offered by universities like Oxford & Cambridge because there will be examinations instead of a viva. These are usually much harder than standard examinations and therefore the bar is set quite high in order to achieve a pass.

MPhils at Oxford and Cambridge

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is a two-year research degree offered at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the United Kingdom. The degree is structured similarly to the PhD, with students completing a thesis or series of papers that are examined by a panel of academics.

However, the MPhil is typically considered to be a less advanced degree than the PhD, and as such, it does not usually lead to an academic career. Instead, it is often seen as a stepping stone to a PhD, or as a terminal degree for those who wish to pursue a career outside of academia.

Nevertheless, the MPhil remains an esteemed qualification from two of the world’s most prestigious universities, and it can open up many doors for its holders.

The University of Cambridge offers two different types of Master’s degrees. One, an “MPhil by Advanced Study” is like a minor with taught components similar to those found at Oxford University; while another – ‘Thesis’ based on research only gives you more flexibility in your field and allows time for writing papers or doing experiments outside the classroom setting which other universities don’t offer as much choice when it comes down between teaching vs researching.

How to Transfer from an MPhil to a PhD?

The process of transferring from an MPhil to a PhD varies between institutions, but it is typically possible to do so if you meet certain requirements. These may include completing a certain amount of coursework, passing an oral examination, and submitting a research proposal. If you are interested in transferring from an MPhil to a PhD, you should speak to your supervisor and departmental administrator for more information.

Successful applicants will be upgraded to a PhD. The registration process for an MPhil is designed so that students can demonstrate suitability and acquire specialist knowledge in their research topic, which helps prepare them before entering into the real thing – Doctorate studies!

How to Transfer from PhD to MPhil?

It is not uncommon for PhD students to decide to downgrade their degree to an MPhil. This may be due to a change in circumstances, such as personal or family commitments, or it may be that the student has found the PhD too challenging.Whatever the reason, it is possible to transfer from a PhD to an MPhil, although the process can vary depending on the university.

As a general rule, students who wish to transfer from a PhD to an MPhil will need to submit a new research proposal outlining their proposed area of research for the MPhil. This proposal will need to be approved by the student’s supervisor and by the university.

The student will then need to complete all of the requirements for the MPhil, including any coursework, examinations, and the submission of a thesis. Once all of these requirements have been met, the student will be awarded an MPhil degree.

How much time it take to complete MPhil?

The duration of an MPhil varies depending on the university and the subject, but it is typically two years. Some universities may allow students to complete the degree in a shorter time frame, while others may require students to take a break from their studies after the first year in order to complete a period of research.

It is important to note that it can be done as a part time and full time degree. Most students who are enrolled in the MPhil programme are full time students.

For those who are undertaking an MPhil as their initial registration for a PhD, the duration typically halves. However remember that if you pass your period of study and earn yourself certification in philosophy at our university then we will upgrade it to being awarded instead with this prestigious rank “GD”.


What is the average cost of MPhil?

The average cost of an MPhil degree depends on whether it is pursued on a full-time or part-time basis. 

The typical tuition fee for an MPhil is approximately: For UK and EU students, the average cost of a MPhil is about:

  • Full-time: £4,500 per academic year
  • Part-time: £2,250 per academic year

The average tuition charge for an MPhil degree for foreign students can range from:

  • Full-time: £13,000 – £17,000 per academic year
  • Part-time: £6,500 – £8,500 per academic year

What Funding Opportunities Exist for an MPhil?


The scholarships available to students can be a great way of funding their college education. Unlike loans, they do not need repayment and so are much more popular than government supported programs in this regard.

The government loans can be used to fund your studies. If you are undertaking a stand-alone MPhil, then it will need an application for Postgraduate Master’s Loan; but on the other hand, if applying as part of PhD degree and first registering with Inter-University Programmes’ registration process must go through Dokterske Obrazce (DOs). Both types cover tuition fees & living costs along side travelling expenses too.

What are the Typical MPhil Requirements?

You don’t have to be a genius, but you do need qualifications that will impress your potential supervisor. For an MPhil in philosophy it’s important not only show off with perfect grades or even just 2:1s – though these are required for most universities’ PhD programs anyway so make sure they’re included on the application form.

The typical requirement is also Bachelor’s degree from top university plus first class honours (1st) degrees…though there may well still some exceptions depending upon what kind of research project opportunity suits them best at this stage.

Supervisors also look for evidence of intellectual ability and potential in their students. This includes the ability to think deeply and critically about ideas, as well as being able to communicate those ideas clearly in writing.

An MPhil is an advanced research degree that involves completing a thesis or dissertation on a specific topic. The thesis is typically between 60,000 and 100,000 words in length and is written over the course of two years.

To be eligible for an MPhil, students must first complete a Bachelor’s degree at a recognized university. In some cases, students may also be required to complete a Master’s degree before beginning their studies for an MPhil.

After completing an MPhil, what’s next?

The MPhil is a terminal degree, which means that it is the highest degree that can be earned in its field. As such, students who wish to continue their studies after completing an MPhil will need to apply to and be accepted into a PhD programme.

Students who complete an MPhil may also choose to enter the workforce. Many employers value the research and writing skills that are developed during the course of an MPhil, and these skills can be applied to a variety of careers.

In addition, the MPhil can serve as a stepping stone to a career in academia. Many professors and researchers began their careers with an MPhil, and use the knowledge and skills they gained during their studies to contribute to the advancement of their field.

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