Post-graduate education (or graduate education in North America) involves learning and studying for degrees or other qualifications for which a first or Bachelor's degree generally is required, and is normally considered to be part of higher education. In North America, this level is generally referred to as graduate school.
The organization and structure of postgraduate education varies in different countries, and also in different institutions within countries.
Post-Graduate Degree levels include:
- Master's Degrees (MSc., MA, MBA*)
- Master's in Philosophy Degrees (MPhil.) and
- Doctorate Degrees (Ph.D.)
* In many countries, the MBA programmes are professional qualifications, rather than academic degrees.
Master's Degrees offer in-depth study of a certain subject enhancing the skills and kowledge of the student udertaking the courses for the degree. The Master's courses usually last for a full year (12 months). They are also course-driven (similar to Bachelors) and they complete with the submission of a dissertation (thesis).
Master's in Philosophy are research and innovation driven. There are no taught courses in an MPhil degree and they focus more on research. They are also a very good start for the highest level of Postgraduate studies, the Doctorate Degree.
The Doctorate Degree is the highest Degree achievable for a student. It requieres a Master's Degree (MSc, MA or Mphil) and they are purely research driven on a pioneering subject. The Doctorate Degrees offer the highest academic and subject-area qualifications to their candidates and upon completion the student can produce the Designatory letters Dr. (Doctor) before their names, as indication of their achivevement. Their duration varies between 3 and 5 years.