northerngirl__
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Hi guys!I'm planning to apply to university in Scotland but I am not from the UK. That's why the whole university system is bit blurry for me. Basically I wanted to ask the difference between an undergraduate master's degree and a postgraduate master's degree. 1. Are they equivalent? For example when applying for a job is it better that I have an undergraduate bachelor's postgraduate master's than just undergraduate master's?2. If I do undergraduate master's do I need to take postgraduate master's before applying for a PhD etc.?3. Is it harder to get into master's degree programs than bachelor's on the undergraduate level?Mainly I just want to hear your opinions about this. I don't want to do 5-year undergraduate master's if it's basically worth nothing. Thanks guys!
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PQ
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(Original post by northerngirl__)
Hi guys!I'm planning to apply to university in Scotland but I am not from the UK. That's why the whole university system is bit blurry for me. Basically I wanted to ask the difference between an undergraduate master's degree and a postgraduate master's degree. 1. Are they equivalent? For example when applying for a job is it better that I have an undergraduate bachelor's postgraduate master's than just undergraduate master's?2. If I do undergraduate master's do I need to take postgraduate master's before applying for a PhD etc.?3. Is it harder to get into master's degree programs than bachelor's on the undergraduate level?Mainly I just want to hear your opinions about this. I don't want to do 5-year undergraduate master's if it's basically worth nothing. Thanks guys!
It depends on the job!

An undergraduate masters is fewer credits than a BSc plus MSc (the final year of an undergraduate masters is 120 credits, an MSc is 180 credits) and often students will choose an MSc that allows them to specialise or move to a different university.

It’s possible to swap between undergraduate masters and a BSc during the course so don’t worry too much about which to choose when applying (although it’s normally easier to swap onto a shorter version of the course than to trade up to a longer version).
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drsfgdg
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1. As above in PQs post

2. No

3. Generally easier, although there's much more variation. e.g. cambridge part 3 maths is much harder to get in
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HertsExRep
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Heya, in addition to what PQ said, also check out the following which addresses the difference especially in perception for academia (the MPhys is an integrated masters degree whereas MSc is Master's by research): (x)
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Wwys
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1. Depends on the job. Most jobs require a BSc (and maybe a MSc in a relevant course) OR just an undergraduate masters. I personally had to make this decision on whether to do an undergraduate masters or BSc last year (the summer after 2nd year). My personal tutor told me there's not really not much difference job wise, but if there was a job in let's say, Organic Chemistry, you'd have a higher chance of getting further in the application process with a postgraduate masters in Organic Chemistry than just a undergraduate masters in Chemistry.

Some consider the final year of an undergraduate masters "half" a postgraduate masters, since you don't do everything in that final year compared to if you did a postgraduate masters (duration of undergrad masters = 9 months, postgrad masters = 12 months - larger portion of research/dissertation work if you did postgrad masters)

It's worth noting that financially, doing a postgraduate masters may be better, as quite a few of these courses are cheaper than if you did an undergraduate masters. I.e. postgraduate masters can range between £4000-9000 whereas the final year of an undergraduate masters will always be £9250 (though this is more relatable to UK students)

2. Nope

3. There is usually a higher grade requirement to get onto an undergraduate masters than a bachelors... though most universities are flexible in that you can transfer between an undergraduate masters and bachelors (as long as you average ~2:1 at uni)

Postgraduate masters grade requirements can range from 2:2-1st
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Royal Society of Chemistry
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(Original post by northerngirl__)
Hi guys!I'm planning to apply to university in Scotland but I am not from the UK. That's why the whole university system is bit blurry for me. Basically I wanted to ask the difference between an undergraduate master's degree and a postgraduate master's degree. 1. Are they equivalent? For example when applying for a job is it better that I have an undergraduate bachelor's postgraduate master's than just undergraduate master's?2. If I do undergraduate master's do I need to take postgraduate master's before applying for a PhD etc.?3. Is it harder to get into master's degree programs than bachelor's on the undergraduate level?Mainly I just want to hear your opinions about this. I don't want to do 5-year undergraduate master's if it's basically worth nothing. Thanks guys!
Hi northerngirl__


Really great question, and I can see that you have already had some very good answers. I just wanted to address your last comment regarding the worth of the degree. For chemistry at least, it is very common for integrated Masters holders to go on to do a PhD, or equally into industry. In your final year you will be guaranteed an independent research project which often can be the catalyst to a PhD. With a postgraduate masters you obviously have to go through the process of finding and applying for the course, however in this route you will have a longer independent research project, and likely more flexibility on choosing one in an area of your interest.

You also mention the 5-year scheme. Just in case you were not aware, this would be Scotland only and the rest of the UK would require 4 years to complete an integrated Masters degree.

All the best,

Gareth
Royal Society of Chemistry
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