1 year or 2 year Masters Watch

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titanlux
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What's the difference between 1 and 2 year masters? Which are better? Are they both recognised worldwide?
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blackdragonthegreat
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Im not sure.
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EierVonSatan
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well 2 year masters are rare in the UK, more common on the continent - personally i think 2 year masters are semi-pointless for those with diploms/license and such :p:
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titanlux
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(Original post by EierVonSatan)
well 2 year masters are rare in the UK, more common on the continent - personally i think 2 year masters are semi-pointless for those with diploms/license and such :p:
I've got a BSc at the moment in maths, but i'm looking to do an MSc in Bioinformatics which is biology maths and computer related. I have little to no experience in programming and no biology (not even gcse) but I was still accepted to both 1 year and 2 year courses. What do you think, in terms of coping with the course? and then doing a PhD?
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ChemistBoy
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What is the difference between the courses? I would be more worried about which will prepare you better for a PhD rather than about acceptance. In your field it is completing that is the hardest part.
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EierVonSatan
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(Original post by titanlux)
I've got a BSc at the moment in maths, but i'm looking to do an MSc in Bioinformatics which is biology maths and computer related. I have little to no experience in programming and no biology (not even gcse) but I was still accepted to both 1 year and 2 year courses. What do you think, in terms of coping with the course? and then doing a PhD?
Hmm hard to say tbh, are they taught or research masters? or both?
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titanlux
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(Original post by ChemistBoy)
What is the difference between the courses? I would be more worried about which will prepare you better for a PhD rather than about acceptance. In your field it is completing that is the hardest part.
In what way do you mean completing? (as in dropping out?)
The 1 year courses are more regimented and less flexible... Ie you have 8 modules and that's that inluding your thesis. At the 2 year courses you often have the choice to take courses in subjects which you are deficient in... Then you have a much greater scope of research for your thesis. On the other hand with the one year course you can actually get away without developing your weaknesses at all and stay clear in your thesis. Personally i'd prefer to be more rounded in terms of skills in my subject field to be able to have greater choice at PhD level.

My choices for 1 year are: Exeter, York
2 years: Copenhagen, Barcelona (pompeu fabra) and Helsinki

There are two classification in Masters right? regular and distinction? so I'm thinking that over 2 years it would be easier to get a distinction and so better for PhD? thanks for your help
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titanlux
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(Original post by EierVonSatan)
Hmm hard to say tbh, are they taught or research masters? or both?
A mixture:
Taught: Exeter,
MRes: York

MSc (but heavily research based): Copenhagen. Barcelona, Helsinki
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EierVonSatan
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(Original post by titanlux)
A mixture:
Taught: Exeter,
MRes: York

MSc (but heavily research based): Copenhagen. Barcelona, Helsinki
Ahh ok - well if you are considering a PhD anywhere else other than UK/US you'll probably need the 2 year masters as 3-year degrees e.g. (BSc/BA) are seen as very weak

Also masters programs can come in pass, merit and distinction depending on where it is
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titanlux
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(Original post by EierVonSatan)
Ahh ok - well if you are considering a PhD anywhere else other than UK/US you'll probably need the 2 year masters as 3-year degrees e.g. (BSc/BA) are seen as very weak

Also masters programs can come in pass, merit and distinction depending on where it is
You're very good!

Do you think that the 2 year courses actually have more material? I mean, despite being the same qualification? what are the grade boundaries for the masters?
thanks
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EierVonSatan
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(Original post by titanlux)
You're very good!

Do you think that the 2 year courses actually have more material? I mean, despite being the same qualification? what are the grade boundaries for the masters?
thanks
I would guess that they would have more material in them yes, its really just the same letters (MSc) not the same qualification. You should also consider the type of PhD you'll be looking for - have a look at the entry requirements and such. Some PhDs incorporate a teaching component and extend it to 4 years such as MOAC.

If memory serves - distinction = 70%, merit (if offered) = 60%, pass = 50%
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hobnob
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(Original post by titanlux)
There are two classification in Masters right? regular and distinction? so I'm thinking that over 2 years it would be easier to get a distinction and so better for PhD? thanks for your help
But surely if you go to Denmark, Spain or Finland, your course won't actually be using the UK classification system?:confused:
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ChemistBoy
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Well, you are trying to compare different education systems rather than different courses within one education system - this is actually highly ambiguous to say the least. Essentially universities will tend to view all masters degrees as equivalent. The UK education specialises much earlier than many others hence the shortened duration of time to get to a certain standard.
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titanlux
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(Original post by ChemistBoy)
Well, you are trying to compare different education systems rather than different courses within one education system - this is actually highly ambiguous to say the least. Essentially universities will tend to view all masters degrees as equivalent. The UK education specialises much earlier than many others hence the shortened duration of time to get to a certain standard.
So does it mean that in order to achieve the same level of qualification it's much harder in the UK? It seems as if in the rest of the EU they give you more time to learn the material, and in the UK you're rushed through in 8 months.

To Hobnob:
the Bologna process decided that masters across the entire EU be mainly taught in English and that there was a standardised credit system (ECTS)
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ChemistBoy
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(Original post by titanlux)
So does it mean that in order to achieve the same level of qualification it's much harder in the UK? It seems as if in the rest of the EU they give you more time to learn the material, and in the UK you're rushed through in 8 months.
I don't think it's exactly rushed. There seems, in my opinion, to be an awful lot of wasted time in many parts of europe when it comes to education. One of the key reasons why it takes so long in many countries is that students seem to just be able to do the exams when they want rather than in a strict period of time.
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titanlux
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(Original post by ChemistBoy)
I don't think it's exactly rushed. There seems, in my opinion, to be an awful lot of wasted time in many parts of europe when it comes to education. One of the key reasons why it takes so long in many countries is that students seem to just be able to do the exams when they want rather than in a strict period of time.
How do you mean 'when they want'? Could you give an example?
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ChemistBoy
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(Original post by titanlux)
How do you mean 'when they want'? Could you give an example?
Well, take the German system for example. I lost count of the number of germans I met whilst travelling who were actually taking a year (or two) out in the middle of their degrees or even the fact that you seem to be able to just spend twice as long by only taking half the exams in a year. You can do a german degree in 4 years and as it is equivalent to a masters degree that is no different than in the UK, however most people take longer so some people conclude that is because they are doing more stuff, etc.
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Goldenratio
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(Original post by ChemistBoy)
Well, take the German system for example. I lost count of the number of germans I met whilst travelling who were actually taking a year (or two) out in the middle of their degrees or even the fact that you seem to be able to just spend twice as long by only taking half the exams in a year. You can do a german degree in 4 years and as it is equivalent to a masters degree that is no different than in the UK, however most people take longer so some people conclude that is because they are doing more stuff, etc.
I see what you mean. So far I've emailed about 50 admissions departments to see what the score is regarding PhD and a 2.2 at UG level. Mainly i'm told that in the UK it's very prohibitive but outside admission is mainly based on merit at the master level and whether they like your research proposal. Obviously in the UK they often offer PhD proposals whereas you have to come up with your own outside the uk... is this mainly true?
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ChemistBoy
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(Original post by Goldenratio)
Obviously in the UK they often offer PhD proposals whereas you have to come up with your own outside the uk... is this mainly true?
The divide is between the science and the arts and is quite international. I don't know many students doing PhDs in other countries in my area (Sweden, Germany, Spain, Italy, the US for example) that had to come up with a true research proposal rather than working as part of the long term research interests of the principle investigator. In the arts you are much more individual in research and therefore you have to come up with your own ideas straight away (this is simply due to the magnitude of difference between the cost of arts and science research).
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