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Difference between MPhil and PhD

Difference between MPhil and PhD

Both an MPhil and a PhD are research-based graduate degrees, but there are some key differences between the two. An MPhil is typically a two-year degree, while a PhD can be either three or four years. An MPhil involves more coursework than a PhD, and the focus of an MPhil thesis is on original research, whereas a PhD thesis must be based on original research but may also include review and synthesis of existing literature. Finally, earning a PhD requires completing and defending a dissertation, while an MPhil does not.

What is MPhil?

MPhil is an advanced research degree that is typically awarded by universities in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Hong Kong. The MPhil is a higher degree than the Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MSc), but it is not as advanced as the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). MPhil candidates are typically required to complete original research and write a thesis. The MPhil is often seen as a stepping stone to the PhD, and MPhil graduates who wish to pursue a PhD may be able to do so without having to complete another Master’s degree.

What is PhD?

PhD, an acronym for “Doctor of Philosophy,” is the highest degree that a student can earn in a given field of study. PhD programs typically take four to six years to complete, and they require students to complete extensive coursework, pass a rigorous examination process, and write and defend a dissertation. PhD programs are designed for students who want to pursue careers in academia or research. While PhD programs vary by field, they all aim to produce scholars who are experts in their chosen field of study. PhD programs are notoriously competitive, and only the most accomplished and dedicated students are accepted into them. Admission into a PhD program is a sure sign that a student has demonstrated excellence in their field of study and is poised to make significant contributions to their field.

Difference between MPhil and PhD

MPhil and PhD are both types of research degrees that can be pursued by students who want to specialize in a particular subject area. MPhil stands for Master of Philosophy, and it is typically a one-year program that leads to a dissertation. PhD, on the other hand, stands for Doctor of Philosophy, and it is a longer program that usually takes three to four years to complete. In addition to writing a dissertation, students pursuing a PhD may also be required to take coursework and pass examinations. While both MPhil and PhD programs require a significant amount of research, MPhil programs tend to be more focused on preparing students for careers in academia, while PhD programs are more focused on preparing students for careers in research.


If you are considering pursuing a graduate degree, it’s important to understand the difference between an MPhil and a PhD. The main distinction is that an MPhil is typically coursework-based while a PhD requires original research. Many students choose to pursue an MPhil before doing a PhD in order to gain more specialized knowledge in their field of study. However, there are no hard and fast rules – it’s up to you to decide which route is best for you.

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