Master's Degree (MA, MSc, LLM, etc.) and Master's Qualifying Programmes
Graduates who gain a 2A or 1st class Honours degree can apply for admission to a Master's degree programme. In some universities , also a Master's Qualifying course open to students who complated their Honours degree but not at the level of 2A or above. The Qualifying course usually consists of coursework only and lasts for one year.
If this course is completed at a satisfactory level, the student is then permitted to enrol for the regular Master's degree. It is important to note that a Qualifying course does not lead to the award of a degree or diploma. It is, as its title suggests, simply a means by which a student who is inadequately prepared for direct entry to the Master's course may qualify for admission. As we have already seen, certain diploma courses and the LittB degree can provide alternative routes to admission to the Master's degree.
Some Master's programmes, especially those designed specifically to meet the manpower needs of overseas countries and enrolling only overseas students, may have a preliminary diploma course which serves as a Qualifying programme. For example, the admission requirement for a Master's degree in Agriculture (MAg) at one Australian university are set out as follows:
Applicants should hold a Bachelor's degree in Agriculture or Biological Science from a college or university. Students are normally enrolled initially for the Diploma in Tropical Agronomy and assessed at the end of Second Term (August). If progress in coursework has been at a satisfactory level, the student is transferred to the Master of Agriculture degree with no cheek in progress, since coursework is the same for the Diploma and the Master's degree.
The form of study for the Master's degree varies with depart ments; in some cases it is by coursework, in some it is by thesis only, and in some it involves a combination of these. The degree normally takes two years to complete.