When it comes to Masters, generally, students have two choices; they can either get into a research based, or Thesis based, masters or taught, coursework based, masters education papers. Students have the choice to choose whatever they want to do.
Both of these paths have pros and cons and it is completely possible that a research based masters is suitable for one student while for another, a coursework masters is more suited.
So, how do they differ? We are here to answer this question. Below are the ways that differentiate a thesis based masters from a coursework one.
1. Course and Syllabus Structure: A research based program will have 30 to 50 percent of studies while the remaining 50 percent is focused on writing the thesis, doing the research, interacting with the focus and research groups and participating in the seminars. In the coursework masters, about 90 percent of the syllabus is based on studies while the other 10 percent is based on practicals and projects.
2. Chances of Going for PhD: With a research based masters, a student can opt for PhD degree and other post graduate programs while a coursework masters means an end to the student’s chances of going for higher education. All they can do is to start a job or get into an industry.
3. Admission Criteria: Admission criteria for thesis/research based masters is way tougher than for the coursework masters. The students must showcase extraordinary performance to get into a research based thesis while the requirements are comparatively less rigid in case of coursework.
4. Funding Opportunities: Since there are a number of students who are looking forward to getting into research based thesis, there are more funding opportunities in it. For a coursework masters. Opportunities are scarce and what the students get may not be able to cover their studies expenses also.
5. Competition: The competition in research based masters is higher than in the coursework masters. Thesis based masters have more funding opportunities and this is one of the reasons that competition is so high in it.
6. Duration: Thesis/research based masters offer flexibility in terms of time and sometimes the two year duration can extend to three or up to five years time. In case of coursework or taught masters, the duration is two years and the student is expected to complete the degree in those two years only.
7. Job Potential and Opportunities: Job opportunities are almost the same for both the degree programs but there may be some specific requirements for both. Some employers prefer students with research based thesis while others prefer coursework thesis due to its practical and project based nature.
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