Many students who decide to pursue a Masters degree in Australia, come across these options for studies:
- Masters by Coursework
- Masters by Research
Some students might not know what is the difference between two and which one they should choose?
So, in this article, we are explaining about the difference between Masters by Coursework and Masters by Research in Australia.
And some tips to help you to decide which one might be better for you.
So, let’s get straight to the business.
What is Masters by Coursework?
Master’s by coursework is a degree program where students must study specific core subjects and electives in a structured way to complete their degree in a chosen field of study..
Students are usually required to:
- Attend classes/seminars/lectures/tutorials
- Complete assignment tasks
- Undertake exams
Students might need to complete some minor thesis as a part of this course too, but that is not the case for most of the Masters by Coursework programs.
Students doing Masters by coursework may have a chance to undergo a practical training or internship as a part of the course as well.
Usually, the durations of the Masters by Coursework lasts anywhere between 1 and 2 years.
To do a Masters by Coursework, a student must have completed at least Bachelor degree in related discipline.
Type of Courses for Masters by Coursework
Some of the popular courses for Masters by Coursework among students include:
- Masters of Professional Accounting
- Master of Business Administration
- Master of Information Technology
- Master of Engineering
- Masters of Science
- Masters of Law
- Masters of Education
- Masters of Architecture
- Masters of Nursing
- Masters of Psychology
- Masters of Agriculture Science
There are many other courses that you can choose to study apart from the one listed above.
What is Masters by Research?
Masters by Research is degree program where students are expected to undertake a research project under the guidance of a supervisor. The main focus is to conduct an original research and contribute to the knowledge in particular field of study.
Students are expected to conduct the research, gather all the data and then analyse it for the purpose of producing a thesis on their research outcome.
Masters by Research students are usually not expected to attend any classes or do assignments or sit in an exam. However, some universities in Australia might have some coursework in research units as well.
Students in this degree program are required to create a research proposal and then after getting approval from their supervisor, they start working on it.
The length of a thesis is usually expected to be between 50,000 words to 75,000 words for Masters by Research depending on the university.
For a Master’s by Research, universities typically require either research experience or a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, with an Honours degree.
The duration of Masters by Research can vary depending on the type of research. However, it can be from 1 year full-time study to 4 years part-time study.
Type of Fields for Research in Masters by Coursework
Students can choose to do the research in different fields when doing their Masters by Coursework like:
There are so many other fields that you can choose to do your research in.
What is the difference between Masters by Coursework and Masters by Research in Australia?
There are many difference between these two postgraduate qualifications. Let’s discuss them:
- Focus: Masters by Coursework focus on set curriculum while Masters by Research focus on independent research.
- Structure: Masters by Coursework Students are required to attend regular classes, submit assignments and undertake exams while in Masters by Research students are expected to conduct research and produce a thesis.
- Duration: Masters by Coursework usually have a fixed duration of 1 to 2 years while Masters by Research can vary depending on type and requirements of research.
- Career outcomes: Masters by Coursework students usually have a very specific career outcome in typical professions. While Masters by Research students usually undertake this course to do a PhD or career in research areas.
- Entry requirements: Entry to Masters by Coursework require students to have a minimum of Bachelor degree in related field. However, a research experience or honours degree might be required to get an entry into Masters by Research.
- Work Hours: Master by Research students can work unlimited hours during their course, while Masters by Coursework students need to abide by work hour restrictions as per the student visa conditions.
Work hours for Masters by Coursework and Masters by Research in Australia
From 1st July 2023, international students in Australia can work 48 hours per fortnight while their course is in session. International students can work unrestricted hours during their official school holidays.
So students undertaking Masters by Coursework will have to abide by these limited work hour conditions. However, students undertaking Gradute Research programs like Masters by Reserach or PhD. are exempt from this work limitation.
So, students completing Masters by Research can undertake a full-time work while completing their degree program. However, keep in mind that Masters by Research is quite involved and demanding program.
Your supervisor might allow for flexible start and end times for your research, but it still requires a great deal of effort.
So, in reality, you might not be able to work full-time even if you have full working rights due to the amount of work involved in the research courses.
However, if you are coming along with your dependent for studying any of these courses, then they can work full-time hours while you are studying.
If you want to know more about work hours in Australia for international students, then you should consider checking this article.
Choosing the right Masters degree
Last but not the least, which degree should you choose?
It depends on heaps of factors including:
- Interest in Research: Consider your interest in research. How much are you interested in conducting an independent research on a chosen topic? If you want to explore a specific topic of interest, then Masters by Research might suit you better. However, if you prefer a structured learning environment, then Masters by Coursework might be better.
- Career goals: What are your career objectives and goals are? What do you want to achieve in your career and what career outcomes you are hoping to achieve? If your goal is to complete a PhD or focus on specific research topic and want to contribute to the knowledge in the field, then Masters by Research is your thing. However, if you are looking to thrive in a specific career or profession, the Masters by Coursework is right fit for you.
- Ability to work independently: Masters by Research program require a lot of independent research and self-motivation. Assess your ability in these factors and decide if the Masters by Research is right fit for you. If you prefer to have a structured learning with clear course outlines, then consider Masters by Coursework.
- Availability of scholarships: While there can be scholarship options for Masters by Coursework program, it is likely that Masters by Research may even have other financial assistance along with scholarships as well. You should consider this and your financial situation as well.
- Personal preference and strengths: You have to be honest to yourself and know your academic strength when choosing any course. This is no different in case of choosing Masters by Coursework and Masters by Research. Masters of coursework will involve completing assignment tasks, undergoing exams, etc. While in Masters of Resarch involves lots of research and analytical skills. Which area do you thrive in? Only you know the answer.
We hope you understand the difference between Masters by Coursework and Masters by Research in Australia. We want to know which course would you like to study in Australia? Let us know in the comments.