Analytic Quality Glossary


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home


Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-19, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 23 January, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2019.


A fast-paced novel of conjecture and surprises


Master's degree

core definition

Master's degree is an award higher than a bachelor’s degree.

explanatory context

In some settings involves a programme of study distinct from a bachelor’s degree. In other settings, the master’s degree is the basic higher education degree.


In Europe, the Bologna process is leading to the development of programmes that clearly demarcate the end of bachelor’s study and the start of master’s study, usually in a ‘three plus two model’, that is, three years full-time equivalent bachelor’s study as a normal prerequisite for two further year’s full-time equivalent master’s study.

analytical review

In the British context, Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) (undated) defines a master’s degree as:

MA/MSc degrees are awarded to graduates who have undertaken a further course of study, after an honours degree, either full-time or part-time. Masters degrees may be taken following a period of work experience and some courses take the form of company training programmes. MPhil degrees may be awarded following a period of research rather than a course of study. Some old Scottish universities award MAs instead of bachelors degrees.

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) (undated) defines master's degree as follows:

A higher education qualification, typically lasting at least one year, characterised by a greater depth of study and specialisation than a bachelor's programme, located at level 7 in The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, at level 7 in the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales, and at level 11 in the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.


Higher Education Authority [Ireland] (HEA, 2004) defines a master’s degree as:

A postgraduate degree that requires from one to three years’ study.


Northeast Texas Network Consortium defines:

Master's degree: An advanced degree awarded by a university after completion of studies beyond a bachelor's degree.

associated issues


related areas

See also


bachelor’s degree

doctoral degree


Higher Education Authority (HEA) [of Ireland] 2004, Glossary, no longer available, 29 January 2011.

Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), undated, Glossary, available at, accessed 31 December 2016

Northeast Texas Network Consortium (NTNC), 2002, Distance Learning College Glossary. , accessed 20 September 2012, still available 3 January 2017.

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), undated, Glossary, available at, accessed 3 January 2017.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2019

A NOVEL Who bombed a Birmingham mosque?


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home