The MPhil (Master of Philosophy) & MRech (Master of Research) are stand-alone postgraduate research degrees that are attained by undertaking a programme over one year. This is often pursued after the completion of a bachelor’s degree as an intermediate step before transferring onto a PhD programme thereafter.
To be considered, potential applicants should normally have a bachelor's degree with good grades. However, universities may vary their entry requirements depending on academic areas, sometimes requiring a taught master's degree.
The MPhil is the first stepping-stone towards a PhD. It equips students with advanced research techniques that are required to start a PhD. The research undertaken in an MPhil course is normally limited in scope and originality, in comparison to a PhD.
Once the research is completed, students are to write a 60,000-word thesis, which they will then need to defend in an oral examination. The research thesis demonstrates the student’s proficiency in research methods, ability in research design, knowledge of the area researched, understanding of the associated academic subject area(s) and skills in critical evaluation.