Difference between PhD and MPhil

Many students walk through this dilemma in their academic life while making a decision to choose the correct academic course for them or which degree should they pursue. This becomes more confusing when it comes to choosing between similar degrees, for example, MPhil and PhD. In this article, we have tried to explain the difference between PhD and MPhil degrees.

MPhil stands for ‘Master of Philosophy’ while PhD implies ‘Doctor of Philosophy’. Both the degrees are research-based and have their own advantages.

The PhD is attained by doing detailed research on a micro subject and is one of the highest levels of degree that a student can achieve in his/her academic credentials.

MPhil however, is a short duration course for a duration of 1-2 years and is essentially a preparatory course and foundation in research methodology which can help in further taking up the PhD.

Usually, the first year of a PhD is considered equivalent to MPhil to understand whether one is capable of undertaking a PhD program or not. MPhil exam gives you a glimpse of whether a PhD is your cup of tea or not.

If one passes the MPhil examination then the scholar can carry out their research work and complete it successfully in a duration of three years minimum or seven years maximum.

In a nutshell, MPhil can be considered as a prerequisite for PhD but is not mandatory. One can take up a PhD even without attaining an MPhil degree. Let us now have a brief look at the differences between the two degrees.

PhD vs MPhil

difference between PhD and MPhil

The following table describes the PhD versus MPhil degree on various parameters.

Parameter MPhil PhD
Degree Equivalent to a Master’s degree Equivalent to a doctorate degree
Duration 1 – 2 years A minimum of 3-4 years and can stretch up to 7-10 years.
Structure Could be course oriented or research-oriented Only research oriented
Content of the syllabus The syllabus is focused on the fundamentals of research. A scholar can take up research work that is not originally theirs’s. Focuses on original and authentic research by the scholar himself/herself.
Guidance Need not work under the guidance of an experienced researcher. The scholar should work under the expert guidance of an academician.

How to apply?

MPhil: MPhil courses are rare and not many universities provide this degree. This degree is mostly offered in the fields of Arts and Humanities. The requirements to apply for this course vary from university to university. Students need not submit any dissertation or any research proposal like the PhD. Usually, the process of applying for an MPhil is almost the same as applying for Masters. However, the university will observe the research undertaken during the MPhil curriculum and the intensity of the research done will determine the results in the screening examination.

PhD: The scholar should search for any research opportunity in their interested department and request the university asking them for the opportunity. Some universities will grant PhD admission only if one has a Master’s degree while some institutes can grant admission even if one has only a Bachelor degree. PhD aspirants are required to submit their research proposal and only if the proposal is accepted, the scholar can continue further research under the expert guidance of an academician.

Some of the popular courses offered in the MPhil Program

  • Master of Philosophy in History
  • Master of Philosophy in Economics
  • Master of Philosophy in Linguistics
  • Master of Philosophy in Geography
  • Master of Philosophy in Humanity and Social Science
  • Master of Philosophy in Public Administration
  • Master of Philosophy in Political Science
  • Master of Philosophy in Hindi
  • Master of Philosophy in Life Sciences
  • Master of Philosophy in Commerce
  • Master of Philosophy in Law
  • Master of Philosophy in Education
  • Master of Philosophy in Physics
  • Master of Philosophy in Chemistry
  • Master of Philosophy in Biology
  • Master of Philosophy in Sociology

Some of the popular courses offered in the PhD Program

  • PhD in Fine Arts
  • PhD in English
  • PhD in History
  • PhD in Environmental Science
  • PhD in Home Science
  • PhD in Hindi
  • PhD in Sanskrit
  • PhD in Civil Engineering
  • PhD in Electronics Engineering
  • PhD in Genetics Engineering
  • PhD in Electrical Engineering
  • PhD in Accounting and Finance
  • PhD in Commerce
  • PhD in Economics
  • PhD in Agriculture
  • PhD in Biotechnology
  • PhD in Biochemistry
  • PhD in Bioinformatics
  • PhD in Medicine in General
  • PhD in Surgery
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Business and Management Studies
  • Executive PhD

MPhil: Key Highlights

Full-Form – Master of Philosophy

Universities offering admission – IGNOU, KSOU, Alagappa University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Amity University etc.

Selection Procedure – Entrance exams like JNUEE, CUCET, GATE, LPUNEST, VITMEE, etc. Admissions also based on merit and Personal Interview.

Recruiting sectors – Universities and Colleges, Science centers, Media and news agency, Publishing companies, Pharmaceutical companies etc.

Jobs – Professors, Assistant professors, Researchers, Economist, Author, Publisher, Civil Servant etc.

PhD: Key Highlights

Full-Form – Doctor of Philosophy

Universities offering admission – IGNOU, KSOU, Alagappa University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Amity University etc.

Selection Procedure – The scholar should hold a Master’s degree in their respective domain. Submission of research proposal in the required department to any institute or university followed by an optional personal interview or till the proposal gets accepted. The thesis or the dissertation should be carried under the expert guidance of some experienced academician. Some universities conduct entrance examination like UGC NET. For PhD in Engineering, the candidate must clear GATE.

Recruiting sectors – Universities and Colleges, Science centers, Media and news agency, Publishing companies, Pharmaceutical companies etc.

Jobs – Professors, Assistant professors, Researchers, Economist, Author, Publisher, Civil Servant etc.

Categories of PhD candidates

Self-financed – These candidates do not receive any financial aid from their institute.

Sponsored PhD candidates – These candidates are recognized by the Research and Development organizations to undertake full-time research.

Government Fellowship Recipients – These candidates get financial aid from the government or semi-government fellowship schemes.

Study leave scholars – These candidates are granted three years or less left by the government or educational institutes to conduct their research work.

References

1. http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-mphil-and-phd
2. https://collegedunia.com/courses
3. https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-mphil-and-phd.html
4. https://studyabroad.careers360.com

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