MPhil Vs PhD: What is the Difference Between MPhil and PhD?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 13th, 2023

MPhil Vs PhD: MPhil is known as the ‘Master Of Philosophy, and Ph.D. stands for ‘Doctor of Philosophy. Although both degrees hold high importance in their fields, there are several parameters that differentiate them, such as the Admission process, Duration, Stipended, Program Structure, and much more. Usually, the title of ‘Doctor’ is usually stated to individuals who have attained the degree of PhD in a certain field. Both degrees are prestigious in their own right and are attained by individuals who are passionate about the field of research. Scroll down to understand the different aspects of the variation of M.Phil Vs PhD.

MPhil Full Form

The MPhil full form stands for Master of Philosophy. It is a postgraduate degree based on advanced academic research work that is rewarded to the students after completion of their coursework. MPhil is also known as an academic research degree that helps students to gain appropriate knowledge along with permitting them to become a master of a specific subject.

The candidates are expected to submit their full dissertation paper in the estimation of a minimum one-year time. The thesis (dissertation) examination takes place under the guidance of a well-respected international external examiner, who also conducts vivas on the thesis. The students who qualify for the viva conducted are granted the qualification of an MPhil degree. The students are also required to represent a presentation on the research and therefore.

What is a PhD?

A PhD is considered the highest level of a professional degree course awarded to students upon completing their research work in a particular field. A PhD makes students eligible to apply for the faculty position in colleges and universities. The students can apply for the lecturership for the subjects that they have acquired their PhD in. The students may qualify for CSIR NET, GATE, and other PhD Entrance Exams to get admission to a particular university.

Difference Between MPhil and PhD

Now that you have a brief idea about MPhil and PhD, let us dive into the difference between MPhil and PhD. The main difference between MPhil and Ph.D. is their level of depth and scope of research. MPhil, or Master of Philosophy, is a postgraduate degree program that involves a year or two of coursework followed by a research project or thesis. It is a research-based program that enables students to develop their research skills and expertise in a particular field.

On the other hand, PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is a more advanced research-based degree program that usually takes three to five years to complete. It involves a more extensive and in-depth research project, and students are expected to make a significant original contribution to their field of study.

MPhil Vs PhD: Duration Of The Courses

The total duration to finish the MPhil program is two years. In the two years of completing the MPhil course, the first year is purely dedicated coursework based on the thesis work. While working on their thesis, the students are required to refer to the research done by the other scholars as they search for the newest research in their respective fields to regenerate it.

The entire Ph.D. program holds a duration of three years. The first year is dedicated to the course work and the other two years followed are based on the thesis work. The time can be extended up to five years, depending on the proposal submission and the thesis’s approval.

MPhil Vs PhD: Stipend

In India, MPhil students may or may not receive a stipend, depending on the institution and availability of funding. On the other hand, PhD students are generally offered a stipend by the university or research institution to cover their living expenses and research costs. The students pursuing PhD are also given various scholarships and stipends to carry out their research work along with accommodation and some other allowances. The amount of stipend may vary depending on the institution, subject area, and source of funding.

MPhil Vs PhD: Program Structure

Another difference between MPhil and PhD is the structure of the two programs that are defined below.

MPhil program structure:

  • The first one is one-year coursework based on carrying out the thesis work on a particular subject.
  • They submit their full dissertation paper in the estimation of one year under the supervision of professionals.
  • Lastly, the thesis work is examined by the superior or the external examiners.
  • Usually, the students attend a seminar, where they are required to submit the proposal of their research work that they have worked on before submitting it for the final.

PhD program structure:

  • The students must work on the thesis work that comes with one-year coursework.
  • They need to present and defend their thesis orally.

In conclusion, both MPhil and PhD degrees hold immense value in the academic and professional world. While MPhil is a stepping stone toward a doctoral degree, it can also serve as a standalone qualification for certain career paths. On the other hand, PhD is a more advanced degree that requires original research and can lead to a career in academia or research. With this, we end this article on the difference between MPhil and PhD.

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