Students who aspire to a postgraduate education abroad often face a dilemma about pursuing an MBA vs MS degree. Both offer the opportunity to move between geographies, gain valuable skills and to move into a high paying and rewarding career. However, their areas of focus are quite different. In this article, we have compared MBA and MS degrees to help you decide the best course for your choice.

MBA Degree – What is it?

MBA is a masters degree in business administration. It is a professional post-graduate degree awarded for business and management studies. MBA students study the theory and application of principles of business and management.MBA core courses cover business areas such as accounting, applied statistics, business communication, business ethics, business law, finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, and operations of MBA programs, several accreditation agencies ensure consistency and quality of education. Business schools also offer various types of MBA programs, including full-time, part-time, and executive programs.Each of these is intended for professionals throughout their professions at different stages. And so, with regards to the duration of work experience, they have different requirements.

M.S. Degree – What is it?

The full form of M.S. is a Master of Science. M.S degree course offers advanced studies any one discipline. Masters in UK is a 1 to 2-years full-time degree available research-based, course-based, or a combination of both programs. UK Universities offering masters have an abundance of specializations, fields, and courses to choose from, allowing international aspirants to find a degree program of their preference.

1) Admission Criteria

A major determining factor is the admission criteria. Many institutions have unique MS and MBA admission requirements. Students may need to take additional exams such as GMAT and GRE. A three year bachelors degree in a related field with a minimum of 60% to 75% is required to apply for MS in the UK universities. ( Percentage vary)

MBA programs require students to have previous work experience in the field for which they apply. Work experience requirement is usually at least 1.5–2 years, but it can vary depending on the university you select. Similarly, when it comes to working experience, MS courses are less rigorous. Nevertheless, any research or published scientific work that you may have would certainly give you an edge over the other applicants.

Students can apply for universities in the UK via a common application portal known as UCAS. However, not all universities, and in some cases few programs of a university do not accept applications via this portal. Instead, they have their application portal through which students can apply. 

Intake Month for MS in the UK: Most UK universities accept applications throughout the year with no specific deadlines. However, the major intake months are September or January and May. Hence, international students are advised to apply accordingly. 

Intake Month for MBA in the UK: Most UK universities accept applications in September intake and some universities in January inake only. 

2) Eligibility Criteria

  • 2:1 or 2:2 bachelor's degree in a field related to the program to which you are applying
    • 2:1 (upper second class) is equivalent to 75%
    • 2:2 (lower second class) is equivalent to 60%
  • GRE or GMAT score (varies with the program)
  • Work experience (mainly required for management programs)
  • Research Proposal (for postgraduate research programs)
  • Interview (depends upon program)

3) Documents Required for Masters in UK

  • Scanned copy of transcripts from all the institutes previously attended
  • English translation of non-English transcripts
  • Statement of Purpose for UK
  • Personal Statement
  • Two to three professional or academic recommendation letters
  • Updated Resume

4) Student Visa to UK

Tier-4 (General) visa is the student visa in UK required for pursuing a full-time degree. It is valid for the entire duration of the study with additional six months. International students should apply for this visa at least 3 months prior to the commencement of studies. Documents required are:

  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Sponsorship from the university
  • Proof of financial stability
  • Copy of passport

5) Scholarship

Studying masters in the UK is costly for international students due to various expenses associated with it. However, many external funding agencies, the government of UK and universities offer scholarships to ease this financial burden. for more detail about it check our 

6) Jobs after Masters in UK

After completion of the MS in the UK, you can either look for a job or pursue higher studies. The average salary of a student with a doctorate degree is 64,000 GBP per annum which is approximately 23% higher than what a masters graduate earns.

MBA and Executive MBA are the top-paying masters degrees in the UK with an average per annum salary of 88,000 GBP and 100,000 GBP per annum respectively. Financial services and executive management are the highest paying sectors for a graduate.

7) Post Study work Visa after Masters in UK

Post-Study Work Visa, also known as Graduate Route, allows students to stay-back for 2 years in UK after completion of the degree, as per the new policy of UK government launched in 2019. This applies to everyone graduating in 2021 or later. Also, the upper limit on acceptance of visa applications was eliminated. International students are required to look for a job in UK within 6 months of their Tier-4 visa stay-back period to be eligible for Post-Study Work Visa in UK.

Over a million international students come to the UK every year for a master's degree because of its high-quality education, top-ranking universities, and friendly culture. Although the cost of education is higher than some of the other countries, the salary offered after completion of the study is more than what you pay for your education. Thus, pursuing Masters in the UK is worth the time and money for an international student.

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