Talk:Master of Arts (Scotland)

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After an exchange of letters between myself and representatives of Edinburgh university they were prepared to say in writing that their M.A. was somewhere between an English B.A. and postgraduate degree, being a four year degree (whereas most British B.A.'s are three year degrees) and being from one of the highest rated universities in the UK. Alas, I lost the letter! Some years later. The representative (possibly the vice dean - i.e. head- at the time) agree that those graduating from the MA could go on to study for a Ph.D. at Edinburgh university without, necessarily, first taking another "MA." I am not sure if this is still the case but if it is, it would suggest that the EU MA has some commonality with an English MA. --Timtak (talk) 07:05, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

This report for the Bologna process in higher education seems to rank a scottish ma at cycle two.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by DirtyEuropeanSocialist (talkcontribs) 20:36, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

There seems to be a deliberate propaganda campaign to claim a Scottish MA is worth less than an English MA. It is vindictive nationalism. It does not stand logic that a 4 year degree in Scotland would only be equal to an English 3 year degree. The Modern report shown here does proove a scottish MA is equal to an English MA not an English BA. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Newunscok (talkcontribs) 20:01, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry but you're totally wrong on the above point! A Scottish MA is equivalent to an English BA/BSc, and this is well recognized within higher education agencies throughout the UK. Indeed, the latest report - the report you quote - even states as much. -- (A.szczep) 22:52, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Szczep appears to be right. The report is no longer avaiable at the above address but the [full report is in the Internet archive] and it says, in a foot note to the BA, that the Scottish MA is an MA in name only - despite being a year longer than an English BA, and the same length as some combined Bsc MA courses. --Timtak (talk) 07:05, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Article is wrong[edit]

The article is wrong in some places. A Master of Arts can be awarded in Mathematics too, or at least for Mathematics with Theoretical Physics from Aberdeen. MP (talkcontribs) 18:55, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

And in Computing (University of Aberdeen, at least). Next year this will not be available as they are changing it from MA Computing to MSci Computing [science?]. (talk) 15:38, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Aberdeen University hasn't changed MA in Computing to MSi it already constitute a separated qualification. MSi is an advanced version of MA/BSc version. MSi candidate usually takes an extra year on top their existing course to carry out an industrial place. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cayde (talkcontribs) 03:49, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Something needs to be done re: BA/MA issue[edit]

The problem is that in certain subjects it is possible to graduate in either a MA or BSc... Additionally the fact that often in Scotland only the last two years of study are devoted to the one subject, and also Scottish students enter Scottish universities with lower qualifications, it is clear that a Scottish MA is equivalent to a British BA/BSc. -- (A.szczep) 17:10, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Well, yes and no. Scottish students study more topics in their last years of high school, but through advanced higher system can if they want do some subjects at the same specialized level as A-Level, or they can do more at the higher level. The individual higher is only a lower qualification in that less of an individual topic is studied, not necessarily that the individual subject is studied at a lower level (though sometimes it has to be like that). Also, Scottish undergraduate degrees are very popular with English and North American students (who collectively outnumber Scots at U. of Edinburgh and St Andrews). Regarding the other point, Scottish degrees spend extra time (rather like US universities) giving their students a more fully rounded education, but (unlike NA universities) end up giving their students a more specialized education than the english universities too (4 years as opposed to 3). Though we all know the English are always in a rush, it is very difficult to argue that, in US terms, graduating as a junior is the same as graduating as a senior. ;) This is ignoring the fact that Master is simply, in international university vocabulary, senior to a bachelor. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 13:43, 15 October 2008 (UTC)


Thank you to the people that created and added to this article. It was very confusing to read that Ian Charleson received an MA degree from only three years at EU, because in the U.S. an MA is exclusively a post-graduate degree requiring at least 6 years at university. I'm glad this article helped clarify the difference! Softlavender (talk) 03:19, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Heriot Watt[edit]

Heriot Watt offer undergraduate MA degree course too. Is this a different thing?

for example: (talk) 19:25, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

The Scottish Universities MA Honours degree has long been a benchmark of academic excellence, and stands on its own merits[edit]

The Master of Arts degree awarded by Scotland's older Universities is (at least on my Glasgow degree parchment) a Magistrum Artium, the existence of which is legitimated by long custom and tradition going back to the fifteenth century with the foundation of the Medieval and Renaissance Scottish Universities; St. Andrews 1413, Glasgow 1451, Aberdeen 1495, Edinburgh 1583 and Dundee (formerly an integral college of St. Andrews) in 1967. There is no attempt by any of these Scottish Universities to engage in any deceptive practice by passing off their MA degrees as post-graduate qualifications, although these degrees are strictly speaking (however anomalous it may appear to those accustomed to another usage) Masters' degrees and not Bachelors' degrees. In terms of historical precedent it is the newer universities in the English speaking world that are out of step. Moreover, the existence of four year honours degrees for undergraduate study in Scotland has little to do with the differences between Scottish Highers or English, Welsh, and Northern Irish 'A' levels, because these four year degrees (the basic current structure) have been awarded since the 1860's (building on the earlier practice when students studied the university Arts curriculum at an earlier age more analogous to secondary education today) prior to the introduction of the Scottish Higher grade in 1883 or the twentieth century development of the English/Welsh/Northern Irish Advanced level qualifications. ScotsDaddyintheUSA (talk) 23:53, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

This article had no sources and made dubious claims.[edit]

Not a single source was cited for this article before I edited it on February 18 2015. There was a distinct lack of nuance in this article and important details on the merits of this qualification were missing. The Scottish MA consists of 4 years of study, two of which are at Honours level, as opposed to 3 year BAs in other countries which contain no Honours classes, or BAs in England which only have one year of Honours study. Honours level courses are advanced level courses and are not equivalent to simple Bachelor level ones. Nowhere in the article was this point recognised, yet it is mentioned elsewhere on wikipedia on numerous occasions, meaning that conflicting information was conveyed ( The Scottish education system and its universities are distinctive, and the degrees they confer should be described accordingly. Scottish MAs are not just like BAs elsewhere, and equating them with these is incorrect. Indeed, Scottish Honours degrees are on a higher level than ordinary Bachelor degrees on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (Level 10 vs. Level 9).

I have modified and nuanced this article and provided numerous sources, and better integrated it with the content pertinent to this degree available on the rest of wikipedia. Prior to this the article read like a bashing of the Scottish MA degree, and this is not acceptable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scottska (talk) 10:24, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

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