M.Phil. vs Ph.D.: Difference and Comparison

M.Phil. is different from any other completion of study units and assessments, as it consists of fully an independent project for the students. It includes a significant research portion, under the supervision of a thesis project.

An M.Phil. degree is rewarded to a postgraduate student after completing the course work and the submission of one or two years of the major research paper.

The Ph.D. (the Doctor of Philosophy Degree) is the highest achievement of a student in the academic world. In many countries, the Ph.D. is not primarily a degree in the field of philosophy.

The Doctor of Philosophy is awarded to the students in an extensive range of variety in academic fields.


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Thus, the ‘Doctor’ tile is stated to individuals with a Ph.D. In some non-speaking English countries, the title varies in the name of ‘D.Phil.’

Key Takeaways

  1. M.Phil is a postgraduate research degree with a shorter duration and less rigorous requirements than a Ph.D.
  2. Ph.D. is the highest academic degree, demanding in-depth research and a significant original contribution to a specific field.
  3. An M.Phil can serve as a stepping stone to a Ph.D., as some institutions require an M.Phil before pursuing a Ph.D.

M.Phil. vs Ph.D.

M.Phil. aka Master of Philosophy and is a 1-2 year program. M.Phil. programs require students to complete a research project or dissertation, but the scope of the project is smaller. Ph.D. aka Doctor of Philosophy and takes 3-5 years to complete. Ph.D. candidates are expected to make an original contribution to their field of study and produce a thesis or dissertation that is publishable in a peer-reviewed journal.

M.Phil . vs Ph.D.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonM.Phil.Ph.D.
MeaningM.Phil. is known as an academic research degree that permits the students to become the master of a specific subject, and it ensures appropriate knowledge for further research.Ph.D. is internationally accredited as the highest level of research degree course obtained by the universities.
Duration2 years (1-year course work & 1 year’s dissertation submission)3 years (1-year course work& 1 year for thesis paper submission)
StipendNot Paid by the University.Paid by the University
Concerned withResearch basics.Original and newly created research work.
Program StructureIt offers course work and dissertation submission.It deals with course work and the new creation of thesis paperwork submission.

What is M.Phil.?

M.Phil. Or the Master of Philosophy is a postgraduate degree formed by the advanced academic research work arranged by the University. It is also taken as a second degree between the postgraduate and the higher researched doctorate degrees.

The entire duration of M.Phil. The program is for two years. In which, one year is course work obtained by the thesis work.

During the thesis work, the learners need to refer to the other scholars’ researches, and they search for the newest research on their particular respected field to regenerate it.

The minimum one-year time is estimated for the candidates to submit their full dissertation paper. Thus, it takes two years (one-year course work & one year for thesis) for pursuing M.Phil. degree to a student.

The examination of the dissertation (thesis work) is assessed by the international supervisor and the well-respected external examiner, which may conduct to viva-voce.

When the candidate succeeds in the viva-voce, he/she is granted the qualification of M.Phil. Degree. Before the submission of the final proposal of the thesis paper or dissertation, the M.Phil. students must provide a seminar presentation on the study and research work that they completed.

m phil

What is a Ph.D.?

Ph.D. or (Doctor of Philosophy) is the highest degree awarded to the university scholars by the university for the completion of their unique research in a specified topic of a particular field. It prepares their postgraduate learners as a faculty member and as a researcher for their universities.

To get enrollment in this program, first of all, the students have to eligible to pass on specific exams. For instance, NET, GATE, or equivalent to other exams in their subject chosen for obtaining a Ph.D.

After passing the exam, the candidate is qualified to get admission to the Ph.D. program. The entire program consists of three years.

One year is, for course work, and the rest of the two years is provided to submit the thesis paper. The one-year course work has to be done for the confirmation of Ph.D. registration.

Later, they are eligible to submit their thesis work within the two years duration of the registration date is sanctioned.

doctorate degree

Main Differences Between M.Phil. And Ph.D.

The difference between M.Phil. and Ph.D. depends on the following criteria-


M.Phil. Defines as a second master’s degree course, and it offers significant chances to the students to pursue knowledge from advanced research work.

In contrast, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is a professional degree course that eminently offers the doctorate students to become a faculty position and teach the students at university level on the corresponding relative subject that they researched.


The duration of the M.Phil. program is for two years. One year is for the course work, and another one is for the submission of the dissertation.

On the contrary, the minimum period of the Ph.D. course is three years.

The time can be extended up to five years, varies on the submission of the proposal and the approval of the thesis.


The M.Phil. Students may not receive any stipend, while the Ph.D. learners are awarded for the allowance to conduct the research work from the university.

Concerned with

The program of M.Phil. includes the necessary research work, and the students mainly focus on the other scholars’ researches on their respective fields. But in the Ph.D. program, the candidates must submit original and individual advanced research work on their particular area. 

 Program Structure

The M.Phil. program structure consists of two significant goals. The first one is one-years course work, and the second most eminent one is dissertation submission work conducted under the supervision of professionals.

The experts examine the thesis work or the dissertation. The learners necessarily attend a seminar, where they submit the proposal of their research work before the final submission of the dissertation.

Conversely, the Ph.D. program comes with the one-year coursework followed by the thesis work under the observation of a skilled supervisor.

Finally, the personal newly worked thesis paper has to submit within two years due date for pursuing a Ph.D. degree.

Difference Between M.Phil . and Ph.D.
  1. https://www.livemint.com/education/news/india-may-phase-out-m-phil-allow-students-to-pursue-ph-d-after-graduation-11572925902854.html
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