Difference Between MA and MSc

Main Difference – MA vs MSc

A master’s degree is an academic degree conferred in the higher postgraduate education. It is a specialised graduate programme focused on gaining practical knowledge in a particular area. In a master’s degree, the students build on the skills and knowledge they have already gained through their bachelor’s programmes. Both MA and MSc are abbreviations that refer to the titles Master of Arts and Mater of Science respectively. Though both these are masters programs, a significant difference can be noted between them.  The main difference between MA and MSc is that MA is a degree in Humanities or Social Sciences whereas MSc is a degree based on scientific learning.

What is an MA

MA stands for Master of Arts. It is a master’s degree awarded by many universities in many countries. It is a degree in Humanities field and an individual studying for an MA can choose from a variety of subjects like history, geography, education, theology, philosophy, language, human resources, social and political science, fine arts, etc. So it is an ideal option for those who intend to specialize in fields such as tourism, journalism, administration, human resources, etc.

A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field is typically a requisite for the admission to a Masters degree. MA takes two years to complete. The degree can be course-work based or research-based or a combination of both. In a combined degree the course work is done in the first year, and the research is done in the second year. The degree is conferred by passing examinations, research or a combination of the two. Sometimes the candidate cannot move to the research phase until he or she passes the examination based on coursework.Main Difference - MA vs MSc

What is an MSc

MSc stands for Master of Science.  It is a master’s degree awarded by many universities in many countries. MSc is a degree in scientific and mathematical subjects. Therefore, a bachelor’s degree in a related field is a prerequisite to gain admission to MSc. Exact sciences such as mathematics, engineering, information technology and natural sciences such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Geology belongs to the MSc subjects. In addition, subjects like management, finance, economics, etc. can also be studied in MSC format. Theses degrees also focus on both theoretical and practical aspects of the fields. A thesis is typically a requirement for successful completion of an MSc.Difference Between MA and MSc

Difference Between MA and MSc

Long form

MA stands for Master of Arts.

MSc stands for Master of Science.


MA deals with humanities and social sciences fields.

MSc deals with scientific and mathematical subjects.


MA can be completed in subjects like history, geography, education, theology, philosophy, fine arts and human resources.

MSc can be completed in subjects like mathematics, engineering, information technology, biology, chemistry, physics, economics, etc.Difference Between MA and MSc - infographic

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“The School of Humanities, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India” by Rr001 – Own work. via

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