How Long Does It Take to Earn a Master’s Degree?

In this article, we will be looking at Master’s degree in details. A brief description of what the Master’s degree entails and how long it will take to complete a Master’s degree program.

Master’s degree itself is an educational degree awarded to students by colleges and universities when they complete a particular study program that shows that they have high mastery of a particular subject area or profession. To earn a Master’s degree, the student ought to have previously earned a Bachelor’s degree.


A Master’s degree graduate is expected to possess excellent problem solving abilities and be able to think independently. Many countries differ in the way they structure their Master’s degree programs.

To the main question, how long does it take to complete a Master’s degree program?

Usually, in the United States and in Canada, it takes 2 years to complete a Master’s degree in full time enrolment. In the United Kingdom, Master’s degrees can be earned between one to two years for a full time program and between 2 to 4 years for a part-time program.

how long to earn a master's degree


Usually in the UK, the duration of the Master’s degree depends on the type of Master’s degree it is. A Taught Master’s degree is one that does not involve lots of research works, here research works make up only half of the volume of the study program.

Now, this Taught Master’s degree usually takes a full calendar year to complete especially in countries like the UK. While the Research Master’s degree can take up to 2 full years to complete.

In Australia, Master’s degree could take between one to two years for a research or coursework Master’s program. There are also Extended Master’s degree programs in Australia where the Bachelors degree is added to the Master’s degree.


The Master’s degrees could be credit rated depending on the particular type of Master’s degree it is. And the credits help in calculating the duration the Master’s degree will last for. For the Irish for example, Master’s degree can last between 1 to 2 years depending on whether the program is Taught or Research based.

So, you can now see that you will need to understand the individual country’s Master degree system before you can make a generalized conclusion on how long it takes to earn a Master’s degree.

The Program Credit System.

This is one key way in which universities calculate how long a Master’s degree will take. So, depending on the number of credit hours required to complete a study program, that will determine the duration the degree will last for.

Example is a 30- Credit hour course for MSc in Accounting. This type of program will typically take about 7 months to complete which is not even up to a year. Meanwhile a 60-Credit hour degree program in a field like Business Administration will take up to 2 years to complete. So, you see?

Are you enrolling for a full time program or a part time program?

Part time Master’s program will definitely and surely take a lot of time than a full time program. There are universities with which you can choose to have your Master’s program through part-time program. So, because part-timers take a lower number of courses per semester than their full time counterparts, they won’t be able to finish their program on time.

How the part-time program is run depends on the individual university. Some universities even allow their Master’s students up to 7 years after their initial Master’s enrollment to complete their program. So, make sure you check with the institution you wish to enroll to, to check what their part-time or full time Master’s program entail.

Are you going for an Online course program?

Online learning allows for flexibility. Some online programs are partly traditional campus learning and partly online learning while others are purely 100% online.

So, there are online and hybrid learning options for students. But the online learning options allows students to take care of their other commitments while also facing their studies online. Also, online learning could be a very fast method of completing the study program speedily.

It’s also worth mentioning that some universities offer Accelerated Master’s Degree Programs which means that you can receive a dual course credit for your program in coursework. So, if you attend one class, it can be a credit point added to your undergraduate or Master’s program.

Accelerated learning options is for those that want to complete their learning for both undergraduate and Master’s as fast as possible. So, check if your prospective institution has the program for its Master’s students.

Conclusively, you can see that so many factors could affect the number of years you spend in school for your Master’s. We recommend going for the best option that fits what you want in life.

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