Master of Advanced Studies

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A master of advanced studies or master of advanced study (MAS, MAst., M.A.S.) is a postgraduate degree awarded in various countries. Master of advanced studies programs may be non-consecutive programs tailored for "specific groups of working professionals with well-defined needs for advanced degree work".[1] or advanced research degrees.[2] With the exception of the UK, advanced studies programs tend to be interdisciplinary and tend to be focused toward meeting the needs of professionals rather than academics.[3][4]

Master of advanced study in the United Kingdom (MAst, MAS)[edit]

The University of Cambridge began offering the master of advanced study in 2010[5] as a one-year master's degree in Mathematics as a replacement for the "Part  III exam in Mathematics". Cambridge currently offers master of advanced study degrees in four fields of study. Warwick University has approved the introduction of a master of advanced study (MAS) degree in Mathematics for the 2013/2014 year.[6]

Master of advanced study/studies (M.A.S., MAS) in the United States[edit]

In the United States, the master of advanced study (M.A.S.) also the master of advanced studies (MAS)[7] degree is a post-graduate professional degree issued by numerous academic institutions, but most notably by the University of California. M.A.S. programs tend to "concentrate on a set of coordinated coursework with culminating projects or papers rather than emphasizing student research" and frequently are structured as interdisciplinary offerings.[8]

Master of advanced studies (MAS), diplôme d'études approfondies (DEA) in France and francophone countries[edit]

After the Bologna Process in 2002, the master of advanced studies came into existence. In France it is called a "Master 2" (M2) or based on the goal of the student, more specifically the "Master Recherche" or "Master Professionnel". It is an optional second year added to the pre-Bologna Process maîtrise (originally one-year of study) now called the "Master 1" (M1). Prior to the Bologna Process, France had the diplôme d'études approfondies (DEA) and diplôme d'études superieures spécialisées (DESS).[9][10] Entry into both degrees required the student to have completed the pre-Bologna Process maîtrise equivalent to a baccalauréat+4-years of higher education. The DEA and DESS was sanctioned as the first of four years of doctoral studies.[11] The DEA required a thesis with a defense and prepared the student for further education (a doctorate). The DESS required an internship with a presentation and prepared the student to enter into a career. The duration of the DEA and DESS were officially one year but often took up to two years, depending on the university requirements—especially with the DEA. The DEA was generally equivalent to the North American "All But Dissertation" or ABD status within a doctoral program or a master of philosophy (M.Phil.) or master of research (M.Res.) degree. In 2006, a French decree on doctoral studies eliminated the DEA and DESS and reduced the doctoral studies from four to three years, moving the first year of the original doctoral studies program to the master's program creating the Master of Advanced Studies (Master 2 (M2)).[12]

The DEA and DESS were offered in many places and may continue to be offered in countries which apply the French university style, sometimes with some minor differences, such as Quebec, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Tunisia and most Francophone countries.

In the French-speaking universities of Switzerland, the DEA, now master of advanced studies, was equivalent to the master's degree in English-speaking countries, and it was a one- to two-year degree taken after a Licence (4-year Swiss graduate degree). It generally consisted of a number of courses, with examinations and grades, followed by research in a scientific laboratory. The students would then write a substantial thesis about the scientific work they did, and defend this thesis in front of a committee. The master of advanced studies remains a common post-graduate degree in Switzerland.

In Europe, the DEA degrees are progressively subsumed into the Bologna process master's degrees and research-oriented master of advanced studies degrees.

Master of advanced studies (MAS) in German-speaking countries[edit]

The degree of master of advanced studies is awarded in Switzerland, Austria and Liechtenstein as a continuing education (Weiterbildung) degree.

Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) Program

Admission criteria are often more flexible than in consecutive master programs[3] and tend to recognize work experience and non-formal education in addition to formal education.[4][13] A MAS requires 60-120 ECTS.[14][15] and usually consists of course work, independent study and a masters thesis.[16]

Germany does not offer a Master of Advanced Studies as an academic title but German universities are allowed to offer Master of Advanced Studies program as "Post-graduate study opportunities". In Switzerland there are three levels of continuing education qualifications: the Certificate of Advanced Studies, the Diploma of Advanced studies and the Master of Advanced Studies. The Master of Advanced Studies is the highest of these qualifications.

Master of advanced studies (MAS) in Spain[edit]

This degree also exists in Spain under the name "Diploma de Estudios Avanzados" or "DEA". It confers a higher qualification credential than a master of philosophy or master of studies but lower than doctorate. The so called "DEA" was achieved in two years: one year of coursework, which included research methods and theoretical approaches of the discipline at stake (depending on the area of specialization) and one year of research. All the work of the first and second years was defended before a panel. The DEA was a prerequisite for the preparation of the PhD proposal and the commencement of PhD research in Spain.

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