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

What is M.Phil.?

M.Phil. or Master of Philosophy is a two-year postgraduate curriculum offered in various streams like science, commerce, humanities, and teaching.      

This course helps you gain mastery over a subject of your choice & gives you extensive information & proper foundation for research.

However, candidates are eligible to pursue this course only if they have completed a Master’s degree in the subject in which they want to pursue their M.Phil.

Also, there are various entrance exams that you need to clear before getting admission to this course.

Unlike a master’s degree, you must complete at least one research project. In the first year, teaching includes the foundation and methodology of the research topic. In the second year, you strengthen your research foundation & work on a thesis.

What is Ph.D.?

 Ph.D. or Doctor of Philosophy is the highest doctorate awarded to a student who pursues it after a master’s degree. This degree is a must to work as a University Professor, Researcher, or scientist in many fields. This course is more of a research-oriented program than a comprehensive education curriculum.

In this interval, a student must work on a thesis that should be eligible for publication.

Usually, a master’s degree is a prerequisite to getting admission to this course. Its duration varies from four to seven years, depending on the subject chosen.

Once a candidate gets selected for the course, he must submit their research proposal and topic. The University then appoints a guide to each candidate. Following the methodology, he must complete the thesis in a specific interval.

Thus, Ph.D. can be viewed as a course preparing students for an academic career.

Difference Between M.phil and Ph.D

M.phil is a postgraduate degree that allows you to gain extensive knowledge in your field of interest. You become a master of the subject and get oriented for further research. Ph.D. is a doctorate that is more research-focused as compared to M.Phil. The research paper must be the work of a publishable standard; which is not the absolute requirement in an M.Phil.

With Ph.D., you become eligible to apply to universities for faculty positions like an assistant professor, professor or Dean, medical scientist, expert, etc.

Ph.D. is of a minimum three years duration, while M. Phil lasts for two years. The main difference between the courses is that Ph.D. focuses on discovering new information & trying to learn more through research, while M. Phil focuses on knowing everything that is already known.

Comparison Between M.Phil. and Ph.D.

Parameters of ComparisonM.Phil.Ph.D.
DefinitionA post-graduate course involving the extensive study of the subject & research foundationDoctorate with more focus on thesis & research methodology.
ImportanceIntermediate degree on the way to Ph.D.Has a higher edge over M.Phil.
DurationTwo yearsIt can vary from 3 years to 7 years according to the field chosen
PerksJob of a lecturer, assistant professor, associate  professor, consultantFaculty in universities, scientists, government jobs, research centers, advisor
Focuses onMastering & specializing on what is already known in a field, laying found foundations of researchGaining new information on your self-research
StipendA stipend is not providedA stipend is given depending on the field & subject chosen.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00221546.1966.11774617
  2. https://philpapers.org/rec/BUCTDO