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"MAGISTER" OR "MASTERS DEGREE" - ARE THEY THE SAME?


al111 13 | 89
2 Feb 2010  #1
So i'm a bit confused and would like some explanation. Im not starting this thread to criticise the education system in Polska just for the sake of criticising but im actually looking for answers that would help in deciding our kids' education.

MÓJA ŻONA JEST POLAK but she is quite bitter about the way things are run here i seem to be more optimistic than her as regards the future of this country. She is a Pani Magister but to be honest she says its only on paper as she does'nt see the benefit of having a MAGISTER. So i did a bit of research from some colleagues.I found out that there is someone who graduated from the university with a MAGISTER IN ENGINEERING after 5years of study but had never done any practical work during his studies. In fact when he started work he was offered a job with a starting minimum wage. And i mean the Polish minimum wage for someone whose got a MAGISTER. I thought "my foot" minimum wage for an Engineer thats a joke.

Same applies to someone who was enrolling in an MBA course being offered by a private University in Wrocław.The guy has got a Magister in Business Administration but the University does not recognise the equivalance.

So my question is, Is the MAGISTER DEGREE here in Polska the same as a MASTERS DEGREE IN THE UK??

Your Knowledge and Experienes required please.

Dziękujemy
delphiandomine 85 | 17,823
2 Feb 2010  #2
So my question is, Is the MAGISTER DEGREE here in Polska the same as a MASTERS DEGREE IN THE UK??

It depends. There's no straightforward answer - but the following is true today.

- Any degree gained as a 4/5 year Magister that wasn't split into Bachleors and Masters segments isn't comparable to a UK Masters for a multitude of reasons and should be seen as something between a Bachleor's degree with honours and a Masters. However, be careful, because many degrees were academically rigorous and could be easily as difficult as a UK Masters degree - but officially, they're not comparable.

- A magister obtained as a seperate qualification (only offered by some universities) as part of the Bologna Process may be comparable. It's difficult to say, you need to look at the individual transcript and work out if they really did do 4/5 years of study at progressively difficult levels. Some universities and departments are all but ignoring the 3/2 split and only paying lip service to it, others are treating it as serious.

It's really hard to say - it depends what she did, where she did it and how she did. The Polish system is fatally flawed in that it allows medicore students to study to Masters level and to obtain one - someone who only obtained a 3 overall in their Magister is unlikely to be on the same level as a UK Masters student.
jwojcie 2 | 763
2 Feb 2010  #3
Formally Magister Degree in Engineering in Poland equals to Masters of Science in UK. Practically, for example Polish IT faculties in Warsaw University are in the world top (at least judging by "Top coder" contests), but in the same time there are also colleges who gave the same formal title but quality of study is worse. So, as always it depends what schools, and even what faculties one choose in comparision.

As for MBA (Master of Business Administration), this is not equal to Magister Degree. MBA are postgraduate studies, which means one has to have Magister title in something to get MBA title.

PS. Magister title in recent years devalued in Poland because much more people get it than previously (due to huge number of private colleges, and because of huge unemployment rate in 90' and 2000'. Many young people didn't have a job, so they were studing. Many of them got additional postgraduate studies just to make a difference. In short, magister title doesn't mean as much as it were before without professional experience.)
Harry
2 Feb 2010  #4
Let me put it this way: if you want to be admitted to a Master's program at a decent British university, you will need to have a Magister degree.

And while you can not do a Master's in five years of post-school education studying every other weekend, you can get a Magister that way....
delphiandomine 85 | 17,823
2 Feb 2010  #5
And while you can not do a Master's in five years of post-school education studying every other weekend, you can get a Magister that way....

Harry, you might know this...do Polish degree certificates differentiate between full time and extramural studies? Apparently they do, but I'm not certain on this.

If so, there's a very good reason to not consider extramural studies as being worth anything unless it was backed up with relevant work experience during the studies.
frd 7 | 1,399
2 Feb 2010  #6
And while you can not do a Master's in five years

hmm I'm not sure, my mate went to Cranfield as a part of his last Sokrates year and he got a Msc there. He had studied for 4 years in here earlier ( 5 year studies that end up giving you a magister and engineer titles, I dunno how that translates )

do Polish degree certificates differentiate between full time and extramural studies

I don't think they do, I've got Magister Inżynier after a normal course of 5 years, daily. And my mate has got the same title but he was attending "zaoczne" studying only on the weekends : o

On the other hand if you check the number of hours and different subjects it is visible that he did have much less exercises, lectures and laboratory hours than me.. but who would bother to check..
Harry
2 Feb 2010  #7
hmm I'm not sure,

To do an MSc you will need to do two years of A levels, a four-year BSc (as virtually all BSc courses have a sandwich year) and then an MSc which will probably be two years but might take only one year.

And before anybody tries to claim that the Matura is the same as A levels, try getting into a British university undergraduate program with just the Matura.
frd 7 | 1,399
2 Feb 2010  #8
To do an MSc you will need to do two years of A levels, a four-year BSc (as virtually all BSc courses have a sandwich year) and then an MSc which will probably be two years but might take only one year.

Well whatever you say, he's got a British Msc after 4 years here and 1 year there..
delphiandomine 85 | 17,823
2 Feb 2010  #9
On the other hand if you check the number of hours and different subjects it is visible that he did have much less exercises, lectures and laboratory hours than me.. but who would bother to check..

I would, transcripts are far more interesting than the certificate itself. Even among subjects like biology - what's actually studied is far more important than what the title is.

And before anybody tries to claim that the Matura is the same as A levels, try getting into a British university undergraduate program with just the Matura.

Matura is accepted widely, there's no difference there - it's treated exactly the same as A-Levels and the like.

a four-year BSc (as virtually all BSc courses have a sandwich year) and then an MSc which will probably be two years but might take only one year.

It depends very much on the university - Scottish ones are moving towards a unified system of 3 years plus 1 year of work experience (or 4 years theory), but the English model is still very much based upon 3 years with an optional year of work experience (that counts for nothing).

Masters are usually a calendar year, but there's plenty of 30 week Masters courses out there.
Harry
2 Feb 2010  #10
Matura is accepted widely, there's no difference there - it's treated exactly the same as A-Levels and the like.

That first link is for a Scottish uni and Scottish unis are well known for accepting a qualification which is below the level of A levels: that is why their courses take four years. The second one says "85-90% in all subjects with the relevant subjects taken at the higher (extended) level". An A grade at A level is only 80%!

the English model is still very much based upon 3 years with an optional year of work experience (that counts for nothing).

The year of work experience does count for something: I know three people who managed to fail their sandwich year.
Seanus 15 | 19,716
2 Feb 2010  #11
Revised Highers are not way below A levels at all.

A Masters Degree in Scotland tends to be undertaken after the successful completion of the Honours year. You should have a 2:1 or above from your Bachelors/undergraduate. They can be either taught or research based.
db1874 7 | 227
2 Feb 2010  #12
That first link is for a Scottish uni and Scottish unis are well known for accepting a qualification which is below the level of A levels: that is why their courses take four years.

You're wrong there Harry, here's a good explanation of the 4 year degree system in Scotland:

independent.co.uk/student/into-university/clearing/the-beauty-of-scotland-is-the-fouryear-degree-606867.html

"An undergraduate honours degree in Scotland takes four years and offers much greater breadth and flexibility than most degree courses in England. Students typically join a faculty and in the first year are encouraged to take a variety of courses within their area of study. It is not until the second or third year that they are expected to specialise in the subject in which they wish to graduate"
Seanus 15 | 19,716
2 Feb 2010  #13
Especially vocational/generic courses like I did which encompassed work experience and expert tuition.

The quote above is by no means valid for all courses. In a few courses, the Honours year is seen as the year of specialism. In Law, for example, most of the essential subjects in my course were in the final year.
frd 7 | 1,399
2 Feb 2010  #14
Everyone fighting for "the courses I finished are the best courses and it is highly improbable any of you guys would be elligable to join or have same high education after your courses" bollocks. I say serious employers will value the information about finished courses and work experience more than the title. And following the previous though, if Cranfield rates 4 years of Polish Politechnika as enough to obtain Msc after a year then the level of education is thought of as same or similar. Or is it, that in other countries it is similar to Poland, one university is not equal to another, same with titles.
Harry
2 Feb 2010  #15
You're wrong there Harry, here's a good explanation of the 4 year degree system in Scotland

All of the English people I know who've gone to Scottish universities have said that the first year is pretty much just for drinking and having a laugh.

if Cranfield rates 4 years of Polish Politechnika as enough to obtain Msc after a year then the level of education is thought of as same or similar.

Four years is enough to get a Magister (several people in my ex-girlfriend's uni class did it, including her). And one year is enough to get an MSc after doing your BSc.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
2 Feb 2010  #16
In the recently standardized European System of higher education (Bologna process), a master's degree corresponds to a one- or two-year postgraduate program (60 to 120 ECTS credits) undertaken after at least three years of undergraduate studies.
frd 7 | 1,399
2 Feb 2010  #17
Four years is enough to get a Magister (several people in my ex-girlfriend's uni class did it, including her). And one year is enough to get an MSc after doing your BSc.

So basically Msc is, one way or another, same thing as 5y Polish Magister.. different durations same title alright.
Harry
2 Feb 2010  #18
a master's degree corresponds to a one- or two-year postgraduate program (60 to 120 ECTS credits) undertaken after at least three years of undergraduate studies.

No, that is a "Second Cycle qualification". Apart from anything else, 60 ECTS credits should correspond to 1500-1800 hours of study. Given that the average academic year is only 35 weeks long (three months off during summer plus another month for other holidays), a student will need to work between 43 and 51 hours per week. How many extra mural students do that amount of work?!

So basically Msc is, one way or another, same thing as 5y Polish Magister

No a Magister is somewhere between a BSc and an MSc.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
2 Feb 2010  #19
extra mural students

Why are you so obsessed about extramural students? Everyone knows that extramural study usually means slightly lower standards. But what about all the hard-working, goody-two-shoes, full-time students? How is their work of lesser quality? I simply cannot comprehend your Pavlov reaction: every time anybody says "magister", you just have to say "extramural". Why? I'm dying to know.
frd 7 | 1,399
2 Feb 2010  #20
No a Magister is somewhere between a BSc and an MSc.

Nah it is not. Otherwise 4 years out of a 5 years Magister wouldn't be sufficient to let you even try to get the MSc, hence sometimes they are perfectly equal.

- 5 y of a magister courses give you a magister
- 4 y of a magister + 1 y of cranfield gives you MSc
The first one is exactly the same the as the second one and you do precisely same things.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
2 Feb 2010  #21
No, that is a "Second Cycle qualification". Apart from anything else, 60 ECTS credits should correspond to 1500–1800 hours of study. Given that the average academic year is only 35 weeks long (three months off during summer plus another month for other holidays), a student will need to work between 43 and 51 hours per week. How many extra mural students do that amount of work?!

In Sweden both semesters are 20 weeks each. 60 ETCS is defined as 1 year full-time. And full-time study is defined as 40 hrs per week. Even if most students study much less. For example this year (in Poland) I'm scheduled 966 hours at University and in the hospital. And then I have to study at home too. I don't know how many hours are considered full-time here in Poland.
Harry
2 Feb 2010  #22
How is their work of lesser quality?

Their work isn't: their qualification is. The idea that an extra-mural magister should be done in the same time period as a full-time one is very damaging to Polish higher education. Nearly as damaging as the proliferation of private universities where he who pays graduates.
stevepl 2 | 49
2 Feb 2010  #23
How many extra mural students do that amount of work

Quite a lot of extra mural students do more than that amount of work. Consider those who are working in jobs already related to their studies. My wife was working for a western multi-national whilst studying for her magister part time. For her the studies were easy as she was living and breathing the subject everyday. She qualified with 5+ plus some kind of special medal.

The best engineers I've worked with are those who studied for the old HND qualifications whilst working or completed OU courses whilst working. I've also had to suffer the dross who pratted around at uni and new absolutely nothing of any value when they started work.

Don't get me wrong I'm not knocking pure academic research. Real acedemic studies are of great value but the majority of people studying are only there to get a certificate to get a job. At the risk of repeating myself any potential employer would be far more interested in somebody with relevant work experience and a degree than someone with a degree. If I was searching for someone to carry out acedemic research I would be looking for someone with the best possible degree from the best possible university (ie work experience).

Don't knock all part time students, agreed some of them are wasters but many full time students are wasters also. I've had the mispleasure of having worked alongside them far too often.
Harry
2 Feb 2010  #24
Quite a lot of extra mural students do more than that amount of work. Consider those who are working in jobs already related to their studies.

Quite a lot of extra mural students do more than 50 hours a week study on top of their full-time job? Bollocks.

The best engineers I've worked with are those who studied for the old HND qualifications whilst working or completed OU courses whilst working. I've also had to suffer the dross who pratted around at uni and new absolutely nothing of any value when they started work.

I agree entirely. The problem is that an undergraduate degree from the OU will typically take six or seven years to complete.
stevepl 2 | 49
2 Feb 2010  #25
do more than 50 hours a week study on top of their full-time job?

Who said 50 hours of study on top of their full time work?

If you are working in a related field then what's to study? You have to study or be trained at work to do the job. Agreed not in all cases but as I stated a lot of cases. When my wife was studying she was working with MRP systems that was one big chunk of her studies that she had better knowledge of than anyone who would have been studying full time and not exposed to the daily reality.

I've seen the syllabuses for many courses and what the capabilities of the students should be after studying. Don't talk about just hours, many full time students are playing at the game whilst those working are facing reality where things matter and the details are important. Most of the courses (I'm not talking about purely academic ones) are so broad based that they only give a flavour of the subject. Whether someone studies 4 years or 7 years in cloud cuckoo land, it's still cloud cuckoo land.

So we return to the theme that a degree only shows you are capable of studying. What you have studied may be of no real use. Passing your exams, completing coursework is your proof that you can study. If you can do it in 1 year or 5 years I don't see the difference. If your trying to convince me that someone who studies 2 years longer will be so much more of an expert on the subject that they will immediately be fully exploitable in the workplace then I'm sorry but I'm not conviced. If you are telling me that someone with a degree should after further training have the capability to do a job then I agree. But in this case if someone can learn the subject to pass the exam in shorter time, wouldn't that make them the harder working and brighter person.
Myszolow 3 | 157
2 Feb 2010  #26
To do an MSc you will need to do two years of A levels, a four-year BSc (as virtually all BSc courses have a sandwich year) and then an MSc which will probably be two years but might take only one year.

I thought MScs usually only took one year? Mine did - and so did all the ones in Chemistry that I looked at. This was in 1993. Perhaps things have changed? You can do a PhD in 3 years, why would you want to waste two on an MSc?
Trevek 26 | 1,703
2 Feb 2010  #27
- Any degree gained as a 4/5 year Magister that wasn't split into Bachleors and Masters segments isn't comparable to a UK Masters for a multitude of reasons and should be seen as something between a Bachleor's degree with honours and a Masters. However, be careful, because many degrees were academically rigorous and could be easily as difficult as a UK Masters degree - but officially, they're not comparable.

In ScottishAncient Universities, like Glasgow, an MA is also like a BA. As an honours degree it is 4 years, rather than 3 in England. However, you can also do an 'ordinary' MA in 3 years.
Seanus 15 | 19,716
2 Feb 2010  #28
Good point! At Aberdeen Uni, for example, an MA is an undergrad.
jonni 16 | 2,486
2 Feb 2010  #29
Quite a few Scottish universities do that.

Not long ago I heard about someone who had an MA from (I think) Edinburgh who was turned town for an English teaching job in Saudi, because they couldn't get their heads round the idea of an MA being a first degree.
Seanus 15 | 19,716
2 Feb 2010  #30
I can believe that. Some people get skittish when they see sth outwith the ordinary (their ordinary). I have lessons on this and I don't go too deep as it would just confuse them too much.


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