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In Spain, it is fundamental to do the first 3 years of bachelor and the last two years of master to get a job, so I find very difficult to understand the UK system. I am currently enrolled in Computer Science and I have to find out whether I want to do MEng or BSci.

For what I understand:

  • with BSci I can later do a master MSci for a total of 4 years
  • with MEng I can in the fourth year choose master courses but MEng is considered undergrad course

The M in front of Eng is really confusing. I don't want to go into research but I would like to get a greater insight of Artificial intelligence and Big Data, thing that I could do either way choosing MEng or BSc+MSc.

What is the difference between MEng and MSc in the industry? Given that I will spend 4 years any way, should I invest my time in MEng or Msc?

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2 Answers 2

This report from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education in the UK gives a breakdown of what it considered a masters degree to be (See pages 20-23).

In the UK a MSci (Master in Science) is generally a taught postgraduate degree, involving lectures, examination, and a short project. Sometimes you can complete a research MSci, where a longer project is required. According to the UK National Qualifications Framework, masters degrees are classed as level 7 qualifications.

A MEng (Master of Engineering) is usually taken to become a chartered engineer, who is an engineer registered with the Engineering Council in the UK. The follow from the wikipedia page explains that other ways can be used to demonstrate entry standards such as a MSc

The MEng degree represents the minimum educational standard required to become a chartered engineer, but there are other equally satisfactory ways to demonstrate this standard such as the completion of a BEng Honours and a subsequent postgraduate diploma or MSc, or by completion of the Engineering Council Postgraduate Diploma. The UK MEng (undergraduate degree) is not recognized in Canada, USA, India or Europe as a true masters degree since a masters degree in these countries takes a further 1–2 years after a 4 year Bachelors degree.

An MEng is also a level 7 degree under the UK National Qualifications Framework. It is considered a Integrated masters which is explained in the report (link above) as the following (pages10-11)

Integrated master's degree programmes typically include study equivalent to at least four full-time academic years, of which study equivalent to at least one full-time academic year is at level 7. Thus study at bachelor's level is integrated with study at master's level and the programmes are designed to meet the level 6 and level 7 qualification descriptors in full.

The UK national qualifications framework can be compared with ones from other EU countries here

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Does this show that they are considered to be equal? –  graphtheory92 Apr 14 at 12:22
1  
While they are not exactly the same they are both considered a Level 7 qualification under the UK National Qualification Framework. You can compare these levels to other EU countries at this link. ec.europa.eu/eqf/compare/ie/fr_en.htm –  gman Apr 14 at 13:17

Short answer: They are viewed as both roughly equivalent. MEng (or MSci for other sciences) is a 4 year course. BSc + MSc is 2 course (3 + 1 years).

Longer answer/other useful info: I studied an MSci in Physics not CompSci so there might be some minor differences between the subjects, I don't think they are significant.

Although not directly asked I also feel its import to point out that MSc and MSci in the UK are different (MSc is one year, MSci 4years).

Generally in the UK a single 4 year course is becoming more popular. Of my physics course ~60% did the 4 year MSci, ~10% did the BSc and then an MSc somewhere else and the rest only did the BSc. Now these numbers are only an example and details will depend on course and institution (many lower ranked uni do not offer a combined course).

In terms of content both options are likely to be similar. Possibly the BSc and MSc tends to be slightly more research/project based. Although this is very course dependent. I recommend you research the course syllabus for each option.

The main factor to recommend the MEng is funding. For UK students student loans are generally only available for your first degree. This means subsequent 1 year masters must be funded independently/by a bank loan, which is often prohibitive for many people. As you are a Spanish student I am not sure what the situation is for you. Obviously this is something you may want to consider.

In favour of the BSc + MSc it offers more flexibility. You can chose a different institution or a more specialized course after your BSc. The flip side is you are not guaranteed a place anywhere. Additionally many jobs do not require a masters so it gives you the option to only complete the BSc (someone else might comment on how true this is in CompSci).

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