A related question asks about differences in required background knowledge between PhD students, postdocs and RAs. This question asks about differences in the required background knowledge between MPhil students and the former.
My understanding is that postdocs, research assistants, MPhil students and PhD students are mostly paid positions. Regardless, MPhil students and PhD students, like postdocs and research assistants, are expected to assist with the specific research that the professor is doing.
But, considering that both a MPhil studentship and a PhD studentship is the pursuit of a degree rather than the application of acquired knowledge from a degree, I would like to know how much background knowledge is expected of MPhil and PhD students at the time of applying.
How much is expected of background knowledge for an MPhil applicant?