0

I am an engineering student studying in India, and I will complete my Bachelor's in Electronics Engineering in June. I am looking forward to pursue a career as a researcher in Machine Learning, Signal Processing and Computer Vision.

Which is better :

  • a 2 year master's degree in the US.
  • or a 1 year master's degree + a 1 year MPhil degree in the UK.

What I think is the advantage of the UK approach is the following :

  • Since the Master's course in UK is mostly coursework based and I don't have a formal background in computer science, it would be much more efficient if I learn't the relevant concepts first, before starting research.
  • After the Master's course where I would have completed all the required coursework, I could spend a year in a more research oriented environment (during the MPhil degree).

As a result, I think the UK option is more suitable for me (it would be a more structured approach) as a student having completed his Bachelor's degree in Electronics engineering, and wishing to pursue research in a more computer science oriented field.


What I think is the advantage of the US approach :

  • I plan on pursuing a PhD degree in an institution in the US, because (please correct me if I am wrong) the chances of fully funded PhD's are much higher in the US, than in UK. Thus, it would be easier for me (from the admissions point of view) to study in a Master's and a PhD program, both in the US.

Basically, what I am asking is :

  • What are the merits/demerits of both the approachers, from the point of view of :
    • Me as a researcher in the future
    • Admissions to a PhD program
1

In terms of PhD admission prospects, both the UK and US have top quality schools with international renown. However, if you're planning to study PhD in the US, having a masters in the same country can help in creating more relevant connections between other researchers, and therefore affecting your chances for PhD admission.

In terms of program structure, there are differences like you mentioned. However, even US institutions start off with a more course-heavy workload and gradually move on to a more research-focused program (second year). Also, getting familiar with basic research concepts and ideas early on (as with US programs) is not necessarily a bad thing and you shouldn't worry much because there are many cases like you who have come from a non-CS background. If you get accepted, the department is well-aware of your background and potential capabilities

EDIT: Empirically, UK institutions offer less funding options especially at the masters level. Even at the PhD level, most of the funding I've came across are offered as partial awards that don't cover the full tuition and living costs. It is still possible to obtain full funding at a UK institution, but overall, funding is usually an important factor in deciding your place of study

  • 1
    thanks for the great answer. You clearly explained that there is no downside studying in the US. Is there some downside of studying in the UK, other that the one that you already stated ? – ironstein Apr 10 '16 at 12:23
  • Empirically, UK institutions offer less funding options especially at the masters level. Even at the PhD level, most of the funding I've came across are offered as partial awards that don't cover the full tuition and living costs. It is still possible to obtain full funding at a UK institution, but overall, funding is usually an important factor in deciding your place of study – Abbas Javan Jafari Apr 10 '16 at 13:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.